How I Made Over $100k My First Year as a Real Estate Agent

How I Made Over $100k My First Year as a Real Estate Agent

If you're starting in real estate, you probably want to know what you should expect when it comes to your salary in your first year in real estate. Knowing what to expect will help you plan your finances both for business and personal life.  

Pst, if you don't already have defined business goals, i.e., a business plan, you need one. Once you've watched my video on my first year in real estate, go check out my post on business planning.  

A Typical Real Estate Agent Salary

A typical real estate salary for anyone with less than five years of experience is $44,000. Your real estate business will typically be operating, like your average successful real estate agent's, if you make that much. So you shouldn't worry that you aren't making it as a real estate agent if you're making close to that in your first few years. Don't get discouraged, though. You might want to use some of the tips from this video to plan to make more money next year.

It is possible to make $100,000 in your first year as a real estate agent. I know because I did it, and I'm going to explain to you how I did it in a sort of deep dive into my first year's sales.

My First Year in Real Estate

My first-year method isn't the only way to make over $100,000 in real estate, just the way I did it. It is a practical, detailed example of how one person achieved this goal that includes tips for how it could work for you. I even tell you which choices I would keep or change from the perspective I have gained from six years of experience.

These tips will help you grow a thriving business very quickly and achieve a base of repeat business, referrals, and habits. These habits will help you make money through the rest of your career with fewer demands on your time so you can achieve a positive work/life balance. It doesn't do much good to make a lot of money if it doesn't buy you a pleasing life. Work smarter.

In the video below, I'll discuss:

  • How I made my first-year sales
  • Whether working with renters is a good idea
  • Starting with a brokerage
  • Hiring real estate agents
  • The importance of building friendships for referrals, 
  • Google ads
  • Looking at your business goals in the long term more so than the short term
  • Saving money on taxes
  • Developing your branding

Be prepared to hustle, but the reward is entirely worth it!

Video Transcription   

Good Monday morning, everybody. I hope you had a great weekend. Kyle here, and I am just going to get kicked off on the Monday mastermind this morning. 

I'm still making sure we're going to be live on YouTube. Looks like Facebook is good to go. And now it looks like YouTube is good to go. So welcome everybody watching, Whether you're coming to us on Facebook or on YouTube, it's good to see everybody. Like I said, hope everyone had a good weekend, a productive weekend. 

We're in the fourth quarter. The last quarter of this decade, before we start a whole new decade. So, you know, as always, some of the things that I'm already starting to kind of look forward to right now, being that it's the fourth quarter, is business planning and getting set up for you know, kind of the start of the next year, and now is the time when you got to really start thinking about that stuff. So, you know, I don't know if in most of y’all’s businesses that it slows down, or if it picks up in the fourth quarter. I actually have a, usually, a really good December. But I know historically, my October and November are usually a little bit lighter than most of my other months. And so, you know, that's always my time when I'm like, all right, I can go back and I can do things, you know, spend some time, a little bit more into the numbers, a little bit more into kind of just some ideas and really kind of like gaining knowledge of what I might want to start trying to do for next year. And in doing that, what I came up with, as far as what we're going to be talking about today is I'm going way, way back and going all the way back to when I first became a real estate agent. 

So today we're going to be talking about my first year as a real estate agent, and kind of just sharing with you guys,.you know the things that I learned during that time, what my numbers looked like during that time where I got my business from, and all of that good stuff. So that's what we're going to be talking about today. 

Starting Out in Real Estate

I'm going to get my screen share going here just to go over kind of some of the first stuff. I'm going to go over October of 2013. So literally six years ago is when I started in real estate. In general real estate. Prior to that I had actually been in new home sales, for roughly about five years, from 2008 ‘til 2013. I worked for one home builder, that entire time. I really kind of picked up my sales knowledge and skills from that home builder. 

Plus, I did pick up some past clients, that kind of a referral sphere of influence base. But as you'll see, what I did in my first year, in general real estate, was not unlike a lot of things that you guys can do as first year agents. Even though I did have that background, you'll see from my numbers that actually, you know, what I really did in the business was, you know, was friends, family and the majority of things that you know, hopefully if you're in real estate, you've already, you know, built that up, that sphere of influence in your market. If not, like if you move to a new market or you're in a different city, where you're, you don't know anybody or anything like that.

But you know, for the average agent that's out there that you know, maybe you've lived in your city for a few years, now you've picked up some friends, you know, you're just part of the community, all that kind of stuff, that is the majority of my business. Although I did try a bunch of things. And so I'll talk to you about those different things that I tried as well. 

Brokerage

So in general, just you know, to give everybody kind of an overhead view of it all, my first year in real estate, I did 40 transactions, and did over $238,000 in gross commission income. 

Now keep in mind, though, that my first year in real estate was probably a little bit different, some of it, in the fact that I actually started up my own brokerage right when I got into the business. You know, I started an LLC. I paid a separate real estate broker to hold his license for my LLC so I was able to go out you know, help you know, get agents into my brokerage, and start getting them to purchase as well, which also, you know, increased my numbers.

And so out of those 40 transactions, I personally did 28 of them. And then I had three other agents that accounted for another 12 transactions. So, just to give you an idea, I had an agent named Philip. He did nine deals. I had an agent named Victoria, she did two deals, and I had another agent who did one deal. It was a personal transaction of hers, but all together with their 12, my 28, I did 40 deals, and it totaled $238,000 in gross commission income. My sales personally, my 28 sales, added up to $175,000 in gross commission income, that's— This is my first full year. So you know, again, I started in October. I think I did like four transactions from October till you know, January, but then basically January of 2014 to December of 2014, I did 28 transactions Personally, now, just to give you an idea, out of those 28 transactions, 21 of them were buyers, seven of them were listings. And then I also did seven rentals where I helped clients find a rental property to live in. So all of that added up. Let's see here. So it was the $175, the $175. The way that was broken down is I did $97,000 of that GCI of the $175 was from referrals. 

And I'm going to actually break down my referrers, so you can exactly see what type of people typically give referrals, and give referrals in my first year of business. 

58,000 were sphere of influence. And what I mean by sphere of influence is they were friends, family, you know of me, that knew me and did business with me as soon as I got into real estate, and then 17,000 came through Google ads

So I did quite a bit of Google advertising. And I'm actually going to show you how much Google advertising I did in my first year. That way, you can kind of see it all broken down.

And then the last thing, the other thing we're going to do on the call today is I actually, I had to go back to my tax returns, because back then, I wasn't as good with my bookkeeping. I didn't have QuickBooks or anything like that back then. I did keep some logs, but I couldn't find them. So I did actually just go back to my taxes to see what I filed. So I knew how much in deductions that I had, what I spent on my business to earn that amount of business. So I'm going to go through those numbers as well in my first year of business, so you can kind of get an idea of what I was spending back then. 

Rentals?

So we're going to dive into the actual numbers. For privacy reasons, I've gone ahead and shortened their last names. I've taken the addresses out, but I want you to see, I mean, this is just my transactions. I took out, you know, my other agents’ transactions out of the deal here. So these are just mine, but you can see here starting back in 2014, January, right, going all the way to December 23 was my last transaction.

And you can kind of see here that, you know, if anybody asks like, hey, do you do rentals when you first get started? I definitely did. Right? Like, I mean, you know, I think if we added it up, it was something like maybe $1,900 dollars I made in rentals from those seven that I did in my first year. And you can see here you know, rental, rental, rental, literally kick off the year. I did six rentals out of my seven. 

And I guess maybe that's why I started to build a team so quickly or, you know, build agents into my brokerage at that point was because I was like, Oh my gosh, you know, this is a lot of work, you know, doing all this. I was running around everywhere. And I was like, well, maybe I can, you know, find some other people to help me with the rentals and I can focus on buyers and sellers. That was kind of my thinking going in. 

But the one thing that I will say to all those new agents out there that aren't sure if you should be doing rentals or not doing rentals, you know, financially. It really wasn't something that, you know, was lucrative for me. But it did actually do a couple things for me that were positive. One, I can actually look at these names of renters, and I can find, you know, now I'm what, you know, five years later, I can see out of those renters, right there. Four of them have either bought a house from me, or they've referred me to somebody who has bought or sold a house from me. And so you know, it's not the short term game, that's not you know, that's for sure. It's the long term game. Just out of those six, I've got four there that I recognize the name. I know that they've either now bought a home from me, or they've referred me to somebody who has bought or sold a home from me. So, you know, even if I was making 150 or 200 bucks on a rental. It was worth it for me to like, be in the game, right? To go out there and show houses to, you know, kind of, know how to, you know, drive around neighborhoods and see things and explain things to clients and buyers and get them to fill out a, you know, IBS or, you know, if you're in Texas, IBS form or, you know, buyers representation form. You know, all those types of things. I had to go through the process to get good at it. And rentals were great to kind of practice on, if you will. Because, you know, again, most of those clients that were doing the rentals, they were just thankful that there was an agent willing to help, because there's so many renters out there that they don't have somebody that really, you know, most agents are going to pass on them. And so, you know, if you actually spend time with them, and you treat them well, you're going to stand out and so that's kind of what I did. You can see here that that's where I got started at. 

Befriending New Home Sellers

And then let's go ahead and start moving on in some of these buyers and seller deals. So I like to break down to, I said, you know, I was going to break down my referrals so you can kind of see where they came from. One of the ones that I started to realize was, because I came from the new home industry, I understood how it worked as far as you know, making friends with new home builders, like the sales people out in those offices. Because then you could get referred business from them whenever they had a client that would come in for a contingent kind of a deal. And so that's what I did is, you know, I had some friends already from the business, but then I also made it a part of my business plan to start befriending a lot of those new home sales counselors. 

So I would go out, you know, I'd bring coffees to them, I would go and take some to lunch, and I would go sit in their office for 30 minutes or an hour and I would just talk to them, see how things were going. 

And because of that, I got a significant amount of business. I mean, if you look at my referrals here from that year, you know, Katie S, I got a new home referral from. And that was a buyer deal. Literally, they put me on the contract. They had a lease that they needed to break or you know, get out of so I helped pay that lease, but I got put on the deal, you know, just for helping out and just for having a relationship with this agent. And then we go down here, you know, for, I got Alicia B, you know gave me a couple of deals in June and July. Tim H, gave me another. And these are all listings at that time. That was the only time that I was really getting listings, was from my new home people, as a new agent. Again, you know, the majority of my deals, were all buyers, but I did have seven listings, and the majority of those seven listings came from the new home referral deals. 

And so that's a great way to get your name out there for listings, to start getting, you know, experienced, to be doing it is to, you know, get in friendship with some of these new home builders. And they'll help you out. So, you see here, I got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8— 9 deals out of my 28 were direct referrals from new homebuilders. That's a huge, huge source. I think it's untapped by a lot of agents.

But it's really easy. It was actually a lot of fun. You know, I mean, a couple of these people I had met after I got into general real estate, a couple of them I had already known. So the majority of what I was doing was just, you know, going in, having a chat, having fun, talking. Right? It's not, it doesn't have to be anything crazy. You know, like, you don't have to be intimidating or intimidated. If somebody, you go in and they're just not friends to you, then go to the next one. There's so many new home buildings, at least here in San Antonio. I'm sure, you know, in most places, there's a lot of new home builders. And it's all about that relationship you can get with that sales counselor. And you never know where that relationship with that sales counselor goes. 

Because eventually, what ended up happening, this isn't in 2014, but you know, 2015, 2016, is that new home sales counselor, I would do really good on those listings that they would give to me. I would sell those contingencies, which is of course what they want, because then they can, you know, complete the purchase on their new home. And so I would do that, my track record was excellent. You know, I'd sell every single one that would come into me and all the clients would like me. So that sales counselor would go talk to their manager. And then the manager would have me come in and talk during a sales meeting and you know, bring tacos and do that whole thing, and I get to meet other sales people quickly. And then from there, that's just where that business took off. And, you know, ‘15, ‘16, even ‘17, I did a lot of new home business, and I still do some, you know, into ‘18 and ‘19. But it became less and less. 

I started kind of getting focused on my team, you know, getting focused on my brokerage, especially back in 2017. I kind of got a little distracted from personal production. And so I didn't really grow that side of the business probably as big as I could have. It's definitely, looking back, kind of maybe a mistake that I had made. But it was certainly something that was building, you know, traction as I was doing it. 

And so anyways, you can see there that was, you know, a significant source. I just want people to see that. 

Google Ads

And then if we look into here, outside of referrals, you know, I, again, most of those rentals all came through Google advertisements. 

I wasn't advertising for rentals by any means. I was, you know, actually doing advertisements for people that were looking for homes for sale in 78258 homes for sale and 78256 for sale and you know, all these, so they were looking for homes for sale. It's just most of those on the internet that I came across, especially early on, maybe I just didn't know how to pre qualify people or get them, you know, pre qualified better to where they could purchase, but most of them just didn't qualify. So they had to rent. Or they might have been looking for homes for sale. But you know, in their mind, they were like, yeah, we're going to rent right now. And then we're going to you know, buy a home or, and so that's kind of, you know, the majority of the people that were on Google early on, but I did start to get a couple. 

You can see here I had one sphere of influence deal. This was a friend of mine that was wanting me to sell their home back in 2014. That happened early on. And then, let's see, I got my first Google Ad buyer deal. And I'll never forget these, it was a young couple, first time homebuyers. You know, I loved working with them. That was an amazing deal. 

I remember when that first time, that one closed, and I thought I was like, oh my gosh, this is actually working. I can, you know, spend money on Google ads, and it can turn into commissions, right? Like, it was like $4,500 bucks. And I was like, man, you know, I was looking at what I was spending in ads. And I was like, man, this is a no brainer, right? I'm going to keep going after this. And so and I did, and I still, you know, kept building it for years and years and years. I did Google ads and Facebook ads, but I look back and it's funny, because, 2014, this is when it all started. 

Referrals

But if we look here, let's see, go to referrals. I had a referral deal that was again, just a friend of mine. I'd actually helped them sell a house. They were one of my first four homes that I'd sold back in 2013. Like, you know, after I started in October, it's not on this spreadsheet, but one of my first four, her name was Katie, and then you know, she referred me a deal back in April of 2014. It was her brother, there. 

And then let's see, I had another Google Ad close shortly after that one. I think this was all the same month. Yeah, if you look at, here, it was like 4/3, and then 4/9. So Google ads are starting to come through and I'm like, wow, this is really working. You know, I started like ramping up the spending. 

That's when I was like, I'm, you know, helping my team start to produce. And, you know, I had those agents on my team that I was giving deals out as well. Well, let's see here. 

So we got another referral, I had a realtor referral. This was actually an agent that's in San Antonio. And she just was going to be out of town and she was just so busy. And luckily, I'd made good connections with other agents in San Antonio. And she'd given me this deal. And if you look at that here, I mean, it was an expensive house at that point. $394 is my most expensive home that I'd ever sold. I think I kicked her back, you know, 1%. So I kept 2% of that. That wasn't a bad deal there. And I had a sphere of influence deal. 

I had another Google Ad deal here. And it was funny because, with, this buyer actually ended up selling his sister’s house, right down here. So you know, it was kind of for one, you know, one Google Ad like, I mean, granted, I was running thousands of Google ads, you know, for different zip codes. Probably not thousands. But let's just say 50 or 40, or something. It was quite a bit, but I was running a bunch of different Google ads. But for one, he came in off of a Google ad. And then eventually, he referred his sister who also bought, and I just put Google Ad because even though it's kind of a referral from him, it still wouldn't have been there if it wasn't for that original Google ad. 

I had a buddy here that bought a house. Let's see, a couple of referrals from friends. So you know, this is when, you know, I started getting some friend referrals or just, you know, they knew that I was in real estate now. They referred me some business. 

But one thing you won't notice, I would have thought that this would have been higher, because again, you know, this is after five years of being in new home sales. But the one thing that you don't see a whole lot of is I didn't get a lot of repeat or referral business from the new home sales business, right? Like I had helped, probably, I don't know, at least 150 if not maybe closer to 200 families buy new homes, when I was with my builder for five years, but, and a lot of times, you know, I, even before today, before I really dug into the numbers, I thought that a lot of my deals had come from referrals from them. But when I look back at my numbers, you know, especially early on at least, not many of them came from the actual new home clients that I had made over those five years. 

And so you know, these are just friend referrals. This was a sphere of influence, a friend of mine from high school. Let's see here. That was the Google ad that was the sister, see referrals. So this was a referral deal. And I guess, technically, it should be considered almost two referrals. If it is referral and then sphere of influence. It was a buyer and then a sale so like, I had to sell their house and they were buying, and it was a referral from my brother in law. And so I guess you know, back then I didn't know to classify, if it should have been referral and then you know sphere of influence, because now I've already helped them one time, but either way I would probably now, looking back, classify that as two referral deals because again, they both came from my brother in law and wouldn't have had those if it wasn't for his referral. 

Let's see, back into new home, I had a friend referral again. If you noticed here, I think, yeah, this one it was kind of funny. So it all started with this friend of mine, Brandon R, referred me a buyer Bo S. I helped Bo buy a house. Bo then referred me to another, you know, person that was a coworker of his, Jessica H, later that year. And so that was obviously a good deal. So they all you know, kind of transpired. I mean, it all starts, you know, either from a friend or whatever, and that's where the majority, 90% of my business, came from that year, was from referrals and sphere of influence. Let's see. The other one that I like to point out too, is I actually did get two lender referrals my first year in real estate, which I mean, honestly that helped out quite a bit.

Lender Referrals

You know, a lot of times we don't think of lenders or partners or people like that being able to give us referrals. And I think, you know, why not? Like, why shouldn't they? We’re giving them a ton of business? You know, why wouldn't you want to ask them to get you business? You know? And that might be a little interesting or a tough, tough conversation, you know, or maybe they have reasons or they’re whatever. But at the end of the day, I mean, I think that's so important, is that you work with somebody who, if you're sending them stuff, you know, hopefully on occasion, they can send you something. 

And so, sure enough, that month, August, was a pretty good month. I mean, I had two of my lenders, these were both, you know, I always kind of had two lenders that I would recommend just so that way, I'm not just like steering them one way. And in that month, I actually got one referral from each of them, which was pretty nice. One of them was a $470,000 listing. And these people here ended up coming to, you know, I'm still great friends with them today. They've probably referred me at least four or five deals since 2014. 

And so again, you know, that kind of stuff stacks up. If I could title this anything, it'd be like the hustle of the first year. I was out there hustling. I was talking to people, doing lunch, moving and shaking, right? Like just telling people like, Hey, you know, I'm hungry, you know, send me business, how can we work together? 

Build Relationships

Like that was kind of the theme of this year, I was either at home, you know, working on Google ads and getting that stuff to where it was like a systematized thing in the background. Or I was physically out meeting people, talking to people on the phones, prospecting. That's what this year was, 2014. I just look back and I see all these different things. I'm like, oh my gosh, I remember what it took to get all of this business and so let's see, sphere of influence.

Now here was some more new home referrals This one was a deal where it was a sale and a buy side. I got on both of them. And then, same thing over here, I had another sale and a buy side. So Gilberto T and then Simon and Desiree A, so both of them, and Will K was from. Yep. So, another one. 

I mean, if you look at that, again, nine out of my 28 deals were from new home sales counselors. And then again, I didn't have the builder account. And a lot of times, like people think of it as like, oh, I gotta go get the account by this builder. That's not what it was. I was just being friends with the individual new home sales agents. At this point, I had not any builder accounts or anything like that. It was just befriending the new home sales counselors. It's a numbers game, it's the same thing. 

You know, I would make it a thing where, you know, I know a lot of people that would go out and do open houses every weekend. Well, instead, I would go out and I'd go visit with the new home sales counselors. You know, I'd go talk to them, I'd sell, you know, offer to sometimes help them do new home, do open houses on their spec homes, I would offer to help sit in on their model homes. I was just trying to be friendly to the new home community, and it paid dividends, you know, nine deals out of my 28 that year.

So if you're thinking about another source of business, what you can do for maybe next year, that's definitely something that I would say is pretty viable. Alright, let me see here. Now the next thing that I want to jump into with you guys, now  you can kind of see a deep dive on where my sources came from in my first year of real estate. 

Taxes for My First Year in Real Estate Salary

Here's a screenshot. So this is just, so you guys can see, I want everybody to be really clear. So I actually at this point, I don't know the discrepancy between, it's not like a huge discrepancy. But again, I made $173 GCI, but for some reason, my taxes from 2014 show $167. I'm sure there was something I just didn't have time to like really figure out what that $6,000 difference was. And then as far as taxes, they depreciated. My CPA did $11,160 in depreciation. 

I know part of that was from buying a vehicle. I bought a SUV and met the you know, 6000 pound, whatever, whatever, and it qualified for Section 179. So if people aren't familiar with that, you know, talk to your CPA, I'm sure they can, you know, give you some advice and guidance. 

At this point, 2014, I already was set up as an LLC. And then my CPA helped me this year to be classified as an S Corp. So, again, I don't, I'm not a CPA, I'm not a tax accountant or anything like that. So by no means, is this tax advice. All I know, is this is what he told me to do. I did it. And basically, you know, he helped me, on my taxes, save quite a bit from just being, you know, a self employed individual, you know, taxpayer. 

So, anyways, this is how it was set up. I had some depreciation. I spent about $22,000 in advertising, right? So that was for Google ads, and you know, all that kind of stuff on the surface. If you actually think about it, in Google ads, let me go back to my spreadsheet here. I know that I did not make, just from that source— Let me pull up how much I actually made. I think I lost money, even though I did, you know, well, I closed deals and all that kind of stuff on the surface. I lost money on my advertising up front. 

Long Term > Short Term

And you see here, I spent $22,000. And it's in GCI, buyers, sellers, renters. In 2014, I made $17,000, $19,324 with the rentals in there. $19,324. That's what I made from Google ads that year. But, on the surface, I spent $22,000 on those ads. And at that point, you know, this at this point in time, the only thing I was doing as far as advertising was Google ads. I hadn't jumped into Facebook ads or anything like that. And so it's just Google ads at this point. So on the surface, it looks like oh, man, you know, that's a negative thing. 

But I'll tell you, knowing what I know now, even though that year, yes, it was negative. The amount of money that I've made since then, because, you know, I started building my database, I had, you know, clients and leads that were in there. And maybe they didn't buy a house for me right then, but I built a relationship with them, I'd stayed in communication with them. So you know, even out of, you know, 650 leads that I would have generated, if only one or two bought that year, I would have another one, two or three that would buy the year after, and then a year after that, or I get a referral from one of them, even if they couldn't buy themselves. And so over the years, they've now continued to pay themselves off. 

That's why I think, you know, a lot of times agents will get into that mindset where, like, you know, if it doesn't pay off in three months, like I'm cutting it, right? Like, you know, they just, you know, they're so, it's like short sighted where, like, you want that instant gratification, that instant deal. But honestly, I mean, that's not the way that it works. 

You got to build this stuff up, you know, and I'm not saying you know, to do things just, you know, haphazardly forever, just because. You know, you’ve got to give it time to progress. But I mean I think that it warrants you, at least, you know, talking to people, because the one thing that I did when I was doing my Google Ads was I never just was satisfied, like I kept always doing them, but I was always like reaching out to other agents. I'd be part of forums, reading Reddit, you know, all different sources and watching YouTube, all this type of stuff. And seeing like, well, what's this person doing? What's this person doing? How can I improve? You know? Are my numbers in line with what they're getting? You know, and so that's what I was always constantly doing. but I never stopped just because you know, the return wasn't there. So just something to note there. 

More Deductions

Now the other thing here, if you can see it. Actually, I don't know. You can't see the bottom line there. So anyways, other deductions was 32,320. I've got a breakdown on that and show you what that is. So then total ordinary business income was $101,000 for that year. So they basically took, the 11, the 22, the 32 equaled $65,000 deductions, they subtracted that out from my $167 and $101 was my taxable income, I guess or ordinary business income. I'm not sure of the difference, but let's see. 

So now let's, I want to break down, that $32,000, so you can kind of see what I was spending that money on. I guess that was it.

Here you go. So this is how that broke down there. 

So they took— so, automobile and truck expenses. That was just, you know, driving around in my vehicle. I think I took, you know, of course, like gas and maintenance and all that kind of stuff out 

Gifts This was of course, you know, closing gifts, gifts for people that was, and I guess again, I'm not a CPA, so whatever I say here, you know, check with your CPA before, you know, actually doing it. But I know for the gifts that I'd given, they were always personalized, right? Like a lot of people, they want to just give a $50, you know, Starbucks or probably not Starbucks, but maybe Target or Home Depot or whatever gift card. And, from what I understand is, it needs to be personalized, it needs to be something that has your branding on it. So, then, I started being you know, giving out cutting boards with you know, the Handy team you know, Kyle Handy, my cell phone number on the back of it. You know, it’d say like, welcome home or whatever on the front of it. And the reason I did that was because, if it had my advertising, I could write it off as a gift expense. So anyways, just something to check into there. 

Insurance. I had my own you know, insurance. Again, it was my brokerage. At this point in time, I wasn't affiliated with a different you know, brokerage. It was just Handy Realty. I'd created it. I had a different sponsoring broker sponsoring the company, and that's how I kind of ran it there. So I had to pay for my own insurance, $1,088 legal and professional. So this was, again, I think that year I had to, of course, set up the LLC. 

I had to get my tax.That includes, you know, filing my taxes, and a few other things, meals and entertainment, which again, they only could take 50% of that $1,900 bucks, permits and fees. Actually, I think this had to do with like training and education, my dues and all that kind of stuff for becoming a realtor, being a realtor. So these were kind of fees that were associated with that. 

Supplies. That was just you know, office supplies random stuff that I needed for my office. I'm sure there was probably, you know, a camera in there or you know, random stuff like that or a TV that I had to buy for my office. You know? So that's why you need— Got $4,700 bucks there. 

Telephone. That was basically my telephone bill. At this point. I was working out of my home, I didn't have a, you know, a brick and mortar office or anything like that. I was working out of my home based office. Let's see, training and continuing education just a little bit that I was spending there. Internet. $1,100 dollars on the internet for my home. 

Wages, and sub contract work. So again, I think I had some, this wasn't, you know, my, 1099 agents like, you know, fill up and Victoria, them, you know, they were 1099. There was something different like, that income didn't even come into my income. The $167, that was taken out even before that, because again, I think like I said, we did $200 and some odd thousand $238, $238,000 in gross commission income that first year, but as you see, even on my tax returns, it's only $167 because I 1099 to them. You know, before all that even came out. 

So these wages and subcontract, I don't exactly remember, I think maybe I did work with some virtual assistants back then. I did have, I think, like a part time helper for a little bit. So it was just like small stuff that I guess I didn't W-9 or 1099 somebody for. The home office calculation, I guess that's just something that my CPA had created. So you can see there, that's how that $32,320 came up, which rolls into here.

And again, you know, $101,000 so that's pretty much I mean, that's my first year in real estate.

Repeat Business Equals Passive Income

Buyers or Listings?

Some of the biggest points that I wanted to make were, you know, my buyer versus listings, kind of breakdown, I would have literally probably been, you know, all buyers. Maybe I had one listing that wasn't new homes, from our new home referral, had it not been for my new home relationships. 

And, so, you know, for those of you guys if you're new in real estate, yeah, it's super important to go after listings. I know for me personally, that wasn't the way that I went. I was going after buyers. Looking back now, five years in, I probably would have put, honest, I mean listings, truly, now, is where it's at today. You know, my business I would say is probably closer to like $7,030 on the listing side, and that's allowed me freedom into my life. 

You know, I'm able to you know, basically do a lot more with my day than whenever I used to just be working buyers all day long, you know, selling 234 buyer deals every single month. That just means you're constantly out driving and you're constantly out showing, which again, I mean, it's great. I love doing it. I actually love showing houses, I love seeing different neighborhoods, and I love seeing homes. So, if that's you, not knocking it, I mean, it's definitely a legitimate source of business. And for me, it was just a natural transgression or natural kind of transition from, you know, I helped a lot of buyers. And now those buyers are looking to sell homes right and so now I'm starting to get more and more listings. And now my listings have finally taken over my buyers. Just because I'm not really doing any buyer advertising at this point. And so I still get buyers just because people are repeat buyers or whatever, or referral. 

But at the same point, I did more of just kind of an organic, hey, you know, I'm going to do buyer advertising. I'm going to get mostly buyers. When you start, you know, most of your referrals are going to be buyers, or especially if you're doing some advertising, you're helping renters, those renters are going to turn into buyers first, right? They don't have anything to sell just yet. So when they do maybe rent a house for, you know, 12 months, when they come back to you that, you know, year later, they're going to be a buyer. Right? 

So not knocking it. I just know now that it is a trade off, right, like you're going to give up way more time working with buyers than you do listings. And so for me, you know, I don't mind picking up the phone, I don't mind prospecting. You know, I've gotten more familiar with that over the years. And so, you know, going straight to getting after buyers, and for sale by owners, is probably what I would do today. 

Do What You Will Want to Live With

But you know, who knows, again, you know, as far as where you're at, what you want to do, I say, just do what you think sounds, you know, like you're going to be able to stick with it the longest because, again, the one thing that I'll tell you is, it's got to be a natural thing for me, like, if I did something that I didn't want to do, I didn't do it for very long, right? 

Like I only like doing things that you know, that I enjoy doing right like long term, and so like for me, it was a— You know, the people that I, you know, associated with in the past five years, it was going to new home sales counselors, because I knew that business, I felt comfortable there. I liked doing it. So I had no problem, you know, spending, you know, hours out of my weekend, or, you know, during the week, going out and building those relationships further. I had no problem, you know, reaching back out to my sphere of influence and people that I've known in my life over the years. So like, those types of things were comfortable for me, and allowed me to keep doing it. 

And so, anyways, and then I just built from there, so I built and built and built. So anyways, I say, you know, do what kind of makes you feel comfortable. You know, you kind of have some framework here. Not saying you have to build your business like what I did, but you can at least kind of see where it goes. And you know what it can look like in that first year. 

And the biggest thing though, is like I said, you know, if I had a title for that first year, it was that, you know, hustle, like I was so into it, I was so into the game, I still am into the game, but it's a different feel now. Like now it's like more like a maintenance thing. I'm focused on different things. 

Building a Brand

Of course, I've got a, you know, family now. Back then, you know, my daughter was just about to be born. And now I've got two little kiddos. So it's a whole different thing now, but at the same point, like all, you know, my entire business life, which was pretty much my entire life almost, you know, I'd say a good 75% of my life back then was, you know, business related and 25. So that work life balance probably was a little off kilter back then. But at the end of the day, you know, I loved what I was doing, I was getting some traction. I knew what it was going to do. Especially now, you know, I look at myself, you know, five years later, I'm so thankful that I put in all of that work back then, because it just built a foundation for where I'm at today, you know, to where it's like, I've not stopped doing any kind of work by any means. I still work very hard. But I can do things like this where I give back and I do trainings and I teach agents and I, you know, help you know, build kind of what I'm building here with my, you know, YouTube channel and my Facebook and social media presence.

I can do all that type of stuff building my personal brand, where I'm not so focused just on the real estate sales side of it anymore, and really I could be doing anything at this point. Like if I didn't really want to work at all, I could just have taken a step back and just, you know, had a kind of an easier life, but only because of what I did in those first, you know, few years of real estate, building that foundation. 

So for those of you guys that are like, man, now I'm grinding away, I'm not having the success that I want. Trust me. Just keep going. You know, keep always learning, keep always hustling, keep always networking with other people, other agents. You never know where those relationships go, and it all will pay off. It's just, you know, you can't quit. If you quit, then it's like everything was for nothing. 

So anyways, I'm, that's what I'm gonna leave you guys with as far as what I'm going to talk about. 

Live Chat Question Answers

I'm gonna look into the comments one last time here to make sure I didn't miss any questions. And if not, then I will see you guys next week.

Good Things Happen on the Streets

Let's see here. Looks like YouTube. Tim. Good things happen on the streets. And that was something that, Tim was one of my agents, I guess we started working together maybe a year and a half ago or so. And we talked about that at a listing where a guy didn't even show up, a quick, funny story. We go out there, you know, I think this was Tim's first listing. And so you wanted, you know, me to go out there and help them with it, and, you know, just kind of be out there with them. And so I did that. And we go to the listing, and it's like, you know, kind of going kind of on the south. Southern side of San Antonio is probably not in my normal area that I would go to, you know, maybe 40 minutes from, you know, where I'm from. And anyways, the guy doesn't show up. And you know, I think Tim had confirmed and all this, but they still didn't show up. And I said, Hey, man, we're still out here doing stuff, you know, like, we could have been sitting back, we could have been doing nothing, you know, even if the guy didn't show up. Don't worry about it. Tim, like good things will happen on the streets. Like when you're, when you're out and about, you're just doing stuff, good things happened. And sure enough, I think at that point, we met a guy that was like going door to door putting cards in the door. He was a real estate agent, I believe, trying to, you know, buy, you know, distressed properties, I think is kind of what they were trying to do. Or maybe he was just trying to pick up listings. I don't really remember. But sure enough, now I think that guy works on Tim's team. And I don't remember the other good things that happened from it. But even just from something we thought was nothing. It ended up benefiting Tim, which is pretty cool. Love it. Hashtag Hustle Hard. 

Be Aware of your Price Points

Trent, I'm planning on holding open houses in new builds starting this weekend. Love it. Good stuff. One suggestion I'll give you is be aware of your price point, right? Like, you know, when I was in new home sales, you know, my average price point was three to four, you know, maybe high twos. $275 to $350, I'd say realistically was my average, and we didn't get a lot of traffic. You know, I mean, I get you know, on any given weekend, we would get maybe four to seven registrations like 47 visits, and a lot of the times they had realtors, so you know, be mindful of what price range you're going to go in I know a lot of agents that have had success, even though maybe they're not your favorite homes or whatever, they've had success going into like the KB's and you know, the KB builders and the webinars, and you know, kind of that lower price point. And again, regardless of what you feel as far as like, you know, if you know, that's the house you would buy or whatever, people are going to buy them and it's typically going to get you more traffic. And a lot of times when you go into that lower price point, you're going to find people that don't have realtors, where if you know they're looking at three, 350, 400, most of the time you know this is a second home for them. They've been through the game before, they kind of have a realtor or, you know, friend, but if you want to stick to kind of that new home builder, you want to stick to areas where you're going to get good traffic. So anyways, that would be my suggestion there on the new home side. 

Look for Podcasts for Your Busy Schedules

Guys, just as a quick aside here, too, I'm working to make this into a podcast, actually got a guy that's converting all of my videos to podcast. And I should have that out here pretty soon. Yeah, he's going through all of my Tuesday Masterminds that I do for eXp Realty agents. And he's already been creating that, I've actually, if you go on the Apple podcasts, and I think it's on Spotify, it's everywhere. You just type in agent attractors, you'll find my podcast for that. And I've already got about 10 episodes maybe on there. And I'm going to be having him jump into this next, and I think this is just the Kyle Handy podcast. And then there's a subtitle says something about real estate sales training. But all of these are going to get converted over to podcast, which is nice because honestly, guys, if you guys aren't into podcast, or if you don't know yet, podcasts are on the rise. Like I've been listening to podcast for years, but I'm telling you like the numbers of people that are you know, starting to listen to podcasts, just because it's so easy, you know in your car, at the gym, you know, while you're, you know, doing things around the house, you know, that's, it's just been going up and up and up. And so, you know, I know video’s cool, it's live, you get to see, you know, get to interact. But at the same point, you know, I know a lot of times especially as real estate agents, we have a busy schedule, you know, busy lifestyle. Maybe you're in the car, and you just want to listen to some stuff. Well, that's what we're going to be doing here as well. So you should see that here pretty soon. All right, I'm still loading up here my Facebook page.

Kyle Handy
 

Kyle Handy is a real estate agent, team leader, coach, & mentor to real estate agents all over the country. Kyle focuses on social media, tech tools, and system automation to help agents scale their business and create consistency of closings.

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