I Just Got My Real Estate License How Can I Start Getting Clients

Thomas J. wrote us with this question: I just got my real estate license but I am really not sure how to start getting clients? Can you give me some advice to get started?

Wow! What a great question Thomas and a tricky one to answer as well. On this website you will find that we have advised new agents to plan for some downtime when they first get started. If someone told you that you could get your license and be bringing in new clients in a month, they lied. This rarely if ever happens in the real world. You see, clients are how we make money, real estate agents earn a commission on their sales, so no sales equals no money. It’s the hard truth.

So, clients are the foundation of our business and you often find that the most successful agents have the largest list of clients. Because the more clients you have the more opportunity you have for direct sales and referrals from friends and family members. But how do you build your client list? Well, you have to market yourself. Marketing is an art in itself and while it can take years to master, you don’t need to master the art in order to see some positive results. We offer a fair amount of information on successful real estate marketing on this website, but here are some tips to get you started:

Take advantage of print advertising:  Believe it or not, print advertising is still an effective tool for marketing a real estate business and there are a lot of outlets to use. You can run ads in newspapers and local classifieds as well as in neighborhood fliers, mailings, billboards, buses, you name it. Pass your business cards around, tack them on the wall at your local grocery store and if your child’s school sends out newsletters ask about advertising in there as well. You are only limited by your own imagination and your budget.

Develop a website: The Internet is an excellent way to attract new clients and believe it or not, a lot of real estate agents haven’t taken advantage of these online opportunities yet. Now, before you get too excited, setting up a website and forgetting about it isn’t going to get you very far. You need to setup a website publish articles regularly, network with other real estate agents online, join some of the online real estate communities and share your knowledge there, read up on how to get exposure for your business through social media. If you can learn how to harness the power of sites like Facebook you can attract tons of clients, but it has to be used effectively. This is not something you are going to learn overnight.

The thing that you have to understand is that marketing is an entire topic all by itself, not something that can be covered in a single article. But what you should know is that it works, plain and simple. Marketing yourself properly will get you clients walking in the door and start making you money, but you have to set that foundation first. Advertising locally will probably get you the fastest results, so start there and then start expanding into online media and really take the time to learn the tricks. If you can learn what to do and how to do it well, you will never have to worry about finding clients again.

Is it Possible to Transfer Your Real Estate License from State to State

Several readers would like to know if it is possible to transfer your real estate license from one state to another after becoming licensed.

We will begin by saying that this is a very common question and it makes sense. Let’s face it, people move and life is always changing so while you may have no plans to move after obtaining your real estate license you may be surprised to find that next year you are packed up and on your way to another state, you just never know and planning for the future is difficult at best. So we understand the reasoning for this question and want you to know that you are not alone.

With all of that being said, the answer to this question is kind of a yes, no and maybe. Actually, its a little difficult to generalize the question itself simply because laws and regulations change from state to another. So, the first thing that you need to understand are these two terms: license recognition and license reciprocity. We will start by looking at license recognition as that term better fits the need for those of you looking to transfer your license.

License recognition pretty much means what it sounds like, another state recognizes your license. How does this benefit you? Well, if you are in Texas and moving to Arizona, if Arizona were to recognize your Texas real estate license then all you would need to do is submit an AZ. license application, pay the licensing fee and transfer your license. Not all states have policies on license recognition and in many cases the best way to find out is to contact the Department of Real Estate or the Department of Licensing for the state in question and ask them if they currently have recognition for your states license.

License reciprocity is a little bit different in that if a state has reciprocity with another state you essentially meet their licensing requirements but in most cases will need to take the exam or at least a partial exam in addition to paying the licensing and exam fees. This is most commonly used by people that are interested in holding a license in both states although this may be an option for those of you moving as well. Let’s use Washington and Oregon as an example; Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR are right across the river from one another, maybe a thirty minute drive if traffic is bad. So it would make sense that an agent in Vancouver might have a client looking for a house in Portland, however, to accommodate this client they would need both an Oregon and Washington real estate license. Like the license recognition not every state has reciprocity agreements so you will need to check with the state to confirm. We also cover some reciprocity agreements in our licensing requirements pages so you may want to check there as well.

What to take away from all of this. You may or may not be able to transfer your license from one state to another, it depends on the state you currently hold a license in and the state you are moving to. If they have recognition or share reciprocity then you should be able to fill out your licensing application and move forward with the process pretty easily. If they do not have either of these then you will need to go through the licensing process again in your new state.