Agents who beat the odds and crushed it in their first two years
Interview 1: Jessica Lentz, Denver, Keller Williams, 041916
NAR statistics for first-year REALTOR® success are abysmal. According to the National Association of Realtors, the likelihood of a newly licensed Realtor still being in the business one or two years later is around 10%. Simple math tells us that one out of every ten newly licensed agents will actually make it.
This interview series is about the 1% who crushed it their first couple years.
I reached out to my coaching network around the country asking for names of agents who nailed it in their first year or two, agents who were either Rookie of the Year candidates and finalists. This is the first interview blog post in that series.
Q. Tell me about your first couple of years in real estate and how you made that work.
A. My first year I closed about $3.2M but that was only six months, second year a little under $6.5M, my goal this year is $12M. Honestly, getting started I used social media. I took everybody on my journey starting with just enrolling in real estate school. I didn’t realize how impactful social media was until my clients were like “I remember seeing you have your first closing and now I’m here with you. It’s really cool. Make sure to take a picture and post it on your Facebook page!” So it’s a really powerful thing to take all these different people on my journey. That was sort of the biggest impact … it was very unintentional at the time because I didn’t know how to engage my sphere in real estate.
Q. Why did you get in to real estate?
A. My husband was actually a real estate agent when we first met and his grandfather owned a real estate company so I had always kind of been an outsider looking in. The reason I ended up in real estate was I realized owning my own business and being amongst my boys was most important. It was a very conscious decision to be self-employed.
Q. What works for you and why do you think you succeeded at such a high level when so many agents kind of fall short?
A. I think new agents get into this business and they rush on to every little shiny star that comes racing by and what they forget is your sphere, your brother, your sister, your mom, your best friend – those are your biggest advocates and they are the people who already support you so why are we forgetting to call them and why are we uncomfortable talking to them? They are your biggest advocates. So your business is closer than you think.
Q. And the main source of your business?
A. All sphere.
Q. What is one thing you think you did really well your first year?
A. I learned everything that I possibly could and I purposefully reached out to other moms, other women who were in this business so I could learn everything I could from them. Be around the people you want to be like is really what it comes down to. I was really clear on my primary goal and that was making this work as a mom.
Q. If you were to start your real estate career all over, what is one thing you would do differently?
A. First, I would get in to coaching. I didn’t do coaching, I just used the resources around me. And then secondly, call every single person in your cellphone and tell them you are in real estate. I don’t care how long it’s been since you’ve talked to them, call every single person you know.
Q. What is your main focus this year in your business?
A. My main focus is to grow my referrals through my past clients and my sphere of influence, and being more involved in the community. I love volunteering so one my big why’s is being able to give back to teen moms and helping them get on their feet. My production goal this year is to double and I am hiring.
Q. What do you think is the secret to new agents gaining traction quickly?
A. I think the secret is not being a secret! I think a lot of people get their real estate license and then don’t talk about it. Nobody knows you’re a real estate agent unless you tell them. Nobody is just going to magically come out of the blue to put your sign in their yard. If you are not going to tell people you are in real estate and if you aren’t able to have five real estate related conversations today, this is not for you. There’s a really big difference between busy and productive and you have to be really clear on that.
Q. What is your advice for new agents just getting started?
A. My biggest piece of advice … well, there’s two. One, sing it from the rooftop that you are in real estate. And two is get up, get dressed, and go to work every day. Get up every day, be in the office at the same time every day and run your business the same way you would if you were working for somebody else. It’s simple and I think we over-complicate it. You get up, you go to work, and you have a minimum of five real estate conversations a day. You run your appointments in the afternoon, you go home at four to be with your kids. And then you get to help a lot of people, meet tons of really cool people, run a rewarding business and have this really fun life. It’s not that hard.
Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
A. Keep it simple.