So you’ve officially passed all of your tests and exams are a licensed real estate agent in the state of Virginia! Congrats! Like most new real estate agents, you might be wondering what comes next. Do you know what comes after the stress of passing your real estate exams? We have a lot of experience in the process and are here to give you a few simple tips to help you get started on your path to a successful career.
The next steps can be challenging and fun. Ready to get started?
What Happens After You Get Your Virginia Real Estate License?
Especially if you’ve been out of school for a while, you know how tedious the studying process can be. Hopefully you were able to celebrate your first success in the real estate industry and relax for a minute. The next steps after getting your Virginia real estate license can be really exciting. Now you get to start building your business, working on your sphere of influence, and hopefully get the opportunity to sell properties. Read on for a couple easy ideas to help you start making money in the state of Virginia.
How To Find The Right Virginia Sponsoring Broker
Finding the right sponsoring brokerage is crucial for a successful real estate career. Since most states require that all new agents have one before even getting their license, we thought we’d share a few helpful tips to finding the right one for you. If you don’t have experience in the real estate industry in the state of Virginia, we highly recommend that you lean into a brokerage and a team that has the knowledge to give you a jumpstart. Tackle those first few tricky transactions with ease with a broker on your side that already has an established network.
The first thing that we always recommend when it comes to finding the right sponsoring broker in Virginia is to look for a team that already has an outstanding reputation. They should also have a continuing education program in place for their agents. It is pretty common that the best brokerages invest in their agents are constantly encouraging them to grow. Successful agents means the brokerage is successful. Before settling on any old brokerage, do a little bit of research and talk to agents in the brokerage. You’ll want to be a part of a team that supports each other and has a good relationship with their broker.
One more tip we’d like to pass on to new agents who have just gotten their Virginia real estate license is to look for a brokerage that has the speciality you are interested in. Lean into the team that has similar goals as you and has the knowledge and experience to help you grow your business. Whether you want to be the number one first time home buyer agent or be the go to phone call for all new businesses looking for commercial space, you want to be on a team that can help you build your personal brand.
Have A Marketing Strategy In Place
The appeal of working in the real estate industry is the freedom to set your own schedule and build your workload however you want. However, being in business for yourself means that you are responsible for all of the marketing and the budgeting that comes along with that. Sometimes your sponsoring brokerage will be willing to provide you with some materials and a strategy to get you started, but it really falls on you to get your name out there.
If you’re just getting your start, you have probably already heard the advice to never stop marketing. We want to reiterate that fact and say that you should always have business cards and contact information on hand to give out to potential clients or connections. Show up at local events and make sure that everyone you meet knows who you are and what you do. The idea with marketing is to make sure you are making lasting connections - you want to be the first person they call when they have questions about real estate. Build meaningful relationships, not only with clients and prospects, but with other experts in your industry as well.
It can often take up to 3-6 months before new agents even start their first real estate transaction in Virginia. Before you earn that first commission, your broker might be able to help you at the beginning by offering a commission. However, there are other ways to income right at the start of your career. First time agents often get their start and earn a little extra money by leasing rental properties. This type of commission is attractive because even though it is less money than a typical home sale, the turnaround is much faster and it takes much less experience. You could even earn that first paycheck within thirty days.
We suggest talking to your broker and team before creating a marketing strategy. They will be able to set you in the right direction and give you the advice you need. Plus, they’ll have insights into what works best in your desired area.
Join Real Estate Organizations and Grow Your Business
The first thing we suggest new Virginia Real Estate agents to do is join both local and national real estate organizations. Connecting with other people in your field is a great way to connect with other professionals and grow your network.
The first group you should join is the NAR, the National Association of REALTORS®. The NAR prides themselves on having a certain code of conduct that distinguishes them as more educated and more ethical real estate agents. Being involved in a group like this can set you apart from other agents and give you a professional leg up.
Look up other real estate groups in your area though, there are dozens of groups you can be a part of. Consider local meetups and network specific groups that will help you gain referrals and connect with other professionals. Give yourself more opportunities to grow your business and boost your reputation with organizations designed to help you.
Network, Network, Network!
The terms real estate and networking go hand in hand. Like we discussed above, the main reason to join professional marketing groups is to widen your sphere and build more connections. We suggest starting with people you already know and building a database of contacts and have a strategy in place for creating new relationships. That includes relationships with real estate attorneys, mortgage companies, title companies, contractors, builders, and more. All of these people can help you gain more referrals for your business and be a good point of reference when your clients have questions.
One quick and easy way that can help you get out into the community is to host and attend open houses. You should also spend time getting to know the people in your brokerage and the professionals in surrounding industries. We also want to restate that local groups and conferences can be a great organic way to build your database. Keep your business cards on you at all times and try to stay as consistent as possible on your social media postings.
Really, the best advice we give any real estate agent in Virginia is to start with a strong database and keep it as organized as possible right from the beginning. Start by creating a list of everyone you know. Who might be interested in real estate? Who of your friends and family might be willing to give you a referral? Every person you come in contact should go on your database as a potential prospect. Document everything you learn about them, from what they do, to how many kids they have, special anniversaries, and more. Taking note of key information can set you apart from other agents and build your reputation in the community as being a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and organized real estate agent.
Now that you’re officially a real estate agent in Virginia, you can create an exciting and challenging career for yourself. You’ve done the hard part, you’ve passed your exams and now you’re raring to go. Start by teaming up with your mentor that can help you navigate the first few transactions and give you the knowledge you need for success.
Hopefully we’ve been able to give you a couple good ideas for how to get started on the right foot right away. When you go all out at the start, you’ll be able to maintain consistent business and continue to grow. We also encourage you to lean into your brokerage and ask for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes - real estate is a fluid industry and there will always be a learning curve. The tools and resources you need are out there, and there are so many opportunities for success. Success can be yours, so get out there and get going!