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Congrats! You’ve passed your real estate exam, obtained a license and started your own business. It’s the first feat of many to becoming a successful real estate professional. But what exactly is the secret to longevity in an already over-saturated field?

While many new real estate agents fail in their first year or two, you do not have to be one of them. It all comes down to hard work and the way you market yourself. Afterall, buyers want an agent who is reliable, professional and has expert knowledge of the market.

Don’t assume that because you’ve told all of your family and friends about your new career you’ll start receiving an outpouring of business referrals from them. You don’t have to play the role of the “pushy salesperson” either. There are ways to present yourself and handle your business that will separate you from all of that. For example, the ability to write compelling descriptions about listings and excellent photography skills go much farther than selling skills. People are usually turned off by pushy sales pitches.
It’s important to start off on the right foot with technology and the internet. Despite what some of the “old-timers” may tell you, you definitely need the internet to market both yourself and your listings in today’s real estate world. Have someone design a professional website for you, and be sure to use it and also social networking to get a foothold with today’s buyers and sellers. This will especially help with attracting the millennial population.

While online marketing tactics are best, contacting people and beginning your prospects list by the old methods is not out of the question. You can still call, mail, and email every person you know to get started while the slower online process builds. This also helps to build your marketing efforts and overall business.

The most important thing you can do when embarking on a career in real estate is to learn from your peers. Follow an experienced agent and ask them as many questions that come to your mind. The best way to learn the trade is by seeking advice from someone who has already made it.

The real estate business can be a very satisfying career, however, you have to make it through that first year or two in order to make it in the long run. Have a plan, build a database of prospects, market yourself online and through social media, and you will find the keys to success at becoming a real estate agent.