30 Secrets to Success in Real Estate, According to Realtors on Reddit
The best advice usually comes from lived experience.
Wisdom, warnings and words of encouragement from people who have been there, done that.
Fortunately for real estate agents, other agents love to spill the tea, offer advice and trade stories from the frontlines online. One of the most popular places for that kind of talk: Reddit.
We did a Reddit real estate deep dive and curated some of the best advice from real estate Redditors. These are our favourites — 30 secrets to success in real estate, according to realtors on Reddit.
Reddit comments have been edited sparingly for clarity
On Finding Clients
Most people knock a few dozen doors or make a few hundred dials and give up. You can’t tell anything about conversion ratios until you’re well into the thousands of doors or calls. For every 10000 dials you make, maybe 1000 will be contacts. For every 1000 contacts, a good cold caller will get 200 people to add to the database. If you nurture those 200 people for a year, two of them will turn into listings. You just gotta brute force your way to a database that will produce the number of listings you want in a year. Nothing happens fast in this business.
Get yourself in as many conversations with people as possible. Whether that’s cold call, door knock, network, etc. The more real conversations you have, the more likely you are to get a client. Do not waste your money on door hangers, shopping cart ads, magazines, golf cards. They’re a money sink, especially if you’re a new agent with limited resources.
Be a real estate agent wherever you go, and go more places intentionally. Strike up conversations with people. Drop in the conversation that you’re a real estate agent after you’ve built up a rapport.
Examples: If you go to a restaurant, talk to your server and be genuinely interested in the conversation. If good conversation is flowing, bring up real estate. You don’t offer your services or ask if they need you. You simply bring it up organically. “Oh, yeah, my last real estate client told me I should visit this restaurant. Boy, were they right. The food is incredible. The next time I’m helping out a client nearby, I’ll drop in and ask for you!” Show up a week or two later and repeat. Build up a routine so that when you are talking about work, other patrons might overhear and be interested in your services. If the server’s sphere ever needs a realtor, you’re going to at least be in the running of being referred. Maybe on the third or fourth visit bring up a horror story where you saved the day. Show the value of real estate agents.
On the Power of a Real Estate Website
I believe [a realtor website] is important in building your brand. Plus, it can go with you to whatever brokerage firm you are at, whereas if you rely on your firm’s website and you leave, you don’t own that web presence. You can also add real value to clients here via a blog or digital downloads/guides on your site. Plus, with your own website, you can set up a Google Business Profile/Apple Business Connect and you can really work to optimize your local SEO and get found!
If real estate is a long-term career, you should definitely have your own website. Your own domain, and a connected email address. You should own all communications and not rely on a corporate type entity for your email, online presence or social media.
Your brand is YOU. If you start your real estate business with that in mind, you’ll be ahead of most agents who inevitably want to change brokerages, but they don’t have email, website, CRM, etc. outside the brokerage and have to start over.
Websites produce a tremendous amount of business for those who understand content marketing … Those who put the work in reap unbelievable benefits. For years I was in the top 5% of producers in my market, and referrals and my website have been the number one lead source. Ebooks, videos, blog posts, community content and more have been used to generate business … Develop a marketing strategy and budget time to invest in your online marketing and your website will be a huge income generator.
You absolutely should! Here’s why: You want to think of your internet presence like a circle. All roads in your web circle should lead back to your website. If you post a listing on, say, Facebook or Instagram, that link should lead back to your website.
Why? Search engine algorithms. The more clicks, content, and traffic, the higher you are when someone searches “Realtor, Somewhere City, Earth.” Now they’re on YOUR website with all YOUR listings instead of Zillow or similar site, where they’re already on to the next agent’s listing and have forgotten all about you.
Read more about how a real estate website can help you grow your business:
On Using Social Media for Real Estate
You might need to make social media your “thing.” Being active on social media can be a game-changer for your business. It’s where potential clients and connections are found. Focus on building your online presence and reaching a larger audience. The more people who know about your work, the more likely they are to hire you.
If it’s done correctly, it’s another free platform for advertising your business. Take it.
I conducted an experiment and posted daily content for 60 days. It increases by visitors by 50% a day. As the numbers grow, so do the leads. The quality of leads is getting better, too. The golden rule for content: It is better to do quality over quantity, and consistency is the key for the algorithms.
It’s all about staying top of mind with people you know, so they know you’re a Realtor. don’t try to be an influencer. Just post enough to stay current in people’s minds. If they’re having a conversation with someone about selling a home, you want them to think of you first.
Read more about using social media as a realtor:
On Maintaining a Positive Mindset
Mindset is the biggest challenge we face. One thing that really stuck with me is that failure doesn’t exist if you’re working towards your goal. The only true failure is inaction. If you’re out there, making connections, building relationships, you’re succeeding more than if you were sitting on at home. Every time you have a conversation with someone, it’s a win. You either get an appointment with them (listing, buying, consultation, whatever), or you learn something. When someone tells you no or you don’t get an appointment, you get a learning opportunity, and a chance to hone your skills for the next time. It’s a win-win.
Learning to detach from the outcome completely changed my attitude and mindset towards sales and life in general.
Don’t let one seller get you down. Take a moment to evaluate what you could have done differently, then move on. There will be many other sellers and buyers [who] disappoint you in your career. Learn and move on.
On Starting Out as a New Realtor
Avoid hanging out with new agents. Learn and hang out with producing agents. Once you’re established then you can give help to new agents.
Just take whatever you can get and do it well. My first deal was a buyer and then two years later he asked me to list the house I sold him. Serve your clients well and they’ll come back.
One of my early mentors said: “You can go to the ocean with a bucket or a teaspoon, the ocean doesn’t care.”
The money is in the follow-up. Not hearing from someone isn’t a sign they’re not interested, it just means they are busy or not interested YET. Far too many people call, text or email and then when they don’t get a response, [they] drop off. Don’t be that person and you’ll do better than 90% of the realtors out there. My biggest mistake: not realizing this sooner.
Read more about how to succeed as a new real estate agent:
On Avoiding Burnout
Reset and find the real reason why you do real estate again. Make real estate fun again … Once you have a great enough reason, nothing can stop you if that’s where your passion lies.
Creating more of a fixed schedule is crucial for work/life balance. Take time to read up on time/energy management and you’ll make the adjustments that work best for you. A great mantra: divert daily (do something fun for 30-60 minutes), withdraw weekly (sabbath from work for 24 continuous hours), abandon annually (take a long vacation, 2-4 weeks long, EVERY year).
Take a few days off — even a full-on vacation to get energized. Revisit your business plan. Recalibrate your goals for a “new” market. Make a list of the things you love about the job. Call your past clients, especially the ones you like a lot, and have a nice catch-up convo. take a walk, do some yoga, get a good night’s sleep. Schedule a daily dance break. Go out on the town.
Read more about avoiding burnout:
On Mastering Showings
Don’t answer any questions that you don’t know the answer to. If you don’t know, find out and get back to [the client].
Get there a few minutes early because you’ll be nervous and having to struggle with a lock box in front of clients will only make it worse. Turn on the lights, be happy, friendly and upbeat. If they like the house, you like the house. If they hate it, so do you. You are selling yourself first and the property second.
When I got started, I went out almost every weekend and looked at vacants. Figured out how to tell an electric hot water tank from a gas one, what a heat pump was and how it worked … Different styles of cabinetry, roof styles, roofing materials. It is amazing what you can learn online. There are tons of videos out there about houses … You do not have to know how to build a house to speak the language.
On Hosting Successful Open Houses
Know about other houses in the area that are on the market. Know what recent homes in the area sold for. Know about the house you are holding open. If anyone comes by who is not represented, try and set the follow up appointment then and there.
The key is to connect with people very quickly. There’s probably a 99% chance the people coming to an open house won’t buy that house. Don’t waste your time giving them specifics about the house. Find some way to connect with them — connect about the football shirt they’re wearing, their kids and ages, the weather. Find some way to make them like and trust you … The most important part is to be in the right mindset when you are there. There are times when I wasn’t in the mood and just wasted time having people sign in but not connecting. Don’t hold an open house to sell the house, hold it to meet and connect with potential clients.
I probably averaged about one solid lead per open house. Not always a consultation off the bat, but at least an invitation to follow up. I always did my homework and provided tons of value about the area, comps, the home itself and positioned myself as the expert. I’d ask if they wanted to see other similar homes I thought were a better fit (the open house hardly ever fits) and from there transitioned to the need for a consultation.
Read more about how to host successful open houses:
On Getting Testimonials
Every member of my team includes “if you feel we’ve given 5 star service please leave us a review link” in our email signatures. Ask for a review at the time of [the] executed contract and again at closing. Most people are willing to do it. You just have to get comfortable asking
I send a closing recap email with their closing statement, wishing them well in their new home, and including links to review. I have a skeleton email drafted up, and fill in details specific to each client before sending, [and] usually send the day we close or the day after.
I ask for a review in an email a day or two before closing when they’re really excited but haven’t done any signing or moving boxes yet to dampen that excitement. I also go back to previous clients from years past who haven’t left reviews and will ask them. Or if they only left a Facebook review, to post one on Google as well.
When I had a closing earlier this year with a client who picked me because of reviews, I called every single person who left us a review that week and thanked them for directly influencing my business.
Read more about positive real estate testimonials: