By: Jennifer Weinberg
Whether you’re new to the business or a seasoned professional, the reality is that costs can add up.
If you’re new, you’ve probably spent a lot of money to get started. You’ve paid for your pre-licensing classes, testing, filing for the license, fingerprints/background checks, and more—you are ready to hit the ground running. Great! Now you just have to get yourself out there.
You’ve taken the next step and joined a brokerage. You sign up with the local and state association and NAR (another expense, but well worth the investment!) Suddenly your newly-created inbox is inundated with all sorts of real estate advertisements for products that you think you need to buy.
If you’re seasoned and looking to cut costs, you’ve received these emails for years. You might be analyzing your business expenses and determining where to trim things.
Here are some no-cost or low-cost tools that have been helpful to me, not just in starting my real estate career but continuing year after year:
Every month or so, I receive an email from a new construction builder hosting an open house at their latest development. These events offer all sorts of fun incentives, and one of the best offerings has been “Free Headshots.” By attending these events, you’ll get the inside scoop on the latest new inventory in your market and a new photo to add to your email signature or social media. All it takes is a little prep on your part (don’t go straight from the gym!). I have also seen Free Headshots offered at conventions, panel discussions, and luncheons. Take that opportunity when you find it!
This graphic design tool is a real estate professional’s best friend, especially if you need to create social posts, flyers and email campaigns independently. There are so many templates for flyers, postcards, business cards, social media posts…the list goes on. Canva keeps adapting with the times, so this service is good for more than static images and print materials. You can use it for videos, Instagram stories and more. There’s a free version and pro version, which requires a subscription but is very accessible in terms of price—around $13 per month. I highly recommend using the pro version and creating your Brand Kit. Whether you use your brokerage’s brand exclusively or create your own, uploading and using the color palette, font styles and logos will ensure a consistent look to all your marketing materials.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the business or not; continuing education is always a good idea. It helps you stay up-to-date and on top of your real estate game. And then there’s the fact that even if you just got your license, you must earn Continuing Education (CE) credit over the next 12-24 months. Look for CE classes hosted by title companies or inspectors in your area. These affiliate businesses tend to offer CE classes for no cost. Your local YPN chapter or association might also host some low-cost CE classes as well.
There are so many pieces of the real estate business to uncover: the history of real estate, building a small business and client relationships. The Color of Law and How To Win Friends & Influence People are the top two that come to mind. Your local library is a great resource to “try before you buy.” Check out a book through the library, and if it’s a book you will go back to as a reference, then make the commitment and purchase the book at your local bookstore. Another idea is a book swap within your brokerage or professional network.
What is your favorite no-cost or low-cost tool that has helped in your real estate career? Share in the Comments!
Jennifer Weinberg is a licensed real estate professional, REALTOR® and partner in Living True Home Group at MW Real Estate Co in Nashville, TN. Living True Home Group empowers homeowners by offering real estate information and services in an approachable, compassionate and fun way. Their motto: No egos here. This women-led partnership makes sure all their clients feel listened to and cared for and well-informed.