You may have aced your licensing exam, but there’s still so much to learn about prospecting for leads, cultivating strong relationships with clients, negotiating the sales process, and guiding a transaction smoothly to the closing table. For those starting out, REALTOR® Magazine’s Rookie Tool Kit provides timeless guidance on topics such as how to choose a brokerage and how to begin generating business. Also, subscribe to our e-newsletters to be sure you are getting the latest practical tips and trend information for your business. And be sure to check out the REALTOR® Benefits Program for discounts and offers available exclusively to NAR members.

Starting Your Career (2018)

Starting Your Career Topics


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.

Skills & Strategies Every Agent Should Have 

Real Estate Skills - Understand What It Takes to Be a Successful Agent (The CE Shop, Mar. 13, 2021)

“This article is a look at the top ten skills needed to be a real estate agent. As you read through [the] guide, bear in mind that these qualities of a good real estate agent are just a snapshot; if you don’t possess all of these real estate skills, you can still become a successful agent. But if you work to improve these skills, you’ll see a hefty return on your investment.”

What Clients Value in a Real Estate Agent (The Balance, Jul. 17, 2019)

This article outlines the skills and qualities real estate clients value based on your role in the transaction.

Real Estate Business Letter Templates (National Association of REALTORS®)

The NAR Library receives calls from time-to-time requesting letter templates* for business prospecting or to announce new business ventures. Below are a few template ideas penned by our librarians which you are free to download. We've also included some library resources for developing business letter templates.

The Negotiation Tool Kit (REALTOR® Magazine)

Like many real estate skills, negotiation is more art than science. Practitioners need to be sensitive to the underlying forces behind objections and understand the complex motivations of both parties. This tool kit will help you understand the complex relationships that sometimes clash when trying to structure a deal, and how to take an offer through the negotiation process to the closing table.

Getting Started in Real Estate

How to Get Started as a New Real Estate Agent (The Balance, Mar. 20, 2021)

This article covers licensing requirements, expenses, income, marketing, networking, choosing a broker, finding a mentor, and organizing your contacts.

30 Under 30 (REALTOR® Magazine, 2021)

Each May/June, REALTOR® Magazine features 30 young rising stars in the real estate industry. In determining who makes the 30 Under 30 list, REALTOR® Magazine staff looks for candidates who are successful in the real estate business and have demonstrated skill, success, creativity, and leadership in their careers.

Sales & Marketing: My First Year Articles (REALTOR® Magazine)

A collection of articles illustrating the first-year experiences from REALTORS®.

The Listings Tool Kit (REALTOR® Magazine)

Before you even get a chance to sell a home, prospective clients have to buy into the idea that you're up to the challenge. The listing packet and presentation are your opportunities to convince them. Use this tool kit to learn how to tailor your approach to the seller's comfort zone, pinpoint the perfect price, and answer any objection.

The Rookie Tool Kit (REALTOR® Magazine)

Life as a rookie real estate professional is not easy, but REALTOR® Magazine is here to help. The Rookie Tool Kit provides answers to common first-timer questions and checklists for your first year in real estate and beyond.

Finding Your First Clients

Top 13 Ways to Generate Real Estate Leads (Fit Small Business, Jun. 28, 2021)

“A real estate lead is someone looking to buy, sell, or lease a property and who has expressed interest in working with you, whether it was in person, online, over the phone, or through email. The more leads you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to close a deal and gain new clients. Therefore, your business depends on maintaining a steady stream of incoming new prospective leads, which is a process known as real estate lead generation. Here are some of the most effective real estate lead generation methods, both free and paid, to build your business.”

20 Ideas for Generating Real Estate Leads for New Agents (rentspree, May 11, 2020)

“As a newly-licensed agent, you likely don’t have much of a contact base to start with. Knowing where to even begin looking for real estate leads for new agents can be overwhelming, and there’s a lot of different advice out there on the effectiveness of different strategies. Take a look at [these] suggestions below for 20 ideas that will help you start generating valuable leads.”

The Prospecting Tool Kit (REALTOR® Magazine)

Prospecting is the lifeblood of any successful real estate career. It's that simple. The more people you come in contact with, the more listing and sales you can achieve. All it takes is a plan and some persistence.

Branding and M​arketing

Why Real Estate Branding Is So Important (Millionacres, Jul. 11, 2021)

"To establish your brand identity as a real estate agent or broker requires more than just putting the word out in your community that you have your real estate license and are open for business. It's about showcasing your expertise. What kinds of properties do you specialize in? Are you a native of the city you work in and know every neighborhood like the back of your hand? The answers to questions like these will become part of your brand identity -- and ultimately your success as a real estate agent."

13 Examples of Perfect Real Estate Branding (Placester, Feb. 25, 2020)

"Successful real estate branding can’t be accomplished with just a fancy logo or a catchy motto. The real secret behind strong real estate brands is a combination of creative elements and on-point messaging into a coherent identity. And if you want to become a real estate branding champion, it takes valuable content, a strong media presence, and regular interaction with your audience to convey that identity."

The Property Marketing Tool Kit (REALTOR® Magazine)

With all of the many options available to market a single property, it's hard to know where to begin. This tool kit will help you create a marketing plan and allow you to determine the best place and tone for your property advertising, so you can get it sold now.

The Personal Marketing Tool Kit (REALTOR® Magazine)

Personal marketing is the process of getting your name out there and convincing people to contact you when they need real estate services. This tool kit will help you plan and execute your personal marketing strategy.

eBooks & Othe​r Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

42 Rules to Turn Prospects into Customers (eBook)

The Blueprint: Strategic Plan for Brand New, First Year and Struggling Real Estate Agents (eBook)

Branding for Dummies (eBook)

Easy Step by Step Guide to Telemarketing, Cold Calling & Appointment Making (eBook)

E-mail Etiquette (eBook, Audiobook)

Improvisational Negotiation (eBook)

Marketing Demystified (eBook)

Opportunities in Real Estate Careers (eBook)

Social Media Marketing (eBook)

Your First Year in Real Estate (eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

The Honest Real Estate Agent: A Training Guide for a Successful First Year and Beyond as a Real Estate Agent, (CreateSpace, 2012)

Sales and Marketing 101 for Real Estate Professionals (Chicago, IL: Dearborn Real Estate, 2007)

The Real Estate Agent's Business Planner (New York, NY: AMACOM, 2005)

So, You're a Real Estate Agent? Now What?! (Maximum Potential, 2004)

The Skilled Negotiator: Mastering the Language of Engagement (Chicago, IL : Jossey-Bass, 2004) HF 5438 R23s

The Complete Guide to Your Real Estate Closing: Answers to All Your Questions—From Opening Escrow to Negotiating Fees to Signing Closing Papers (Chicago, IL : McGraw-Hill, 2003) HF 5438 G11

Your First Year in Real Estate (Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing, 2001)

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


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