Get Your Real Estate Career Started

Starting a career in real estate can be as difficult or easy as your decision on which office to start with makes it. Coaching, training, structure, goals and the support of your brokerage are the biggest contributing factors to getting off the ground quickly and successfully. The one trait all of our successful brokers have in common is that they control their schedule. Real estate is not something you can do well as a side hustle. To be successful and to keep yourself out of legal hot water requires making real estate your main work focus by attending as much training as possible as well as sales meetings and industry events. Jumping in with both feet is a must. Learning the trade, creating and working your business plan, networking with your sphere of influence, generating marketing and servicing clients all take time, and your career will suffer without training and attention to all the necessary facets.  

The Best Time to Start

Though undoubtedly a seasonal industry, there are pros and cons to starting a career in real estate any time of the year. Winter allows for a ramp-up period during the colder, slower months, so while there are fewer transactions in the marketplace, you will have the opportunity to build a solid foundation of real estate knowledge. This also allows you to have months of marketing going out to create momentum before the spring.  Starting in the spring requires jumping in head first, since the market is most active during the spring and summer. You will have less time to focus on business fundamentals at first, and having a knowledgeable and available managing broker is doubly important when starting in a busy market. No matter when you plan to start, begin preparing by gathering a list of everyone you know with their contact information. This will help you get your marketing going right away once you have your license.  

Click HERE to request a Contact Database Template

On the Road to Success

The old adage is true here too: “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” Many brokers who hit the ground running sell their first property after just a few months, and their achievements compound from there. For others, it may take a full year to ramp up. Ultimately, those that do the right things consistently will find success; it just comes at different times for each person. Staying consistent with your marketing, client service and dedication to learning the business is the fastest way to success.

First Year Income

The amount you take home is a direct reflection of the time, energy and effort you put into your career on a daily basis, which is what accounts for the huge range in first year incomes. On the high end, some new brokers take home over $100,000 while others take home zero. According to the National Association of Realtors, median gross income is about $40,000, with working full-time as the biggest indicator of success. A good target goal for first year income would be around $30,000 to 50,000 with a plan to increase from there in your second and future years.

Crafting Your Business Approach

There are as many ways to build a real estate business as there are brokers – customization is one of the great features of our industry. Start thinking now about what type of business model you would like to create, and how you can emphasize your expertise and talents. At Baird & Warner Glenbrook, Managing Broker Ian Robinson spends the necessary time with new brokers to make sure their business plans and goals are ambitious yet achievable. Through coaching, he holds new brokers accountable for the actions that will make their goals a reality.  

Where Do Agents Get Their Business?

Successful real estate agents get their business and build their “pipeline” from many sources. The agent’s Sphere of Influence (SOI) consists of people they know personally and professionally and is the main source of business for the vast majority of brokers. But that’s not always the case, as there are hundreds of other ways to generate business. Some agents target cancelled and expired listings, focus on networking groups such as BNI or Chambers of Commerce to build relationships and client base, use predictive analytics to target those most likely to sell in a given neighborhood, focus on social media as a means of building an online reputation and business stream, or utilize sites like Zillow or for lead capture. As with most facets of real estate, there is not necessarily a right or wrong way; it’s about finding the way that works for you as an individual and sticking with it consistently over time. As part of business planning with our managing broker, you will do a detailed marketing plan and discuss various sources of business and the return on investment (ROI) each could provide so you can make informed business decisions.

Numbers you should know from the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:

*88% of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker.

*85% of sellers said that they would definitely (70%) or probably (15%) recommend their agent for future services.

*72% of recent sellers contacted only 1 agent before finding the right agent they worked with to sell their home.

*64% of home sellers found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative or used an agent they had worked with before to buy or sell a home.

*42% of buyers used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor or relative, and 11% used an agent that they had worked with in the past to buy or sell a home.

*33% of sellers recommended their agent 3 or more times since selling their home.

*Nearly 7 in 10 buyers interviewed only 1 real estate agent during their home search.

*The typical seller has recommended their agent 2 times since selling their home.

(*From the 2016 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers)

Get the Latest Numbers from NAR HERE 

Which Tools Do I Really Need?

New agents at Baird & Warner don’t just have a few tools lying around to pick up and experiment with from time to time. They have entire workshops and a workforce of support staff that serve as the engine for their real estate businesses. This behind-the-scenes machinery is all designed to increase efficiency and drive production so agents can focus on what’s most important – building a business. Rest assured, if you choose to join Baird & Warner Glenbrook, your workshop will be furnished with ingenious tools and staffed with resourceful individuals all with the same goal in mind – your success!

The Tech Side of Real Estate

In the digital age, real estate professionals need efficient systems in place to be competitive and successful. Baird & Warner has developed some of the most sophisticated e-tools to power our agents to succeed. Consistently rated Chicagoland’s #1 real estate website by Chicago Agent Magazine, Baird & Warner’s public facing site provides home buyers and sellers with an unparalleled experience while tools such as the B&W Texting Solution provide instant lead generation for agents. In 2018, we gave our already #1-ranked website a complete overhaul focusing on mobile first, as more than half of real estate seller and buyer traffic is now coming from tablets and phones.  

From an agent’s perspective, Baird & Warner tools originate from a state-of-the-art, Google based, intranet hub, the highlights of which include a full-feature and user-friendly CRM, in-house marketing and printing services, a custom marketing department, endless training videos and content, completely paperless transactions and social media resources to ensure you are communicating your message clearly. Additionally, Baird & Warner has exclusive partnerships with Zillow, and Yelp to ensure maximum exposure on these sites. And this just scratches the surface of the myriad tools at every Baird & Warner agent’s fingertips 24 hours a day.

A “Typical” Day

Many brokers will tell you one of the best things about their job is that no two days are exactly alike. Having said this, our most successful brokers schedule out their days as much as possible while still allowing for the necessary flexibility. Last-minute showings, appointments, and changes are a reality.

On any given day, our brokers may spend time on a number of activities. Lead generation, database management, market research, marketing, networking, preparing for and scheduling appointments, negotiating deals, listing and buyer presentations and networking events are just a few of the common daily activities for busy brokers. A busy real estate broker is a true entrepreneur, wearing many different hats.

At Baird & Warner Glenbrook, we provide bright, modern and comfortable work spaces and conference rooms for our brokers and encourage them to use the office as a “home base” for their daily activities, not just for office tasks but for client- and business-related meetings too. Read on to learn how Baird & Warner Glenbrook’s office culture will help boost your confidence and productivity from day one.

Baird & Warner’s Achieve Training for New Brokers  

To help new brokers get started as quickly as possible, Baird & Warner has developed an intensive “crash course” on all things real estate related. Known as Achieve Training, this intensive, seven-day workshop takes place over the course of two weeks at our downtown office and is designed to teach the fundamentals of launching a real estate business. Covered content includes how to generate business using Baird & Warner’s proprietary systems and strategies, how to analyze market data, contracts, negotiation strategies, sales and communications skills, business planning and so much more. Upon completion of this program, you should feel confident venturing into your new career! Once back in the office, we have a 12-module Achieve Local Training Program covering a number of different topics in depth.

Orientation & Onboarding

In order to provide you with all the tools necessary for success, the orientation and onboarding process utilizes a 140-point, comprehensive checklist. This process includes our Sales Support Manager granting you access to and taking you through all the Baird & Warner systems, processes and technology, such as your Docusign and Docusign Transaction Rooms, Zip Forms, email, CRM, laptop, tablet, phone, and profiles on, Zillow, Facebook etc. to help your career get off to a roaring start.

Ongoing Training & Coaching

Broker training also includes ongoing mentoring and coaching with the managing broker, Ian Robinson. For new agents this consists of weekly-one-on-one meetings with Ian to review your weekly, quarterly and annual goals and progress towards them and to discuss timely, relevant topics designed to make you more efficient in the current marketplace and track your success. To further hone your skills and refine your business model, the Sales Support Manager and Managing Broker are consistently available to meet with you one on one to continue the learning process.

The world of real estate is constantly evolving, whether it’s a new regulation or shifting market trends. It is our responsibility as a brokerage firm and as individual agents to stay on top of it all. Each month, Baird & Warner Glenbrook comes together at office-wide sales meetings to learn, share and discuss the latest developments so that our brokers are always in the know. At a minimum, additional training each month consists of MLS systems, Baird & Warner technology, sales skills, marketing and wild card sessions where the group picks the topic.

Training opportunities from outside Baird & Warner are also provided and include programs from Tom Ferry, Brian Buffini, Travis Robertson, Jared James and more. Many of these outside training events are provided free of charge to our Baird & Warner agents.

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