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From reality TV to real estate: How to break into the business and thrive

April Del Monte Brockman was the season two winner of "The Bachelor Canada"

Toronto-based April Del Monte Brockman is a former reality TV personality who received international recognition as the season two winner of “The Bachelor Canada.” She has spent the last decade building her real estate career almost exclusively on repeat and referral business. But before finding success in the business she struggled like many new agents do.  

April Del Monte Brockman

“In a dog-eat-dog industry with hundreds of real estate agents throwing in the towel each year, this business can make you feel lost, alone and broke—but you don’t have to be,” Brockman says.

In her new book titled “How to Thrive as a Real Estate Agent,” she talks about the struggles real estate professionals go through and shares her tips on how to build a thriving career. She also recently launched The 6 Figure Realtor Program.

Here’s her advice:

1. Ignore the naysayers.

Early on, people advised Brockman not to quit her day job. “I started off as a secretary at a brokerage on weekends because I wanted to familiarize myself with the industry and learn the ins and outs from other agents in the office,” she says, adding that she worked there while holding down a full-time job at a bank. After a couple of years at the brokerage — and subsequently buying her first house — she decided to go for her real estate license.

“I thought I would be a great help to others going through the process of buying their first home. So I studied hard, got my license and started selling real estate. It was hard but I went against what everybody was telling me.”

She’s glad she did because it made her driven to succeed. “I focused on knowing my product, the inventory, market conditions and mortgage rules so that I was able to provide great service to my clients.”

2. Be your own mentor.

Brockman says it was hard for people to take her seriously at first, and she blames it on her youth. “I was 24 but probably looked 18,” she says. “That was one hurdle that hindered me. Also, I didn’t have a mentor or anyone to take me under their wing and tell me the way of the business and what to expect, how to approach certain ideas or how to work with certain clients.” Her takeaway: The struggles made her stronger and determined to build her business from the ground up.

3. Pick a niche and dominate it.

Get to know your inventory and homes, but be sure to specialize at first. “If you live in a big city, don’t get too scattered trying to know it all,” Brockman says.

“Agents sometimes feel that if they focus on one area or a certain clientele like first-time buyers, for example, that they’re limiting themselves. But if you can become the expert in a certain pocket or neighborhood and really know your market and your inventory—and provide good resources and information to clients, you can grow from there.”

4. Get out of your comfort zone.

Real estate professionals who are intimidated by social media should push themselves to learn the basics, Brockman says. “Instagram is the new billboard, newspaper advertisement or new way of door-knocking. Establishing a presence on these platforms can be a real game changer. In my mentorship program we have a course laid out with a step-by-step [guide] on exactly how to start a social media platform and how to build it.”

It’s important to think about the content you want to create and build a profile. “You don’t need experts or a production team. Open up an account and start exploring [and observing what others are doing].”

Brockman says she wrote her book out of a desire to help others. “I wanted to give that guidance so that other [real estate professionals] could skip all those years of struggling and fast forward to thriving in their careers. I asked myself, ‘What is the advice you wish your younger self had been given in the first year of real estate?’ Maybe it was supposed to be hard and that’s precisely why I was able to reach the level of success that I have today and write this book to help others and start my mentorship program.”

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