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  • Liza Fox

How I made 6 figures my first year in real estate

Starting a real estate business is nothing short of challenging. I understand and have been in your shoes. I was able to sell 37 units my first year in real estate agent and there a few things I learned along the way.

First, I learned that what you work, works. This is a motto I live by to this day and it is more true than ever. The first and maybe most important thing to do is to choose a lane and work it with all the hustle you can muster.

I chose to join a team and it was a very wise decision. I think starting out as a solo agent only delays how long it will take you to make money. This may not be true for everyone, but from what I have witnessed joining a team is helpful to gain experience and confidence quickly.

On the team I was able to learn how to be a good real estate agent. I had the wisdom of experienced agents to turn to for coaching. In real estate school they do not teach you HOW to be an agent. It is important to get coaching when you begin.

Some teams will not provide value and their goal is to get as much money out of you as possible. Make sure to interview teams and find one that seems to have you in mind and offers leverage. They should provide you with leads and teach you how to be a real estate agent.

The team I joined provided me with cold leads from their CRM called Boomtown, but I was having little to no luck after working these for a few weeks. I quickly figured out if I was going to get any business I needed to find a way to generate leads on my own. I tried Open Houses, but it wasn’t something that I enjoyed very much. I decided to sign up for a lead source called Opcity. I started receiving leads and paid a referral fee after I closed any of the leads. I thought it sounded fair and I put all my energy into closing deals on there.

In case you are wondering Opcity no longer works. They were bought out by another company and now operate differently. There are programs out there where you can pay for lead once it has closed. Another good option is Veterans United. In my first year I was able to close 37 units between Boomtown (2), sphere (4 deals), Opcity (24 deals), Referral (1) and Veterans United (6). So you can see, if I didn’t have lead sources I would not have been able to make 6 figures my first year.

I have shared this with other agents and explained why I believe running your business in the beginning of your real estate career is beneficial, but most agents say they do not want to pay a referral fee. Most of these agents are barely making enough money to survive…

I find that mindset confusing. One of the benefits I have now and has been worth its weight in gold is experience. I was able to make a living my first year as a real estate agent and gain experience which can only be learned by actually doing business. Another very important part of all of this is I now have past business, which turns into repeat business/referrals. I have a platform to work from now and am able to bring a confident attitude to buyer consults and listing appointments. I have found these things alone to be worth every dime I paid out in referral fees.

Something important I would like to share is that there were other agents on my team that tried to use Opcity and did not see the same success. The big question here is how could I close 24 units and they can barley close one. The excuse I would hear from them, yes EXCUSE is that the leads were “no good”. Ahhh, ok. Now we understand why it didn’t work for them. They were hoping to be sent a $500,000 pre approved buyer eager to buy a home down the street from them. This is not the reality of real estate. The best real estate agents turn nothing into something, and it appears to happen out of thin air.

My first lead that didn’t ghost me was a lovely couple looking to buy a piece of land an hour south of me for $15,000. This did not make me hesitate for even a moment. I gave them the luxury experience. I met them out one day to drive around looking at different pieces of land to put a modular home on. I then took them out for lunch and while we ate our meal I asked them why they wanted to go this route, because I was genuinely curious. I was concerned this wasn’t going to be the best financial investment in the long run for such a young couple.

They told me the reason why they wanted to go this route is because they wanted their family to be impressed that they were able to buy something for so cheap and have the home still give a wow factor. We weren’t having luck finding a piece of land that they liked. So, I felt it was in their best interest to look at other options. I knew of some inexpensive new builds that they might like. We drove over there and they were under contract that same day.

They told me that every other agent blew them off because their price point wasn’t high enough, but little did those agents know they had a home to sell. They loved that I helped them no matter their price point and asked me to sell their current home from them. I got them under contract on a home that was a much better fit for their needs than their original plan and sold their home for top dollar. That was my first listing and first under contract as a real estate agent. : )

I have 4 more stories similar to this one. I can’t stress enough that the mindset of “what you work, works” and an eager to help attitude will take you farther than anything else in real estate.

My final words on this subject is to find one or two ways to generate business and give it your all. Do not find excuses. Work it until it works…

Now go out there and do great things!


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