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How To Avoid Becoming Another Broke Real Estate Agent

By Sarah Layton

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Money, money, money.

It is one of the main motivating factors for most real estate agents.

Yet, the majority of real estate agents that once had Million Dollar Listing dreams of grandeur, find themselves taking advances on commissions to put food on the table.

Being a real estate agent looks flashy on the outside, but on the inside, it is scary and expensive as shit!

It’s no secret that most of you won’t make it.

One of the biggest reasons that real estate agents fail in less time than it took them to complete the course, is that they go broke.

It takes a legit chunk of change to pay association dues, MLS fees, broker fees, etc.

If you are like most real estate agents, you always live with some level of fear of going broke.

Is there really any way to safeguard yourself from becoming another statistic?

Well, there may not be any guarantee, but there sure are a few things you can do to help protect yourself more than most.

If you want to add an extra layer of protection to your career and your wallet, then this post is for you.

But first, please help me stay afloat myself and Buffer/share this post. Oh, and if you haven’t subscribed to my blog, please do that so you can continue to stay in the know on the newest and smartest ways to make the most of your career as a real estate agent.

Go All-In On Yourself With A Niche

In one of my earliest articles, I asked you if throwing your marketing budget around in “spray and pray” marketing was producing an ROI that you could be proud of. (You can read that article here).

I know that choosing a SUPER specific niche can sound scary because it feels like you will be alienating potential clients and referrals. The truth is the opposite. The more specific your niche is, the higher your potential for closing those clients on the reg.

The key here is not to just choose buyers or sellers or some other pretend niche.

You need to get seriously specific. For example, move-up buyers in the $3-$4million price range in Silicon Valley. Or aging sellers looking to downsize or move into a facility in Boca Raton.

Real Estate Niche Marketing | Profitable Real Estate Niches | Sarah Layton

Real Estate Niche Marketing | Profitable Real Estate Niches | Sarah Layton Deciding where to market yourself as a real estate professional is remarkably difficult. There are infinite potential leads out there, and almost as many strategies for reaching them.

The more targeted your marketing becomes, the more effective it will be, and the less money you will waste on bullshit gimmicks that don’t work.

When you do choose your niche, it is extremely important that it meets the following criteria:

  • They are people you enjoy working with

  • You have worked with them before

  • They are profitable & account for enough of the market for you to survive

Be very careful that you don’t choose a niche because some coach, broker, or other asshole told you that they were the “it” niche. You’ll likely end up miserable down the line when you have built your brand and business around people you don’t even enjoy helping.

Remember, you left a previous job or circumstance for this one in order to build a life and business on your terms.

That was a very brave thing for you to do.

Don’t get scared now and allow your fears of going broke to dictate your decisions about your business. I promise you will live to regret every one of those decisions.

Diversify Your Revenue Streams

As you know, the market goes up and down. When it goes down, most agents suffer massive financial blows.

The majority of you, despite being successful now, will not survive the next big blow because you will have Amazon, Zillow, Redfin, and Facebook there swooping in to steal the remaining business.

Episode 2: How To Use Zillow's Instant Offers To Your Advantage by RealEstateRevolution

There is a ton of buzz in the real estate community right now over Zillow's new direct-to-consumer service which empowers homeowners to sell their property directly to investors without using an agent. It is no surprise that this move has only further agitated real estate agents who have for a long time resented Zillow and their Zestimates.

My point here is not to scare the shit out of you. My point is to help prepare you for that next low by showing you some ways that you can diversify your income.

One of my all-time favorite ways for you to earn passive income, is by using your real estate blog for affiliate marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an amazingly simple and easy way for you to earn commissions for next to no work.

Essentially, product and service providers supply you with a link to something they are trying to sell. You publish that link in various and strategic places throughout your blog or website. When people click on that link and make a purchase, you get paid a percentage of the sale.

How easy is that?!

Have you ever wondered how bloggers are pulling in six and seven figure incomes?

The answer is affiliate marketing!

How Can You Cash-in On Affiliate Marketing?

The first thing you need to do is get yourself signed-up to become an affiliate.

My two all-time favorite affiliate marketing programs are SkimLinks and ShareASale.

I love both of these programs because they are among the easiest to use, the fastest to get set up, and they seem to be the most lucrative.

Once you have signed-up for both SkimLinks & ShareASale, it is time to start marketing the products and services they offer on your real estate blog and social media.

You have a unique opportunity to do this as a real estate agent because many of the products and services that will earn you fat commission checks are things that homeowners want and shop for anyway!

Affiliate marketing with SkimLinks and ShareASale is going to give you the opportunity to make money off of all of your followers and subscribers, without ever having to sell a house to them.

How to be Successful in Real Estate in 2018 by RealEstateRevolution

In this episode of The Real Estate Revolution, I'm sharing my formula for being successful in real estate in 2018! 2017 is winding down and it is time you get yourself ready for the next year (or three haha)!

By the way, I also offer an affiliate program for my masterclass on creating profitable content. Email me to learn how you can become an affiliate for me.

After all, you already have a real estate blog, social media profiles, and an email list. Why not squeeze every drop of value out of those things as you can?

When the market inevitably tanks again, you will be very relieved to have the extra passive income every month!

Invest In Long-Term Marketing

Short-term marketing gimmicks are sexier in just about every way.

Short-term tactics like cold-calling (ick!) do promise the possibility of nearly instantaneous rewards. That is part of the reason that many agents feel such an emotional attachment to short-term marketing tactics.

However, short-term tactics lead to even shorter pipelines.

If you are constantly chasing the here and now (like the majority of the competition), you won’t have the resources to invest in a bigger and better future.

I’m about to infuriate a lot of you with my next statement. Are you ready for this?

Real estate agents that spend the majority of their marketing dollars on short-term tactics like direct mail, cold-calling, and door-knocking, are just like alcoholics and drug addicts.

They are in constant pursuit of an instantaneous reward, without care or concern for the cost it has to themselves or their business. They don’t care if it is really the best way to spend their money. They just know it gave them that warm happy feeling before and they want it again.

Over time though, just as the drug will poison your body, the short-term tactics will poison your business.

If you don’t want to wake up in a rock-bottom business moment of sudden awareness one day (sooner than later), then you need to invest in valuable long-term marketing strategies.

One of the best ways to do this is through content.

Think about it.

When you send out a postcard, it may, or may not, bring you a one-time return. If you are EXTREMELY lucky, you might get a second deal out of it. Okay cool.

BUT…

When you write a blog post, film a video, or record a podcast, that content has the potential to bring you infinite amounts of business…..forever.

Which would you really rather have? A piece of paper that might work for you once, or a piece of digital content that will work for you 24/7, 365, forever?

If you don’t want to wake up another broke agent one day, you need to start investing in long-term marketing strategies with higher ROI.

Spend Smart

Being a real estate agent is really fucking expensive!

Like REALLY fucking expensive!

If you are like most agents, you had no idea when you signed-up for the real estate course that this career was going to rape your wallet the way it does.

Unless you are coming to the table with a solid bank roll of at least a couple hundred thousand dollars in the bank, you’re at a serious risk of going broke in the first five years. In fact, NAR reports that 87% of agents fail in the first five years.

Ouch.

I’m guessing that you probably don’t have six figures of extra funds just laying around waiting to be spent, or you wouldn’t be so worried about going broke, and you wouldn’t be reading this article.

So my next piece of advice to you is to hold on to your money honey.

As you already know, there are a million and one companies out there vying for your business, promising the world, and robbing you of your marketing budget.

There are just so many ways for you to spend money as a real estate agent, it really makes your head spin.

How To Make Millions With Your Real Estate Blog | Sarah Layton | Real Estate Content Marketing

How To Make Millions With Your Real Estate Blog | Sarah Layton | Real Estate Content Marketing Did you know that you can explode your monthly income with your real estate blog?! Yup! Your real estate blog could be worth millions one day! In this video I am going to break it all down for you!

So, again I want you to go back to your ideal clients before you spend a dime on any kind of marketing anything. Before you hire someone or purchase something, stop and ask yourself if that person or thing will help you provide SO MUCH VALUE to your ideal clients that they will be compelled to hire you.

If the answer is yes, make sure that person or thing is the very best way to provide that value.

If the answer is no, end the conversation and move on. Your time is too valuable for anything less.

Automate And Delegate

If you are anything like me, you know it is important to delegate, but find it hard to release control over your business to someone else.

However, that fear will be cancerous to your growth.

If you want to make it to the top, you have ZERO choice about automating and delegating.

The first thing you need to do is automate as many parts of your business as you possibly can. This has never been easier thanks to digital assistants like Alexa, and social media scheduling tools like Tailwind. Honestly, I couldn't run my business without tools like Tailwind!

Look for any and every little way that you can automate your schedule, social media, lead generation, etc.

Then create a list of all of the things that MUST be done, but can’t be done on auto-pilot (yet). Separate the list into two columns. In the first column, write the things that you love to do, that you are VERY good at, and that you can accomplish efficiently. That list should be things that ONLY YOU can do at that level. In the second column, write everything else.

Use that first column to make a to-do list and build yourself a time blocked schedule. Use the second column to write a job board ad for an assistant.

This will result in three benefits to you:

  1. You will find yourself with a lot more time on your hands.

  2. You will be happier with your job.

  3. You will be more productive & probably make more money.

Believe me, I know it isn’t always easy to let go of control. But the more that you refuse to let go of in terms of tasks and responsibilities, the more potential for success you will forfeit.

I don’t know about you, but I hate to limit myself and my income, far more than I need to be in control of everything.

Oh, and if you find yourself saying things like, “nobody else could do everything I do” or “anybody else would just screw everything up”, you’ve already lost. Good luck in your next career.

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