The competition is growing steadily if you’re planning to become a real estate agent. Tips and advice that can help you along the way are invaluable to your process. Any complete list of real estate agent tips must include the mantra that first and foremost you are the business. Real estate agents are independent commissioned sales people. That means you must run your practice as a businessperson before anything else.Plan for everything. The fact is, without a plan, even the best of real estate agent tips can’t help you. It’s unbelievable how much time and energy someone will put into planning a trip to the grocery store or a vacation, but when it comes to planning their professional lives, they skimp on the details. Develop a plan and stick to it.Research and carefully construct a marketing plan. As a business owner, you’re responsible for all expenses, so you should do thorough and exhaustive research when crafting a marketing plan. You must know every facet of your target demographic’s lives and use that knowledge to reach the most people and make the marketing plan strategic. Remember a business plan is usually data driven, while a strategic plan identifies who does what by when.Establish sales goals. Goals are what drive us all. Real estate agent tips like this should be a no-brainer, but sadly many people overlook the value of a goal-oriented plan. Use your strategic plan to establish sales goals. Keep in mind that if you are a newcomer, it could be six months before you make your first sale.Make a financial budget and stick to it. Since the current market is so volatile, budgeting becomes critical to any serious real estate agent. Tips for success include checking your marketing costs, any education you need and keeping a close eye on your forecasted income.Manage yourself first. It is not easy to build and run a business. Time management is an especially difficult skill to learn when there is no boss hovering over you during the day. You should also consider ongoing real estate business training coaching, continuing education units, and personal life balance. Like any small business, real estate can be a 24/7 job if you let it. You must maintain balance with work, family, personal life and health.Get a mentor or coach. Don’t try to do this alone. Having someone who has been in your shoes and navigated the waters you are currently in will help even out the ups and downs of a startup. Of all the real estate agent tips in this article, this may be the most overlooked, and also the most helpful. Successful people learn that they need someone who has “gone before” to help them through it all.You may be a great sales person but that does not guarantee sales success in real estate. Hopefully these six real estate agent tips will aid you in avoiding some of the hiccups you will encounter.