A real estate agent has the luxury of being in control of his or her own career. However, in order to be a successful real estate agent, one must work hard at public relations, networking and creating and maintaining good client relationships. Successful real estate agents are ones who know their job is more about the people they are working for and with, rather than the actual real estate properties themselves.
Keep an organized datebook and planner so you will not miss any deadlines or important appointments. Your planner should go everywhere with you. If you are accustomed to an electronic version, such as a Blackberry or Palm Pilot, be sure it is always charged. It is very unprofessional to miss an appointment with a client or miss a deadline for paperwork or inspections.
Give each client a housewarming gift once they sell or buy a home with you. Make it a nice, memorable gift, not a gift card. If your commission is $2,000, spend $100 on a wine basket or sporting event tickets if they are sports enthusiasts. Be creative. The more memorable you are, the more likely they will remember to call you next time they need an agent or refer friends and family to you.
Ask each client their birthdates and put them in a birthday card organizer. Card stores often sell these, and you can put tabs in for the months of the year. Each week, spend a few minutes glancing through and seeing what birthdays are coming up. Send a birthday card with a short but personalized note in it. Clients will remember this thoughtful gesture, and it costs only a few dollars and a few minutes of your time each year per client.
Stay educated on new laws and issues that arise within the industry. If your office holds weekly or monthly meetings, make sure you are there. Title companies also offer free or low-cost continuing education classes. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more deals you can keep together. Often times, sales are lost because the parties involved don't know how to keep the deal together.
Create a database of mailing labels with all current and past clients' names and addresses. Try to send out some mailings a few times a year to keep your name in front of people. These mailings can be inexpensive postcards, holiday cards or, if you are able, more costly newsletters are always a great way to keep in touch with clients.
Return calls promptly. According to the National Association of Realtors, the biggest complaints clients had of their real estate agents was lack of communication and the length of time it took to receive calls back. Set aside time each morning and afternoon to return calls. Make sure you have a cell phone with you at all times. Even in stressful situations it is easier to deal with it upfront than put it off until later.
Keep your office clean and organized so you don't get behind or lose important papers.
Buying and selling homes can be stressful for the general public, so be prepared to do a lot of handholding, field many telephone calls and deal with emotionally distraught people. Keeping them calm and happy is your best bet, but don't lose your cool if they do.