You’ve just graduated from a fully accredited real estate program and now you’re ready to start your career. Not so fast. There are several things you need to do first, all of which will put you on the path to success.

“New agents need to focus on their foundation,” Texas real estate agent Brian E. Adams wrote in an article for Inman.com. “And your foundation is all about building and maintaining your knowledge.”

Adams suggested every new agent follow these seven courses of action before starting their career:

Schedule and attend the GRI course — In addition to learning you received in school, “you need to learn actual, real-life, applicable knowledge,” Adams wrote. He suggested the National Association of REALTORS® Graduate, REALTOR Institute designation to gain that knowledge. The 12-day course is comprised of three four-day courses — each focusing on a specific area (finance, brokerage and marketing) that provides information “you actually need to know to be a good agent,” Adams wrote.

Attend your state REALTOR® association convention — Both state and national conventions provide a ton of free and up-to-date information about the industry and may even help agents meet their continuing education requirements at no cost. They’re also an invaluable tool for networking.

Download the Podcast Addict App — Podcasts are a great way to get valuable information from industry experts. “Most of the best real estate podcasts feature interviews with top-performing agents, coaches and professionals across the country, with insights into the techniques that make these agents successful,” Adams wrote.

Start a website — Having your own website — and not merely posting on your company’s site — is important if your goal is to generate leads, according to Adams.

“Even if you don’t have the tools or resources to pour into an online strategy at this moment, starting a website early has tremendous advantages when coming to SEO (search engine optimization),” Adams wrote. “Google rewards older websites.”

Find a mentor — Real estate coaches are great, and although they may be worth it for a novice agent, they can be costly. An alternative, according to Adams, is to seek out a top-producing agent in your office or area who shares your personality type and desired business model to become your mentor.

Get an accountant — Hiring an accountant is a must once you become licensed, not “when you’re doing your taxes, realize your files are a mess, wondering what untold number of deductions you are missing and losing an entire weekend in April — one of the busiest months for Realtors,” Adams wrote.

Subscribe to InmanInman.com is an excellent resource for real estate agents and brokers who want to keep up to date on industry news and trends. Although there is a fee to subscribe, it’s well worth it, according to Adams.

“Subscribe. Read. Learn. Apply,” he wrote. “Your business will reap the rewards.”

Source: “7 things you must do after getting your real estate license,” Inman.com (Sept. 21, 2016)