You probably “got into real estate” for one of a handful of reasons: you love houses (or architecture, or interior design…or HGTV), your parents or grandparents (or best friend or favorite aunt) are or were in the biz, you were in some other career where you didn’t feel appreciated (or challenged, or satisfied) or you wanted to work in an industry where you felt like you were helping people improve their life (including your own).
Whether you’ve been chugging along for dozens of years, hustling houses + living the dream. Or, you’re a pandemic-inspired new agent still looking to close your first handful of deals, you might be feeling the Groundhog Day effect — wherein, even though you LOVE this job because “every day is different!” — you have to admit they’re starting to blend together into a bit of a grind.
Here are 10 ways to introduce some new people, processes, challenges and color into your real estate world, and I’m willing to bet if you step outside your comfort zone a bit, your efforts will help you reach the next level in your business without an extra door-knock or cold call.
1. Start a mastermind group. You might find your new tribe by networking at a national or regional conference, by hopping into some online industry groups, or even by connecting with Realtors you enjoy following on Instagram. Create a constant-convo flow with a group text, Slack channel or private Facebook group. Don’t be afraid to go deep, wide and long in order to forge a community of like-minded pros in a safe space. This is where magic happens, where tough questions are asked, and where innovation and ideas are welcomed and supported.
2. Join a committee. There’s no shortage of opportunity to get involved on a hyper-local level at your Association or MLS. Raise your hand and grab a seat at the table. These behind-the-scenes groups are making important decisions about investments, technology, regulations and your professional future. Learn, listen, and make sure your vote gets counted.
3. Become a mentor. There is definitely an agent out there, someone studying for their real estate exam, or someone looking to take their expertise or sales to the next step. Whether it’s a formal mentorship where you’re earning additional income by sharing what you know, or just helping out, mentoring is one of the most rewarding ways to give back in our industry.
4. Hire a mentor. No one knows everything, and with literally countless ways to build, maintain and grow a successful sales business, one of the best ways to level up is to hire a coach or mentor who might help you uncover a new source of business or find a better life/work balance. Ask an agent you admire if they might be willing to work with you, and understand that their time is valuable, so compensate them fairly.
5. Create something and share it. Are you that agent who loves streamlining and documenting processes? If so, you probably also enjoy checklists, spreadsheets, research and statistics. You’re not alone! Get it down on paper, create a fillable doc, build the next great calculator or widget, and set it free. Sharing with your colleagues will spur a spirit of collaboration and a community of generosity amongst your peers.
6. Teach a class. Along those same lines, I’m willing to bet that your brokerage is looking for content to feature at the next sales meeting, or your association might be open to a webinar or meet up centered around something you might be willing to share. Are you great at Instagram Reels or Tik Tok? Geek out on neighborhood sales stats? Able to take something you learned or did in your past career and apply it to real estate? Find the right audience and let it rip, even if it just helps you get over a fear of public speaking. If you help just one person learn a new tip or trick, the good vibes from teaching have a way of coming back ten-fold.
7. Organize a volunteer day. Have a cause or non-profit that you passionately support? Rally your troops, gather your forces and do a day of good. Turn that day into a regular thing. Talk about good vibes — once you start you won’t want to stop, and you’re sure to meet amazing people along the way.
8. Become a contributor. If you’re like most real estate professionals I know, you probably consume a ton of content every day — waking up to an inbox full of newsletters, headlines, and a desire to stay on top of it all. You’d be surprised what you would gain if you turned on airplane mode and created the content instead.
Send it to the editor of your favorite news org, the curator of a popular blog you enjoy following, or your association. If you thought it was worth typing, it’s surely worth reading, and you never know whose day your words might brighten or inspire (maybe even a new referral partner you would never have met otherwise.)
9. Become a connector. Be on the lookout for needs and wants. Slow your scroll and listen carefully to what your friends on Nextdoor, Facebook or Insta are asking for, and have your database ready. If someone is complaining that their kids are struggling with post-lockdown learning, could you introduce them to a retired teacher?
If someone seems unhappy with their current role, could you find a possible fit for them with a business owner who you know is understaffed? Real estate agents are natural connectors. By being more intentional about it, you’ll find that folks will look for ways to connect you with people with real estate needs.
10. Don’t be afraid of pro-bono. You’ve likely heard attorneys talk about pro-bono work. Law firms allow and even encourage their staff to dedicate a certain amount of hours every year to cases where they won’t get paid their regular rate or maybe even at all. Did you know that real estate professionals sometimes do pro-bono work as well?
Ask your brokerage to support some low- or no-commission deals along with all of your full-fee transactions, and help out an Affordable Housing Program, homeowners who are underwater, or first-time homebuyers who might be able to squeak into a home if you waive your commission. Do good, feel good!
One last way to build momentum going into the next year of your real estate career? Take some time to hand-write or deliver your holiday cards and gifts. Think about each and every person on your list as you’re writing a personal note and genuinely wish them a wonderful New Year…and you’re sure to have one, too.