Over the years, real estate has gained an unfortunate reputation as an “easy money” career. In today’s low-inventory world, however, new agents entering the business looking for big bucks are in for a rude awakening. Last year, 26 percent of NAR members earned less than $10,000, up from 19 percent in 2014. Unfortunately, beginners are struggling the most, with 59 percent of REALTORS with under two years of experience earning less than $10,000.
Still, the outlook isn’t entirely bleak. With drive, commitment, and the right tools, beginner agents can make a name for themselves and succeed in a tough market. Just ask Amanda Todd.
People don’t want to just read about real estate all the time…Yes, people like to know what’s going on in the market, but they also like to know what’s going on this weekend.
— AMANDA TODD
Today, Amanda is CEO of the Amanda Todd Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Realty in Placer County, CA. A few years ago, however, Amanda was a longtime stay-at-home mom to her three kids. After going through a divorce, Amanda suddenly found herself a single mother, living in a new city. “I was terrified,” Amanda told us. “[But] I said, ‘Okay. This is my only option, to do well at this.’” After earning her license in 2013, Amanda dove headlong into real estate, closing her first deal in 2014. Now, just two years later, Amanda has sold more than $30 million in real estate.
For Amanda, the first key to success is understanding the stakes. “I have three mouths to feed besides my own, and so if I don’t get deals closed, my kids don’t have food to eat,” she told us. At the same time, Amanda is careful not to allow work to eclipse her home life. “When I’m picking up my kids from school, I’m mom. I’m not on the phone when I pick them up. I actually leave my phone in the car when I’m walking up to pick them up because I want them to engage with me.”
Of course, Amanda’s determination isn’t the only factor in her success: she’s also an incredible marketer, churning out tons of valuable content not just about real estate, but about what it means to live in her community. “People don’t want to just read about real estate all the time,” Amanda told us. “What matters is for your name to be the first one to come to mind when people think of real estate. Yes, people like to know what’s going on in the market, but they also like to know what’s going on this weekend.”
Great content and relationship building can pay off in other ways as well. “I have met six different agents [in the last week] that knew who I was,” Amanda told us. “When they’ve already heard of me just because I do so much marketing and content and we’re out there so much, it makes a huge difference on the number of our offers that get accepted.”
In this interview, Amanda discusses her work-life balance as a single mom, explains how she climbed from beginner to top producer in just a few years, and details the best way for new agents to introduce themselves to prospects and colleagues.
- Matt & Seth