If you’re just starting out as a licensed Realtor®, you will likely need all the help you can get navigating your career. In an “open letter” to newly licensed Realtors®, Julie Nelson, chief success officer at The Nelson Project, Keller Williams Realty, in Austin, Texas, provided real-world advice to get you on the path to success.

“I want to help the new Realtors® succeed by outlining foundational advice that can significantly increase the odds that you will have a financially viable real estate business a year or two from now,” Nelson wrote an article for Inman.com. “Your broker wants you to succeed. Your family wants you to succeed. You can do this by nailing the right things.”

Here are the “right things” Nelson believes every newly licensed Realtor® needs to know to have a successful real estate career—

1.  Your real estate license courses most likely missed a few very important things — According to Nelson, these missed things include, finding and cultivating leads, running a successful business and a thorough going-over of the contract-to-close process.

2. You are in a lead-generation business first, a real estate business second — Nelson’s advice on this is simply to “nail this,” she wrote.

3. The work hours can be ridiculous — Real estate is not a 9 to 5 business. Clients may call on you at all hours and will potentially “tap into your evenings and weekends.” Flexibility is a must.

4. Real estate is harder than you imagined — To be a successful real estate agent, you need lots of clients. Accumulating this “solid and predictable pipeline of clients is the most important thing to creating financial viability in your new business,” according to Nelson. Building a robust roster of clients won’t be easy and may take a few years.

5. Most Realtors are not hard-wired to be entrepreneurs — For the most part, you will be your own boss, Nelson wrote. That means you will have to become adept at managing your own schedule to ensure the most important tasks are completed first.

Source: “5 things you need to know to make it in this business,” Inman.com (Oct. 18).