As a new real estate agent, life comes at you fast and there’s a lot of mistakes noob agents make. In general, mistakes cost time and maybe a little bit of money. However, some mistakes cost a ton of money, and, in rare cases, can cost you your license.
So today, let’s look at some common mistakes noob agents are making (many of these I made myself by the way, so don’t feel bad–we’ve all done it!).
Mistake #1: Failing to Prepare
As a brand new agent, you probably spent a lot of time educating yourself on the ins and outs of real estate transactions. But as you completed one or two transactions, you may have begun to feel like you’ve got this figured out, like nothing can trip you up. You’ll finally start feeling yourself! I know I did–3 transactions in, I felt and acted like a veteran.
While confidence is a great thing, you’re really going to end up making a mess of real estate if you stop learning once you start closing a few deals. Things are always changing and you’re always going to have more to learn. For as smoothly as many of your transactions will go, there is no such thing as two identical transactions. Every deal will be different.
Don’t fail to prepare for your business–keep learning, educating yourself, and growing in your knowledge of real estate, compliance, people, communication, sales, follow-up, and everything else.
Think of a professional athlete. They practice every day, they run the same play every day so that when the time comes, they are able to execute. This is how we, as real estate professionals, should operate as well. Keep in mind that oftentimes (perhaps more often even than an athlete) we only get one shot.
Mistake #2: Focusing on One Client at a Time
Focusing on clients is essential; there’s no question of that. However, if you spend an entire transaction focused on only one client, your business will fail to launch because you’ll have no momentum to keep going after closing that one transaction.
Clients do need attention, don’t mishear me, but they don’t need all of that attention coming from you! You, as a business owner, need to keep searching for more clients and be in perpetual hunting mode.
Absolutely provide stellar customer service to every client, but don’t take your foot off the gas. If you set appropriate expectations with your clients and educate them along the way, you’ll find that they won’t call you for every little thing and you won’t have to babysit them through the entire transaction.
Here’s a pro tip on how to leverage your time so your clients get your help but don’t need you constantly. Record a video on the home buying process, the home selling process, and the most common questions that you get. Upload those videos onto YouTube, call them your workflow videos or something similar, and share them with your clients.
Because you are able to use those videos in your workflow, you now have the option to leverage your time by sending those videos to clients to answer their questions and educate them ahead of time.
Mistake #3: Spending Too Much Money on One Client
There’s a common saying in entrepreneurship: “You have to spend money to make money.” This statement is essentially true. However, it’s not the whole story, especially as a real estate agent. It’s entirely possible for you to spend a ton of money the wrong way and get no results, which is a mistake I made too often early in my career where I spent too much of my commission on my clients with closing gifts, special drop bys, and so on.
Remember, the gross commission gets cut many different ways, as you still have to pay your overhead:
- Brokerage fees
- Board fees
- Continuing education
If you spend all your money on a single client or transaction, mistakes noob agents often make, you’re not going to stay in business long. So don’t spend too much on closing gifts; instead, focus on a useful and special closing gift that will keep you top of mind without breaking your bank. And then move on…you helping a buyer buy and a seller sell is more than enough.
Mistake #4: Doing Too Much
As a new agent, you definitely want to give your all to your business, whether you’re part time or full time. But there is such a thing as doing too much if you focus on everything at once and try to boil the ocean.
Instead of wearing yourself out by trying to accomplish every lead generation strategy in the book, you should focus on two or three that will bring you the most value. You can host client events, run a YouTube channel, create a blog, run pay-per-click ads, and do lots of calling and door knocking. Every lead strategy works, but that doesn’t mean you need to work on every lead strategy at the same time.
Focus on finding your niche, the lead generation strategy that gets you the most leads for your time and money. Leave the rest for later, for when you have time and money to invest in learning new skills or hiring virtual assistants to help you.
Again, don’t try to boil the ocean. Your time for expansion will come, assuming you stay disciplined on one business plan without popcorning around every other day. For now, do your best to get the most leads for your time and to treat each client well.
Mistake #5: Failing to Say No
It may be tempting to feel you have to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way as a new agent. You may feel that if you say no to anything, you’ll lose too much business and money and you’ll never get another opportunity. But, though this is one of the most common mistakes noob agents make, this really isn’t true.
Your life is of more value than the money you make. Say no to clients who will drain you by taking too much of your time, energy, and joy. Say no to leads that are too far away from your home base (chances are, you’re not even the local expert in that area anyway, so you’ll end up putting both yourself and the client at a disadvantage).
Saying no when it’s time to say no is one of the most freeing things you can do. Now, don’t mishear me–sometimes you do have to commit to transactions that just suck because real estate is not glamorous. However, approach every opportunity with an abundance mindset knowing there’s business around every corner. You can spend most of your time on those that matter to you and fit best with your life.
Mistake #6: Failing to Plan
You can’t make it in real estate by simply rushing headlong into the market and ignoring the data and statistics you’ve been provided. Before making any big decisions, you’re going to have to get a plan together to make sure you’re going the right way, have the right resources, and aren’t wasting time.
Think of it this way: on any road trip you take you have a destination in mind, a mode of transportation, a list of what you need to pack and prepare, and an understanding of how long the trip should take you. These items ensure that you know you’re on the right path. It’s the same exact thing in your business.
- Put together a budget.
- Understand the numbers–your number of contacts, your conversion rate, how many leads you need to generate business, etc.
- Create measurable goals. If you don’t set a goal, you’ll get lost quickly. Set an amount you want to make or a number of clients you want to help and work to reach that goal.
If you put together a plan, you’re sure to fail or succeed faster. Note that making a plan doesn’t guarantee results, but at least you won’t be dragging out a 10-year real estate career that is only limping along and going to fail anyway.
At the same time, I do want to be positive about this because, with a plan, it’s most likely that you won’t see a miserable result at the end of the day. You enhance your chances of success and get where you want to be much quicker.
Becoming an Expert Real Estate Agent
Real estate is one of the most lucrative businesses out there, but it is also one of the most challenging. As a noob agent, you could make all kinds of mistakes by running around trying to do too much, spending too much, and just spinning your wheels.
Make sure you sit down with a wise agent who can help you develop goals and a plan for your real estate business so you can spend your time and money focusing on what matters. With a plan in place, you can avoid mistakes noob agents make and succeed in real estate.
Avoid being part of the 85%+ of the agents that fail by getting help from agents who have succeeded before you and making a plan of action to get going faster.