A real estate agent’s job is to help clients buy and sell houses, and many homeowners have experienced working with an agent for their homeownership needs. One quirk you may have noticed is that many agents like to put their picture on their card—but why is that?
Real estate agents put their pictures on cards because they must market themselves to get the business they need. Their face is essentially their brand, just like a business’s logo. Establishing a face that can be trusted in the real estate industry can mean more opportunities to get clients.
In this article, we will be talking about how real estate agents market themselves, how their business works, and why people hire them. If you would like to learn more, we encourage you to read on!
How Real Estate Agents Market Themselves and Do Business
Before we get into how a real estate agent gets clients, we first have to understand why people hire one in the first place. To put it simply, buying and selling a home can be quite intimidating for a lot of people, and an agent is there to make the process much simpler.
Selling a Home
Imagine trying to sell your home on your own. It can be done, but it isn’t easy. Things you have to factor when selling a home are:
- Showing potential buyers your home and convincing them to make a purchase
- Figuring out how you can make your home more desirable
- Figuring out how much your home is actually worth
- Handling all the paperwork If a purchase is made
This doesn’t cover everything, but this should give you a general idea of how much goes into selling a home. A real estate agent will handle all of the things listed above and then some. They will know the best way to sell your particular home and take care of the heavy lifting.
Buying a Home
On the flip side, if you are buying a home, there is a lot that goes into that as well. If you are doing this on your own, you will have to:
- Manually seek houses that fit your needs and tastes.
- Be mindful of the quality of the home.
- Inspect the home yourself and take the home owner’s word.
- Handle the paperwork.
Again, a real estate agent will handle the heavy lifting here. They will seek out the best homes for your needs and budget, walk you through them, and assist you with the financial process. Their goal here is to help you make a successful purchase and avoid pitfalls.
How an Agent Earns Their Money
The client will pay a commission for a real estate agent’s service, which is usually 5%-6% of the amount that the home has sold for, or 2.5%-3% on top of the purchase their client made.
Selling a home is considered much harder than buying one, which is why the returns for an agent are greater if they are able to sell a house successfully, but either way, a successful agent can make quite the living.
For example, if a home is successfully sold for $200,000, the real estate agent earns $10,000 if the commission is 5%. However, a large portion of their earnings will go to the broker they are working with, which is oftentimes a 50/50 split. In this case, that sale will see $5,000 going to the agent while the other $5,000 goes to the broker.
Established agents can negotiate these commission rates to get a better cut for themselves because if they are selling more homes, which means more money for the broker. With all of this in mind, it becomes clear why they would need to market themselves and prove their worth.
It is a competitive industry to be in, and yearly income can differ drastically depending on the person or year. On average, real estate agents earn $45,990 per, 1/10th earn $23,000, and only 10% earn $110,000.
The job requires a great understanding of what clients are looking for in an agent to become successful. Every Day Agent by Whitney Ellis is an excellent guide for real estate agents looking to improve their business.
Here is a video explaining this section in more detail. It is worth a watch if you are still curious about learning more about how real estate agents earn their living!
How an Agent Gets Clients
Real estate agents work hard to get noticed and selected by clients. They have to sell themselves and become established to get consistent business, and as a result, they will utilize effective marketing tactics that help their career.
Social Media Marketing
Social media has become a critical component for people from all walks of life, including those who need to market themselves. It costs nothing to make accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. Through these platforms, agents can showcase their worth and directly interact with potential clients. This interaction can build trust and, in turn, can result in more business.
Creating a Website
It’s always good for a real estate agent to look into getting a website. It may seem unnecessary to some at first, but it can make all the difference! A well-made website that showcases an agent’s talents, ways to contact them, and is SEO friendly can bring in traffic from people who are currently looking to do business with an agent.
When you need a service, you will typically use a search engine to get the results you are looking for. If someone is searching for “real estate agents in my area,” there is a good chance that an SEO friendly site for a real estate agent will rank very high in the results.
Contrast this with not having a website at all where not nearly as many people will know they even exist, and it becomes clear why having a website has become crucial in the internet age.
Additionally, the website can potentially become additional revenue if they set up Google Adsense and put up a blog section. The best part is that you don’t need any coding knowledge; services like Wix and Squarespace will allow pretty much anyone to have a great looking website.
Using Business Cards
A business card is still an effective way to promote yourself despite how great the internet is when it comes to marketing. A physical card can be more memorable than just digital communication and digital marketing, especially if potential clients are already considering your services.
Because of the memorable aspect of a card, it makes perfect sense for real estate agents to want to put their faces on them. It reminds people that they are a real person and not just text on a piece of paper.
Furthermore, a business card can show clients that the agent is the real deal—especially if they go out of their way to use higher quality materials to make an even bigger impact on the person they are handing it to. Overall, it is still a worthwhile marketing tactic, even today.
It is important for real estate agents to establish their brand by marketing themselves. Putting a face to their name helps cement their trustworthiness, which is very important when dealing with transactions as large as homeownership.
If you want to find real estate agents in your area, you can search “real estate agents near me,” and you should see local real estate agencies who would be happy to help with your home buying or selling needs!