Feeling overwhelmed? 4 skills new agents should master first

Navigating the many processes and moving parts of this industry can seem overwhelming — especially to newly minted agents. But you can’t be all things to all people. Here are the main things you need to focus on.

The No. 1 rule in any sales career is: Do not forget the basics, and always go back to the basics because those are the foundations you’ll build your business on.

As new agents, we often feel overwhelmed and are unable to navigate through so many processes and moving parts of our industry. It’s imperative to understand some basic components of real estate, and who should be executing and putting these processes in place.

Just as we cannot be all things to all people, we also can’t assume every role in running a successful real estate business. Time management and procrastination are both challenges. Self-governance is the other. Hiring competent support and assistants is key in running a successful business.

You may not be able to implement this on Day 1 of your career, but this should be your goal. There are so many distractions in our day-to-day activities and many thoughts and actions are left unattended. Procrastination or forgetfulness causes failure to execute.

Just think of all the things the come across your desk, your inbox or cross your mind. You think, “Wow! That’s a great idea.” But somehow, you just don’t get to it.

Think about that for-sale sign you just drove by and thought that it would be a perfect home for one of your clients, but you were on your way to an appointment, and it slipped your mind.

How about that buyer you ran into at the mall but forgot to follow up with? We’ve all done this. Some of us are still stuck in this pattern of great thoughts and plans but inability to act on them.

As an agent, there are four things you need to be great at — listing, selling, negotiating and delegating. Let’s look at each one.

1. Listing
To be a good listing agent, you need to have great marketing and branding. This means creating a marketing plan and having the support of a specialist in that area of your business — social media firms, display ad firms, printers, radio, TV, podcasts and network groups.

Devote time to setting this up. Start this process — even if it’s on a small scale — on Day 1 of your career.

2. Selling
Working with buyers will lead to listings. Reach out to high-producing listing agents in your brokerage and offer to work with their buyers. This does not mean that you join their team.

Ask to become a part of their referral network. Ask for leads. Lead generation does not have to come from online sources. Reach out to your networks, community and sphere, and let it be known that you are there to assist.

3. Negotiating
Focus on sharpening your negotiation skills. Take courses, read books, learn from your experiences and the experiences of others, and find mentors in your industry.

Learn the strategies of top agents and how they always manage to get top dollar for their clients. When you become a top negotiator, not only do you succeed, but you also create a following, testimonials and advocates.

4. Delegating
This may be the most important factor in running a successful business. Do the things that you are excellent at, and delegate those tasks that you are not proficient at. Learn to offload tasks onto assistants, consultants and support staff.

If a thought enters your mind, do not waste it. Use the speech-to-text on your phone, especially if you are driving. Every thought needs to go into an email and sent to your assistant.

If you do not have an assistant, it needs to be sent to your inbox so that you’ll be forced to open it and act on it. Don’t think of an assistant as an expense. An assistant is an investment in your business — one that will show great returns over time.