Dear Zuess,


I love reading your articles and the advice you give.  I am a new agent and I am finding this transition fun and exciting and yet, very different from my previous work.  I am finding that no one is there to help me get things going.  I am ready for the challenges, the hard work and for the success.  What advice do you have for a new agent like me?


Hello Aahlee,

Welcome to the wonderful world of real estate.  It’s a fantastic industry and for the select few that figure out how to get traction, it can indeed be a highly rewarding career.

Unfortunately, the training you get when you become a real estate agent doesn’t really prepare you to be a successful one.  You likely learned the important legal and ethical underpinnings of selling real estate.  This information is critical, but it’s not nearly enough.  Real Estate is entrepreneurship and that’s what you need to learn next.

First off, new agents should join a brokerage with the best training program they can find.  They will also want to have a strong connection with their managing broker and to know that the manager is committed to their success.

The first few years of real estate is all about business development.  You will need to be creative, industrious, persistent, talented and patient.  Your main job is to find people that need to buy and sell property.

The biggest pitfall I see new agents fall into is that they get a decent lead early and then they spend every day working hard to sell that client.  The client may or may not buy, and either way, the agent spends no time finding the next client or more importantly, building skills and systems that will find them clients consistently throughout their career.

I strongly recommend that you find a coach or mentor that is willing and able to guide you to success.  Many new agents don’t have the money to hire a coach so finding a mentor is a good second choice.  Find a mentor who is open minded, successful, optimistic and most importantly, one that teaches you great habits.  Over 80% of agents have convinced themselves that they don’t need to do business development activities and if you choose one of the 80% as your mentor, you are destined for mediocrity.

It would be ideal if you could work with a top agent in your office on a few deals.  If you get a good lead, ask one of the good agents to work it with you for half the commission.  The odds of you landing the lead increase significantly and the value of the learning will be far in excess of the commission you shared.

When I first got into real estate, my broker told me to go knock on some doors and find some people that needed to sell.  So I did. At the fourth door on Finsbury Crescent in South Etobicoke, just outside of Toronto, the man at the door tells me yes, they need to sell their home.   I had no idea what to do next, but I got his phone number and headed back to the office.  When I told my broker I found someone who needed to sell, he seemed a little shocked.  Anyway – he set me up with Gianni, an old timer in the office and we headed down to list the house.   Gianni and I sold 4 houses in the neighbourhood over the next couple of months and I learned everything I needed in order to branch off on my own.

Believe that you can make it, write down your goals, avoid the naysayers and be willing to do the uncomfortable work.  That is a guaranteed path to success in this exciting world of real estate sales.


Columnist, The Nature of Real Estate

Dear Zuess is a column dedicated to offering advice for new real estate agents. Do you have any real estate binds you’ve been in lately? Drop Zuess a line at