A great resource is The Millionaire Real Estate Agent. Interviews with 100 top real estate agents in the US and how they do their work. Excellent principles for being suceesful. It's soft cover, about $20.
Also....are you an agent or a Realtor? There's a big difference. Join your local board, pay the dues, and reap the benefits. It is well worth it. It's a great industry. Best of luck.
Good old fashioned hard time. Here are a few suggestions that I feel helped me get started.
(1) Take the floor time (answering incoming office calls)
BENEFIT: possible leads and time in the office to observe the more experienced agents
(2) Attend broker opens, caravans and offer to do open houes for your colleagues
BENEFIT: Get to know other realtors and their ideas and possibility of picking up B/S
(3) Purchase some marketing materials. I purchased post-its & pens with my name
BENEFIT: With 25 sheets to a POST IT PAD, that's 25 opportunities someone has to get to know you. Just today I had a mortgage broker and another realtor mention that my pad was lying on their desks, so it makes me wonder how many prospects haven't forgotten about me either!
PENS: The pens are tri-barrell and fit comfortably in the hand . . . everytime I get a client to sign something, I never get my pen back! I'm guessing some clients have at least 5 in their possession. Pens are practical and useful. Stay away from those calendars . . . too many realtor use them.
COST: $600 - and they've lasted me 2 years.
(4) Get yourself a Point2Agent website. Its free and works well in listing presentations. (email me if you want more info on this)
(5) Finally, always look for ways to differentiate yourself from other realtors. (i.e., post-its v. calendars).
I am sure there will be many other great ideas. Just remember in any startup business it takes 2 years to start seeing a satisfactory return.
Know your market inside and out. Pick a farm area, or niche and get to know it very well. People are always talking about real estate. When you are knowledgeable about an area, it is easy to contribute something useful to the conversation. i.e. People may mention a property that they saw a sign in the yard, and you know the property because you visited it during a broker open. You know the recent price drops because you monitor the market. Being knowledgeable about the market will provide you an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation. Doing that is far more important than trying to tell people how great you are; that can be a real turn off.
Go out and learn your inventory, meet other agents and brokers. Then, when the subject of real estate comes up, wherever you are.........the doctor's office, the train stop, a party, a business meeting, etc. you will have a way to participate that creates a positive impression.
Also, please take advantage of the social network of real estate professionals, Active Rain - http://www.activerain.com . You can get a plenty of advice and help over there. It is a great resource.