Whether new to the industry or an expert, you know the real estate market has its ups and downs. Many things affect a real estate agent’s experience and success, especially when the economy or individual market takes a downturn. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a real estate agent is around $60,000, however some numbers list the range between $22,000-$112,000. Do you fall into this category? If you do or simply would like to make more money, read these real estate earning tips and how to increase your salary.
5 Real Estate Earning Tips: Increase Your Annual Salary
Increase Networking Time
The real estate industry thrives on referrals. In order to receive those referrals, agents must have a stellar reputation for helping customers buy and sell homes. Networking ranks as No. 1 among these real estate earning tips because agents cannot increase sales without getting their name out into the local market.
There are several ways to increase networking initiatives, and many only take a couple of hours per week. Look for upcoming small business events, chamber of commerce events, real estate professional meet-ups or local charity events.
Plan to attend at least one a month, swap business cards and follow up. Many cities also host real estate networking events through Meetup. If the area does not, consider creating one and invite people interested in buying or selling their home.
Tip: Host a Meetup that focuses on how to sell your home. Design a presentation that covers the basics and encourages them to receive more information. See examples of the Selling a Home Meetup group.
Participate in Referral Programs*
In addition to word-of-mouth referrals by previous customers and their connections, networking with other businesses proves an effective way to build relationships and meet people.
One example is partnering with a vacation property management company in the area. For example, the iTrip Vacations Trusted Partner Program provides agents with additional income and perks for properties they refer to their local iTrip Vacations property managers. The partner program is free to join with no obligation, and connects real estate agents to local businesses that have a solid reputation for managing vacation rental properties. Learn more about iTrip Vacations’ Trusted Partner program.
Other businesses real estate agents can partner with include: contractors, photographers, cleaning companies, local coffee shops, interior decorators and inspection companies. Many of these companies thrive on referrals as well, so working together may prove beneficial to everyone.
Prospect ‘Sold by Owners’ Clients
Homeowners know there are pros and cons of working with a real estate agent to sell their home. While many see the benefits of working with real estate professionals, many still try to sell the home themselves. However, sometimes it’s because the homeowner had a negative experience with another real estate agent.
Research the area to find homes sold by owners. Reach out to them via phone, mail or email and offer your services. Look at local listings in social media groups or local for-sale websites, and consider sending a card or calling them.
When speaking to them ask about their previous experience, and tailor the conversation around providing a better experience. If they have never used an agent, share the value proposition. Remember most people do not have the time or energy to sell their home, so take the opportunity to assist them. Starting new relationships provides a great way to create new business, which leads to more revenue.
Amp Up Social Media Presence
Social media has become one of the top ways to increase online business exposure and advertise. Most social media platforms offer free profiles, groups and affordable advertising that targets specific users.
The first step is to create a couple of profiles. If just starting out, we suggest Facebook and LinkedIn. Facebook has 2 billion active accounts, offers affordable advertising that targets users in the area, and provides the ability to connect with customers. LinkedIn ranks as the top professional networking site. This site enables real estate agents to connect with other professionals and join nationwide and worldwide groups that relate to the industry.
Why did we pick these social media sites?
When someone searches for your name or business name, either Facebook or LinkedIn will appear high on page 1 if there’s an account. Think of Facebook as a way to converse with potential and previous customers, while LinkedIn serves as your resume, available 24-7 for prospects. Having a strong social media presence helps build trusting relationships, increases online exposure and leads to higher real estate earning potential.
Sponsor an Event
Most cities host an annual festival or event. No matter the season, these events need sponsors and allow for booth set-ups and provide additional opportunities. Select one or two events – perhaps one in the spring and one in the fall – and join as a sponsor. Fees range depending on the event, however the return on investment may prove worth it.
Set up a booth complete with business cards, brochures, a portfolio, testimonials and other materials attendees can take home. In addition, allow guests to sign up for future mailings or an enewsletter that provides more information. This ensures you gather their information and have a way to follow up with potential customers.
Tip: Don’t forget to supply plenty of pens, notepads, coffee mugs and other promotional items visitors can keep as a souvenir. Everyone loves a free gift!
Do you have more real estate earning tips? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.
*Make sure all referral programs, networking functions and events comply with RESPA laws and best practices. Learn more about RESPA compliance and read RESPA FAQs.