Career Tips for New Real Estate Agents in Montana – Career Series Part 4 of 4


new real estate agent looking for career tips

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.

So are you a new real estate agent in Montana or someone in the field looking for ideas to refine the business process? If so, this is the post for you!

To become a successful real estate agent in Montana, one needs to have a systematic approach to generating high-quality leads and effective techniques to close deals. Sales agents need to understand the clients’ needs and guide them through a complicated process. This takes years of experience, knowledge about trends in your area, and understanding what clients are looking for.

There are many activities that can contribute to success in the real estate business. For example,

  1. Work on developing relationships with potential clients and referral sources. 
  2. Have an effective marketing strategy to reach your potential customers.  
  3. Join professional organizations like the National Association of Realtors (NAR). 
  4. Attend conferences and educational seminars for realtors. 
  5. Keep your license current by taking continuing education classes.

In this blog post, I will go over practical strategies that can be applied to your real estate practice in Montana.

But before we start, I want to give a brief disclaimer. This post is not intended as legal advice or state/federal real estate training. It is for general information only. Please always follow your State laws and best practices. Business result is not guaranteed as your success really depend on the effort you put in.

As part of the requirement to stay in good standing with the Licensing Commission, you must complete the required Continuing Education. Real Estate Express is an online school that I like and received excellent feedback from its students. You may check out their CE courses here. (**)

Define your business niche

At the beginning phase of the business, it’s likely that you don’t have many clients, so you would have the urge to take up whoever comes along. However, this might not be a good strategy to grow your real estate business in the long run. After all, you cannot be everything to everyone.

It’s better to clearly define your ideal client segment so you can focus your marketing budget, time, and resources on them. You may define your niche based on the properties’ location, type of real estate, the client’s family condition, occupation, or income range.

Here is a real estate agent who specializes in homes near mountains in Montana!

I came across the Youtube channel by Janet Cantrell, REALTOR® at eXp Realty, as I was researching for this article. She did an amazing job in showcasing different neighborhoods in Flathead County, Whitefish, Glacier National Park – for example, above is a clip where Janet did a walking tour in Whitefish.

Focusing in specific regions truly help them to stand out from the crowd in such a competitive space. If you were searching for a property near mountains, would you hire Fawn or just a random agent you see on a newspaper ad?

Her channel provides valuable information to viewers and helps to brand them as an expert in the area. There are also many engaging comments in her videos, which I believe could turn into a great source of leads for her business.

Build your brand in the local neighborhood

client calling real estate agent in Nebraska

After you define your targeted audiences, you need to think about how you can reach them. The traditional advertisement (i.e., flyers, bus stop ads) could still be useful, but you need to do so in a much more strategic way. For example, rather than spending a fortune in national newspapers and radio, it’s better to place ads in the neighborhoods you are servicing.

Is there any magazine that people in a specific neighborhood loves to read? If so, you may reach out to see if they are accepting any guest posting. To showcase your real estate expertise, you should share helpful ideas that are relevant to the readers. (i.e., The Top 10 Home Maintenance Tips for this Summer; The Best Kid-Friendly Activities in the Neighborhood.)

You may want to check out the following publication:

NAR green designation is a certification program that helps real estate agents get their clients to buy and sell environmentally friendly homes. It’s a great way to stand out from your competition, increase your client base, and earn more money. Here is the 2-courses bundle in getting the Green Designation. (**)

Effective ways to generate leads

real estate agent getting online leads

Unless you are a multi-national large corporation who just wants to build brand awareness, the ROI of your advertising must be justified.

The importance of generating online leads can’t be overstated for real estate agents. With the rise in popularity and accessibility of homebuyers through the internet, it is imperative that you are promoting your business through social media and different online platforms.

Numerous online advertising tools allow you to reach your targeted audience in a very effective way. Facebook can display your ads to viewers with a precise criteria (i.e., age, location, interest), while your Google ads would show up when someone enters a particular search term.

You may direct the ad viewers to a landing page, where you capture that contact info, such as email address. With their consent, you may keep in touch with them and continue to build trust virtually.

According to the 2020 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, 93% of all buyers used online websites as information sources in their home search. Here’s a guide that explains how having a professional website can benefit your real estate business, the features you should include, and affordable ways to build it.

Keep up with the Montana real estate laws and best practices

real estate agent thinking about best practice

Real estate agents are constantly tasked with new responsibilities and challenges. With the rise of technology, and compliance requirements, it’s important for sales agents to be up-to-date on the real estate laws and best practices.

Here are some resources that could be useful:

Rule NoRule Title
24.210.601GENERAL LICENSE ADMINISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
24.210.602EXAMINATION
24.210.603APPLICATION FOR EXAMINATION — SALESPERSON AND BROKER
24.210.604SUPERVISING BROKER ENDORSEMENT
24.210.605REASONABLE SUPERVISION
24.210.606HIGH LEVEL OF SUPERVISION
24.210.610PREDETERMINATION FOR LICENSING
24.210.611APPLICATION FOR LICENSE — SALESPERSON AND BROKER
24.210.615APPLICATION FOR DETERMINATION OF EQUIVALENT EXPERIENCE FOR BROKER LICENSING
24.210.616WAIVER OF EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENT FOR BROKER LICENSING PROHIBITED
24.210.621NONRESIDENT LICENSE — SALESPERSON AND BROKER
24.210.624INACTIVE LICENSES
24.210.625INACTIVE TO ACTIVE LICENSE STATUS
24.210.629RECIPROCITY
24.210.635RENEWALS
24.210.641UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
24.210.643CITATIONS AND FINES
24.210.646DISCIPLINARY GUIDELINES — PUBLIC NOTICE
24.210.651REINSTATEMENT
24.210.660PRELICENSING EDUCATION — SALESPERSONS AND BROKERS
24.210.661NEW LICENSEE MANDATORY CONTINUING EDUCATION – SALESPERSONS
24.210.666COURSE PROVIDER
24.210.667CONTINUING REAL ESTATE EDUCATION
24.210.674CONTINUING REAL ESTATE EDUCATION — COURSE APPROVAL
24.210.677CONTINUING REAL ESTATE EDUCATION — INSTRUCTOR APPROVAL

As part of the requirement to stay in good standing with the Licensing Commission, you must complete the required Continuing Education. Real Estate Express is an online school that I like and received excellent feedback from its students. You may check out their CE courses here. (**)

Differentiate your practice with professional designation

real estate agent getting professional designation

Rather than being just another sales agent, you may consider getting a Professional Designation or Certification. National Association of REALTORS® is one of the largest trade associations in the real estate industry. They offers designations such as Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and many more.

I personally like the Green Designation. It can equip you with the knowledge to help clients make informed choices about the resource efficiency and performance of the homes.

Even though the Designation Courses are not part of the pre-license education requirement, your enhanced knowledge will help set you apart from others in such a competitive market.

You may click here to check out the NAR Designation and Certification courses. (**)

Select areas with strong housing demand

real estate agent finding areas with strong housing demand

When you are deciding the regions to conduct your real estate business, you should target areas that have a high housing demand. After all, you will only get compensated when a deal is successfully closed.

I’m reading a Q3 2021 Montana Real Estate Market Update Report from Windermere. According to their Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, it took an average of 67 days to sell a home in Q3-2021. Homes sold fastest in Park County (16 days), followed by Gallatin County (23 days) and Lewis & Clark County (58 days), while Ravalli County took the longest of 103 days.

Since your commission is based on the price of the property, it’s rational to consider areas where the housing price is on the growing trend. In the same report, I see that several counties had a strong increase in home sale prices between Q3-2020 to Q3-20201, which included:

  • Broadwater County 53.1%
  • Ravalli County 40.6%
  • Madison County 34.8%
  • Missoula County 32.4%
  • Park County 28.2%

Source: windermere.com

Join the Montana Association of REALTORS

The Montana Association of REALTORS is the leading advocate for real estate professionals in Montana.

The benefits of joining are great. You get to attend conferences, trade shows, and other events that will help you grow your business. This allows you to connect with other real estate salespeople and brokers, thus learn from their valuable experience and share ideas with one another. 

You’ll have access to cost-saving resources to increase productivity, high quality real estate education and exclusive discounts on essential services.

Here’s a short clip which talks about the NAR code of ethics requirements.

To become a REALTOR® in Montana, you must obtain a real estate license from the Montana Board of Realty Regulation, affiliate with a sponsoring Montana REALTOR® broker, apply for the membership and submit the membership fees.

Learn from other highly productive real estate agents

Experienced real estate agents sharing career tips

What’s a better way to learn about the real estate business than from the best agents in the field? RealTrends is a trusted source of news, analysis, and information on the residential real estate industry. Every year, they will compile a list of the most productive real estate professionals in the field.

Here are some of the most productive Montana real estate agents in 2021.

RankFirst NameLast NameCompanyCityTransactions
1VossSartainKeller Williams RealtyBozeman119.50
2NancyCurtissBerkshire Hathaway HomeServices Floberg Real EstateBillings118.00
3JaniSummersEngel & Völkers HamiltonHamilton107.00
4CrystalChase-KirchhoffKeller Williams RealtyBozeman103.00
5MichaelAndersonNational Parks RealtyWhitefish101.00
6JoleneLloydCENTURY 21 Heritage RealtyHelena91.92
7DeniseLangNational Parks RealtyBigfork89.00
8PollyAnnaSnyderEngel & Völkers BozemanBozeman85.00
9ShawnaMoralesEngel & Völkers BillingsBillings84.00
10ClaireGillamBerkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana PropertiesBozeman79.00
11DawnMadduxEngel & Völkers MissoulaMissoula73.00
12PhillippaLabudaRE/MAX Home Again RealtyKalispell72.50
13JudyStangRE/MAX All StarsMissoula72.00
14ElizabethSchoenenRE/MAX of Great FallsGreat Falls65.50
15DeeAnnBosBerkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana PropertiesBozeman65.00
16SueFryeERA Landmark Real EstateBozeman64.00
16DeniseAndresBerkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana PropertiesBozeman64.00
18DeniseKellyRE/MAX PremierButte63.00
19SheriBroudyColdwell Banker Markovich Real EstateButte62.00
19WendyWilsonEngel & Völkers BozemanBozeman62.00
19ToryDaileyERA Lambros Real EstateMissoula62.00
22CraigSiphersEXIT Realty Bitterroot ValleyHamilton60.27
23StephanieSunshineNational Parks RealtyWhitefish59.00
23JenDolanNational Parks RealtyWhitefish59.00
25MerriLeeValentineERA Lambros Real EstateMissoula58.00
26LanceEganBerkshire Hathaway HomeServices Floberg Real EstateBillings57.00
27RachelCourtColdwell Banker The BrokersBillings56.40
28SheilaLarsenBerkshire Hathaway HomeServices Floberg Real EstateBillings56.00
28CharlotteDurhamBig Sky Sotheby’s International RealtyBozeman56.00
30JulieFillinghamRE/MAX AdvantageHamilton54.00
30CharlieHouseman WeberCENTURY 21 Shea RealtyGreat Falls54.00
32CareyChapmanRE/MAX of BillingsBillings53.00
33MatthewHohnbergerRE/MAX Mountain ViewColumbia Falls52.00
33NicoleJonesEngel & Völkers StevensvilleStevensville52.00
33CindiHayneBerkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana PropertiesHamilton52.00
33JenClementBerkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana PropertiesMissoula52.00
37AnneliseHedahlERA Lambros Real EstateMissoula50.00

Source: RealTrends.com

I don’t have any personal connection with them. But if they could close so many sales in a year, they must be doing something right. You may try to connect with them through LinkedIn or their websites. Learn about their process of doing business. Furthermore, if they are expanding their team, perhaps, it could be an excellent opportunity to join their force.

Even if you are unable to connect with them directly, you may be able to pick up some helpful ideas by reviewing their online marketing.

Here’s something to consider down the road – Build your own real estate brokerage!

real estate agent planning to start own brokerage firm

If you have been working as a real estate salesperson in Montana for some time, and wish to bring your business to the next level, then upgrading your license to become a real estate broker could be a sensible choice.

Rather than making income solely based on your sales production, being a broker allows you to build a team of real estate agents. You’ll be recruiting, providing training and support to your underlying agents. In return, you would get a share of their commission.

To become a real estate broker in Montana, you must:

  1. Be at least 18 years old;
  2. Graduated from an accredited high school or equivalent;
  3. Complete 60 hours from an approved provider;
  4. At least 2 years of real estate salesperson experience;
  5. Pass the Hawaii Real Estate Broker Exam;
  6. Go through a criminal background check;
  7. Submit an application and fees to the Montana Board of Realty Regulation

Keep in mind that if you were setting up a real estate brokerage, the cost of getting a broker license is only part of the expenses. There is also other expenses such as marketing, salary of administrative staff, office lease, furniture, equipment, software subscriptions.

[Read: 30 Mind-Blowing Tips to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent]

Here are more helpful resources about the Montana real estate career

This article is part of the “Montana Real Estate Career Series.” If you want to know more about being a real estate agent in Montana, I invite you to check out the following articles: 

(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. Some of the posts on RealEstateCareerHQ.com may contain views and opinions from the interviewees. They do not reflect our view or position.

Reference:

  • RealTrends – 2021 Montana Top Real Estate Agents (source)
  • Windermere – Montana real estate market trends Q3 2021 (source)
  • Montana Board of Realty Regulation (source)
    • Approved Salesperson Prelicensing Education (source)
    • Real Estate Broker (source)
  • Montana Secretary of State: Rule Subchapter: 24.210.6 (source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Real Estate Agents (source)

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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