Dana Stoloff, Real estate agent serving South Florida (The Keyes Company)

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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Welcome to the world of real estate.  I also joined real estate after decades in the retail industry.  Treat your business as a business.  This is not a "job" and that is often a difficult transformation for many.   Education continues long after your state real estate license is issued.  ActiveRain can be an excellent place to enhance your practice so you have chosen well in one of your initial challenges.  Don't be tempted by the bright and shiny objects that are abundant especially to unsuspecting newcomers as well as some industry veterans.  There are many supportive people in this membership/community.  Best of luck.  

Jan 10, 2020 12:42 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Find a niche where you can excel and you love.  You have a huge advantage in having business experience in retail.  I think that will serve you very well in the relationship game. A

Check out our niche discussion/video on our site, I think it will give you insight as to why a niche is important.

Jan 10, 2020 01:24 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Get and stay as healthy as possible.

Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

However you can, whatever works for you.

This is not a 9-5 and will kick your ass at times.

It's a marathon. Kick it's ass.

Jan 10, 2020 02:17 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

You've received some good advice here. I would only add that you begin compiling your data base and set up a good CRM sooner rather than later and let everyone you know know you are in the business. And be sure to take advantage of every bit of training that is offered. You might ask to shadow an experienced agent on showing and listing appointments.

This question has been asked numerous times here so you might also want to check out the archives for responses, as well as blog post archives for this subject which had also been covered numerous times.

Jan 10, 2020 01:43 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Find a niche and become the best in it. 

For example, I found opportunities in the sale of foreclosures.

Network every day and ask for business as you build your database and your email lists. 

Jan 10, 2020 12:36 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate Agent Retired

Interesting that you put AR into your toolbelt - good idea. I really can't remember other than get a mentor or coach to help you.

Jan 10, 2020 01:36 PM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

The best advice I wish I had gotten when we first started was to network. Find a formal networking group. Find informal networking opportunities. Take advantage of all of them. 

Jan 10, 2020 01:33 PM
Susie Kay
Ultra Real Estate Dallas Fort Worth - Plano, TX
North Dallas Specialist

Congratulations!  My suggestion is to keep your job while learning real estate.  The most important thing when you are new is when you have your first transaction you have someone that you can ask even during the weekend.  It was not that way when I first joined my first brokerage.  In fact, it was pretty cut-throat, eventhough they preached about being having lots of support and training.  The true test will come and if your broker does not support you, don't be afraid to make the move.  AR will help if you have questions. 

Jan 10, 2020 01:24 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Congratulations on making the leap into the second Land of Oz - real estate. 

The original Land of Oz is the State of California. 

It looks like you joined an office that has tools, training and support. 

I wish you all the best! 


Jan 10, 2020 04:16 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Welcome!  I came to real estate directly from a five year stint in retail.  I can tell you that your customer service skills will help you tremendously.  

In my world of retail, I sold diamond jewelry.  I collected the names of my repeat and most friendly clients and informed them when I made the switch to real estate.  That was fifteen years ago.  Sold one of their homes just last summer.  

You are coming from a great foundation and will find your way of thinking of marketing out of the box.  Don't let agents tell you are doing it wrong.  Out of the box thinking gets you noticed.  

What worked for me was reintroducing myself to my sphere and those past retail clients as a real estate agent through handwritten notes and reminding them monthly, with a mailed out real estate newsletter, that I am still at it.  Now I send out that newsletter bi-monthly.  I also set up a farming area that has paid big dividends, but it took years.

Follow Barbara Todaro to learn about direct mail marketing.  She is one of the best lead generators on this platform and freely shares her ideas. 

Jan 10, 2020 02:17 PM
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

It never too late to start even though you might feel overwhelmed from the beginning. Recently I listened to a podcast, playing out the scenario you had your license and $1,000, your rent would be due in 30 days and you just dropped in a city where you knew no one. You got hired by a broker, what would you do?

The agent said go and talk to the top agents in your office, offer to help with anything and all and be willing to do open houses for them too. Just keep on asking them, offering your help. Don't know how many agents are in your office but it might be a good way to start.

Jan 10, 2020 05:43 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

You made a great choice to join AR which will provide lots of learning opportunities as well as getting to know agents from around the country. Get a CRM up and running and connect with as many people you know, personally and business-wise, to let them know of your new career (which I think will serve you well in real estate). Lots of other great suggestions here for you. Good luck - and we look forward to hearing more from you about your business and the communities you serve.

Jan 10, 2020 05:14 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Dana....  you should have a mentor.... 24/7... someone who will give you advice and/or answer questions on the spot!!  

also, it's a people business.... it's who you know more than what you know when you get started.... contact everyone you have done business with over the past 36 years in retail....

learn to market... online and offline.... 'old school" methods work well.... if you're looking for answers to specific methods of marketing , use the search box to the right of Activerain at the top....

wishing you well...

Jan 10, 2020 03:20 PM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

Tony Robbins told a story of a janitor who was always so happy while others could not understand why...

TR said if you are not happy, lower (yes, lower) your expectations...

I found that most agents have a distorted view of being in the business...thinking they should be farther along.  Not true.

I also think that most agents get a few listings and think they "know it all" so they don't take advanced classes. 

Knowledge is the biggest power you can have.

Look at all the things on your plate and pick a couple to excel at.  You cannot be everything to everybody.  Those that are too afraid to not do it all, end up like everyone else...on the hampster wheel.

I have been in RE business almost 30 years, have wonderful job satisfaction and make an excellent living....without listings, without double commission and without having to beg strangers for business.

I am not saying you have to do what I do...I am saying that you need to pick a niche and become the expert "go to" person. 




Jan 10, 2020 03:08 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Congratulations on the new Career Dana!

Jan 10, 2020 12:14 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

This business is known for allure and big promises based on the premise that you now have a license to literally make money. You see homes everywhere & you do Real Estate math. 1 home x 6% commission = my dream come true. Nothing could be further from the truth. You have a learning curve ahead of you, doors that need knocking on & luck, opportunity & help to name a few. There is no formula for success. Get out there and navigate...The question you posed indicates you have potential

Jan 10, 2020 03:01 PM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

Work your sphere of influence, they are your best leads. Your w/ a great company and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World has a Luxury Portfolio division you can tap to market to your past sphere. Best of luck you should do well!

Jan 11, 2020 03:30 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Welcome to the Rain and to the business! Here are my quick & easy tips for newbies!

  • Work at LEAST 40 hours - and if you're use to retail, that will seem like you're working part-time!
  • Take call in your office as much as possible (desk time)
  • Cover at LEAST 2 open houses per week. Offer to host other agent's listings open and work on having great conversation with everyone who comes through! Get their names, email addresses & phone numbers because most visitors at an open house don't buy that home - so they're still going to be looking!
  • Join a networking group
  • Volunteer in your community
  • With everyone you meet, add them to your CRM - that is THE most important tool you'll need besides you & your phone!
  • Take as many marketing classes as you can - learn how to represent your sellers and represent them WELL. 
  • Take classes to become an accredited buyers representative - learn how to represent your buyers - and represent them well!
  • Continuing education is very important to me - I highly recommend it! Knowledge is power. The more you know...
  • OH and visit the Rain daily - you WILL learn something here!

Good luck, Dana!

Jan 10, 2020 07:15 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

First off, congratulations on your new move to Real Estate.  Can't say I have much more to offer as you have already received alot of great advice here.  Wishing you the Best ... sounds like you are MOTIVATED and to me that's probably the most important attitude to have in any new venture!  See you in the Rain!  Dana Stoloff 

Jan 10, 2020 06:57 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

If you truly love running a real estate business, then just keep the faith - try different things, be persistent, constantly learn. Volunteer to do whatever you need to do to get leads and clients. It does take time, so be prepared to put in the time required.!

Jan 10, 2020 06:29 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Call on the sphere of influence you created in all those years of retail Dana Stoloff . 

Jan 10, 2020 06:01 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Find a team willing to train you and provide you buyer leads. The best way to get started is to jump into the water. They have leads and systems and you have time. It is a learning curve.

Jan 10, 2020 03:18 PM
Peter Mohylsky. Broker -BRIX REALTY
Miramar Beach, Florida - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Long, hard and steady are the best advice I can give you.

Jan 10, 2020 03:13 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Welcome to Active Rain.

"I don't want to be a burn-out before I get started." Where to begin is a good starting point. However, listening to too many voices is a BAD idea.

Lets start off correctly with what you did BEFORE you plunked down a nickle to go to real estate school. That this is your Real Estate Business Plan. In that plan youi identified your product, your ideal customer, where they are located, what they prefer in housing and how to get their attention. You also listed the assets, resources, skills, experience and collaboration opportunities you currently have. 

That what treating  real estate as a business looks like.

Now, apply your retail skill. Homeowners and real estate agents are exactly the same when it comes to responding to marketing. And here is one thing you know, to create 'desire' you need only ONE THING.  For example 'Rooms to go' actually sells only ONE THING.  Harbor Freight sells only ONE THING.  Think of all those brands that are known by only ONE THING even though they may actually have a lot more to offer.

My advise to you is to create your ONE THING.  Do not market yourself ast the 'I can do everything/anything/all the time real estate agent."  Use your retail skills and experience to find the 'thing' home buyers and sellers seek in your market place. A great starting point is the read the psychology behind the start of Rocket Mortgage.

When you get your message tuned and laser clear, your NICHE will find you.

Lastly, never, ever, ever use the CRM provided by your Broker or Franchise. Always have one of your own with all the contact information. You can use the broker CRM as an alternative 'from' address, but DO NOT PUT YOU TRUST IN THE BROKER/FRANCHISE.  There are lots of free or low cost CRMs to keep you safe.

Now, the next 30 days should be spend creating 12 month data bases of the communities listing or matching the profiles in your business plan. Identify those with 1%, 3%, 5% and 5+% mobility. Understand why?

Each may have need of A solution. Mail them insight and interpretation then engage in the G&G.d

Best of success.
Sent from the Dodgeball Penalty Box.

Jan 11, 2020 05:35 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Get a mentor, go on showings, listing appointments and learn the trade from doing it. Start with who know. Let them know what you do and how you can help. Pick a side.... do you want to work with buyers? do you want to list homes? perhaps a little of both? Learn what is for sale, what is selling and be there when someone you know is ready to buy or sell 

Jan 11, 2020 05:06 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Treat this like a business not a job

Have a business plan (goals)

Prospect for business every day

Let everyone know you are in real estate

Ask for the business

Ask for referrals

Create a data base and add to it every day

Contact people in that data base

Jan 11, 2020 03:05 AM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Santa Clarita & Aliso Viejo

Learn the neighborhood, hold open houses, give out your card, let as many people as possible know what you do, ask for referrals, ask they are buying or selling and ask if they know anyone buying or selling.  Watch your money and remember contacts make contracts.

Jan 10, 2020 11:14 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Welcome and best of luck!  Door knocking and cold calling tend to have good results out here for a minimal cost (just have a good script or two internalized first and practice some of the basic objection handling responses).

Jan 10, 2020 09:51 PM
David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential


First off know that we care. We really do. We all started out right where you are.

If you haven’t already, please read my answer to your other question.

Others have already given you may excellent answers to this question.

And while this is a people business first and foremost, you also need to be exceptionally competent about the nuts and bolts of houses and properties.

Do you know the difference between R-22 and R-410a?

Do you know about plumbing, lead, clay, Orangeburg, galvanized, cast iron, SDR, PVC, CPVC, when copper is not a good plumbing material, polybutylene, etc. 

One of the best things you can do in the evenings is read at least 50 (yes I mean at least 50, or more) property inspection reports for your area. What are inspectors writing up?

You are asking people to trust you with the largest asset they have. You cannot be ignorant about house systems and let them make a bad purchase.

Take a breath, pace yourself, get as competent as you can as fast as you can and do what you need to do to meet people, lots of people, and get them to like you, trust you and want to do business with you.

Be worthy of their trust.

Jan 11, 2020 10:35 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Treat it like a business, not a job. Get processes and systems in place and use your prior experience and get alot of face-to-face time. Educate yourself, blog here and ask questions, also align with successful, motivated professionals in your selling area. And have FUN Dana!

Jan 11, 2020 07:49 AM
Doug Dawes
KW Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Congratulations and my Best Wishes for a fulfilling RE career. Keep moving forward and trust your instinct

Jan 11, 2020 07:41 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

With that type of experience in service you are ahead of the game. Find a mentor to fill in the details.

Jan 11, 2020 06:31 AM
Dana Stoloff
The Keyes Company - Plantation, FL
Real estate agent serving South Florida

Thank you, Diana, for your very kind and thoughtful words and I look forward to proving you RIGHT about me!

Jan 10, 2020 06:59 PM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Good luck in your new career! You have gotten some good advice in the answers! YOU MUST FOLLOW AND READ BARBARA TODARO! I recommend you go back and read a bunch of her old posts! She knows the business, and is the best in AR at putting it in writing 

Jan 11, 2020 06:04 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Write and follow your business plan.

Set boundaries on your work hours vs. family/personal hours.

Be consistent when at work so you feel no guilt on time off.

Possibly get a coach like Buffini & Company ifg your budget allows or at least check out their FREE resources o' plenty.

Jan 11, 2020 05:13 PM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

it's a people business, if you've worked with the public just get a good mentor and you'll do fine.  Mine is exceptional and I know a lot about this business from her.

Jan 11, 2020 02:07 PM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Budget yourself and spend you reserves very wisely. Do NOT buy leads!!!!

Jan 11, 2020 08:24 AM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Looks like you've got the answer you needed, like the others, find you a niche and stick to it

Jan 11, 2020 01:56 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Dana Stoloff you've got what it takes....determination!  First thing I did way back when was start taking the GRI classes.  They will show you what, how why's of building up your business.  Excellent start.  After you've got those done move on with the CRS courses....they are awesome as well.  Go get em!  And welcome to Activerain!

Jan 12, 2020 01:42 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Good luck, and this industry can be very rewarding, but you need to work it as a business, not a hobby.   Stay in touch with clients, and get a database with a plan right away.

Jan 12, 2020 09:54 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

1. Set a routine and follow it. In other words, get up everyday and go to work even if it is from your home. There's always something to do. One of the reasons many new agents become a statistic is because they don't have someone holding them to a schedule.

2. Get involved in clubs and groups. Have your "elevator speech" ready and talk to everyone without being obnoxious of course. 

3. Figure out 4 sources of active business. I'll make it easy, 1 is your sphere of influence (SOI). There are many options, where do you see yourself actively getting business (FSBO, expireds, door knocking, cold calling, Internet leads, farming a neighborhood, etc)? Then make a plan go for it. Remember, don't spend all your time planning. 

4. Create an online presence such as a blog and social media and tend to it. This is more passive and will take longer to gain business but you need to do it in conjunction with everything else.

Get started and never look back.

Jan 12, 2020 06:48 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker
Jan 12, 2020 08:14 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

 Welcome to the world of real estate, Dana, and welcome to Active Rain.

Jan 12, 2020 07:45 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Need a great mention and start working on a nichie and mail out cards to every one you know.


Jan 15, 2020 10:03 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Go out solicite. Make your self visible.

Jan 13, 2020 07:10 AM