Advice for new real estate professionals from a pair of pros

Navigating a new career can be challenging.

From technology and training to discipline and mentorship, there are several factors new REALTORS® need to consider when starting their real estate careers.

On top of those challenges, agents must also consider how  real estate markets in different parts of Canada differ. A sale in a high-density urban neighbourhood, such as downtown Toronto, is going to be much different than dealing with a sale in a rural farming community like Nipawin, Saskatchewan.

Having access to the right tools of the trade and sound advice can make the difference between successful career growth or a plateau. If you’re new to the business and don’t have a mentor, fear not! We’ve asked two veteran real estate professionals to offer tips for those just starting out in the industry.

Attitude is everything

Shelly Smee, a real estate broker with Oakwyn Realty in Vancouver, believes many new agents and sales professionals struggle early in their careers because of their temperament.

“I think we’ve really noticed, especially over the last five to seven years, a lot of the agents entering the business are not as altruistic as some of the old-timers. My biggest frustration is people coming into this industry and not giving it the respect it requires. Getting more training, being a little bit more altruistic and putting the client first needs to be a priority if you plan on being successful,” Smee said.

Lack of drive, discipline and difficulty adjusting to a more sporadic schedule are some of the more common mistakes made by new real estate professionals, says Ray Ferris, a real estate broker with Erie’s Edge Real Estate in Port Rowan, Ontario.

“I think it’s important to know real estate is not a nine-to-five job. Being a real estate professional takes a lot of discipline. If somebody is a self-entrepreneur, a self-starter and a hard worker, it’s a great business to be in,” Ferris said.

Be smart with your money

You’ve made your first sale and now you think it’s time to reward yourself with a big, fancy purchase. Not so fast!

Don’t spend your money recklessly, Smee warns.

“You have to really earn that fancy car. The fake-it-until-you-make-it mentality doesn’t help if you’re completely stressed out after your first six months because you’ve closed two deals and suddenly nothing is closing for another four or five months. A stressed-out REALTOR® is not a great REALTOR®,” she said.

Work on building a solid base of clients and referrals before you splurge.

Get a mentor

Getting proper training and finding a mentor are two important aspects for those new to the industry.

“Find a mentor and learn from somebody who has been in the industry for a while. It’s a great way to develop a long-term business when you have really solid skills from the beginning,” Smee said.

Ferris also recommends new salespeople take advantage of the onboarding brokerages do for new registrants.

“Training and mentoring are the most important things a new REALTOR® can do,” he said.

You can learn more about enhancing your skills and knowledge through the CREA Training Hub,  board/association resources and post-secondary courses here.

Do you have any beginner tips? Share them in the Comments below.

Scott Rook was a Communications Co-op Student with the Canadian Real Estate Association and is studying Public Relations and Event Management at Loyalist College. Scott has also received an advanced diploma in Film and Television Production. When not in the office, you can find Scott cheering on the Ottawa REDBLACKS and Ottawa 67’s.


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