Real Estate Agents Shouldn’t Make These Mistakes
Are you aware that most real estate agents will never be successful?
Year-after-year, statistics indicate that 93% of the deals are done by only 7% of the agents?
Let’s re-word it to make sure it sinks in:
93% of the agents out there are literally fighting over the remaining 7% of the business.
It shouldn’t be that big of a surprise to hear that there’s such a high turnover of real estate agents!
There’s plenty to be read online on things a real estate agent should be doing.
So, why don’t we take it from a different angle for a change and discuss what a real estate agent should NOT be doing!
Obviously, besides choosing the right brokerage, continuing one’s education, and a solid dose of perseverance, there are some less obvious things an agent needs to keep an eye on!
So, perhaps let’s break the bad habits before creating good ones!
Here’s a list of 10 things a real estate agent should never do:
#1 — A real estate agent should never forget that it’s all about doing the basics.
Too often, newbie real estate agents start on the job and think they’ll be able to ‘switch off’ in the evenings and/or weekends.
Being an agent isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle!
Your personal life and your professional life have become one.
You will be the one that people will like to work with. Or not!
You have become your personal brand.
You will be the one they chat to at the neighborhood barbecues and impressions will be made.
Pro-actively seeking business is not only a must for any newbie real estate agent but also the experienced ones!
It’s an ongoing funnel of leads the agent need to follow up with – some clients will be ready next week, next month or even next year.
Wasn’t it Benjamin Franklin who said that “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”
Being in the industry for ten years is just doing Year One repeated ten times over!
Learn. Adapt. Get comfortable with new tools and technology.
Change the way you view your customers!
Are they just a commission check this month? Or will you make sure they get taken care of with this deal so that they can become your ‘brand ambassadors? Are you going to practice being a dual agent or are you going to be fighting hard as a true advocate for your clients.
One way (dual agency) is a short term money grab. The agent that views client relationships will be around for the long term.
Make your clients happy, and they’ll come back again and again.
Make your clients very happy, and they’ll be an ambassador for you to anyone they meet!
Thus, get those basics covered as soon as possible, and before you know it, you’ll have more (referral) business heading your way!
A real estate agent should never say that something isn’t in their job description
Even though the real estate agent may have asked the home sellers to prepare for the open house, the agent will actually end up doing a final walk-through and quickly re-arrange the bedding, hide the garbage can in the garage, or even take care of the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink!
Not only will that little effort it takes to sort those things out potentially have a big influence on visiting home buyers, imagine the reaction of your home sellers when they find out what you did for them.
And just because the agent’s job description (or employment contract for that matter) may not have stipulated anything about the above ‘household jobs,’ doesn’t mean it’s not part of the job!
Similarly, every agent on bigger teams will have encountered such situations, and besides sharing the sometimes hilarious (and occasionally shocking) stories, the agents can empathize with one another, and this, in turn, will make people feel part of the group and be appreciated for going the extra mile!
A real estate agent should never lose track of the bigger picture
Not every negotiation will turn into a deal.
Not every deal will turn into a closed sale.
Not every closed sale will turn into a happy customer.
Sometimes things happen, both in and out of the agent’s control, that will have contributed to that less-than-desired outcome.
Every agent needs to be cognizant that things will go wrong along the way.
“Live and learn.”
“Things happen for a reason.”
“It’s not meant to be.”
Whatever you call it, make sure to take note and avoid making those mistakes again!
Everyone will make mistakes (and hopefully, they’re not costly), but one needs to accept that it’s part of the bigger picture: one lost deal isn’t the end of your real estate career!
Fix the mistakes, don’t ever forget them, correct the flaw in the system, and move on to the next deal! This way the client isn’t looking to terminate you as their real estate agent.
A real estate agent should never waste anyone’s time.
Most real estate agents tend to have hectic schedules!
Whether it’s time-blocking to prospect for new business, meeting new home buyers for viewings, home sellers for valuations, or contract negotiations, an agent has enough on his plate to keep busy for ten days a week!
Life gets in the way, and schedules do change at often a moment’s notice!
However, this isn’t an excuse for the agent to be breaking commitments, but rather to postpone a meeting instead of canceling it!
After all, face-to-face time with clients is never a lost opportunity to engage with them!
Isn’t that the way to earn respect and build trust & credibility?
A real estate agent should never skimp on marketing.
Quite a few real estate agents weren’t aware when they got into the business that the toughest part would be to actually get more business!
The upfront cost of license fees, board dues, starter kits, camera equipment, etc. will only increase once the marketing budget gets added on top of it!
It takes money to make money, so come up with those creative marketing ideas that will get the home sold.
And the more you spend on marketing yourself, whether it be through traditional means of television, radio, bus benches, or online advertising, the more business will come your way.
Of course, this is assuming the marketing efforts are executed correctly!
It’ll take a lot of trial & error (as many agents with Facebook ads can attest to), but one needs to be quick on the mark to adjust marketing strategies.
If you’ve found something with a high return on your investment, increase the spending, and vice versa.
And as the earnings start coming in, one cannot forget to reinvest it into more marketing!
A real estate agent should never fall behind the curve
How does one fall behind the curve?
Regardless the industry you’re in, it’s evolving on a daily/weekly/monthly basis with new laws being introduced, changed, updated and if you’re not on top of what’s happening in your industry, you’ll be left behind!
It’s as simple as that!
Most of the time, it comes down to education.
Reading up on the latest Facebook marketing strategies? Great!
Are you attending that new real estate negotiation workshop? Awesome!
Picked up a couple of the best-seller books by Zig Ziglar to read this weekend? Way to go!
Whatever medium you prefer, a real estate agent has a plethora of options to learn more.
Just realize that it’s a never-ending learning process!
Not everyone loves seeing all these new technology gadgets being introduced to the agents, but if that’s what the industry is heading toward, it might be time to step out of your comfort zone and embrace change!
Or are you still trying to fax those contracts through to your client? How’s that working out for you?
Are you still waiting for those newspaper leads to call you? It was in the New York Times, so I’m sure you’ll get loads of calls <ahum>.
Every agent should pay attention to changing technology in general, and in real estate specifically, as it’ll continue to widen the competency gap between agents.
And that’s how you stay ahead of the curve!
I read once that by 2020, the top performing 5% of real estate agents will be those agents who have been in the business for less than five years.
Does this scare you? Or does it make you want to head out there and surf that tech wave?
I hope it’s the latter!
A real estate agent should not be afraid of confrontations
Too many times, real estate agents seem to have a “phone phobia.”
They either never pick up their phones, or can’t be bothered getting back to all the missed calls!
We all know a couple of those colleagues, don’t we!
Are they genuinely too busy to answer every call or are there specific confrontations they’re trying to get away from?
Sticking one’s head in the sand, if you wish!
These same agents will rarely keep their clients updated on what is going on as the video below illustrates. For a good laugh on lack of communication check it out. Too bad it is not an exaggeration for some agents.
Lack of communication and more is discussed in things real estate agents do that drive professional Realtors nuts.
How would that agent deal with opposition during negotiations? Mandate signing? Price counseling?
Opposition abound, that’s for sure!
Honing your verbal skills is one enormous tool in your real estate weapon arsenal!
Don’t forget: unlike some other real estate skills, negotiation skills can be taught!
When not to talk is sometimes more powerful than knowing when to speak!
Ever been in one of those uncomfortable silences during negotiations?
Don’t just assume they just happen – they might have been strategically planned!
An agent needs to learn to embrace confrontation, and perhaps all it takes is to ask the question!
Just ask it and get it done & over with!
If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
A real estate agent should never assume perfect circumstances
Didn’t our real estate mentors tell us about the adage that goes, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.”?
And that’s ever so true for real estate!
“It can’t be that hard to sell a house and cash in that big commission?!”
I’m probably not the only guy here smiling when I read or hear that!
There’s no such thing as two identical real estate deals.
Each home buyer and seller will have their own set of circumstances, which will cause the negotiation to be a difficult one or impossible one!
They will always be a unique situation involved as well.
Once you think you know how it works, it changes on you, doesn’t it?
(that reminds me of the institution of marriage, but that’s a topic for a different article)
Isn’t that part of the fun of being a real estate agent?!
Buyer’s market? Seller’s market?
Who cares! Let’s do a deal!
The real estate agent tries to make the best of the situation with the information at hand.
That deal you put on ice today could be completely different in a week’s time when both parties sit at the table again!
Do not assume any deal will have perfect circumstances!
After all, there’s such a thing as pains of growing and pangs of suffering.
Which would you prefer?
A real estate agent should never forget it is a team effort.
The agent who claims he’s the best thing since sliced bread because ‘he’ is closing one mega deal after another, is a pompous twit (pardon my French).
Anyone who’s been in the real estate industry long enough knows that real estate dealings are a team effort!
That individual may have landed that client’s signature at the desired price, but there’s a lot more that’s involved in getting to a closed sale.
We all have our specialties when it comes to our real estate skills.
Some agents are great at following up with past clients and have no problem landing mandates; others prefer to take buyers out and can immediately suss them out, making it much easier to find them a match!
There’s no better way to describe it than saying that top teams in real estate genuinely are well-oiled machines!
An agent can’t do everything himself and needs to realize that 1+1=3 when you’re working with a team!
A real estate agent should never get jealous or resentful.
Unfortunately, a lot of real estate agents regard one another as competition, so instead of nurturing one another’s networks and getting to deals quicker, the sometimes sour relationships do affect the clients’ opportunity to be exposed to as many potential listings as possible.
As with any large group of people who work together from early-to-late hours, day-in, day-out, there will always be friction and drama.
Why not approach that “Agent of the Month” next time he gets the reward and picks his brain to see how he went about his activities for the month?
Perhaps time to learn different ways of marketing?
There’s no need to be all negative about someone else’s success – especially if you can pick up a thing or two along the way and grab that “Agent of the Month” reward in a few months yourself!
Regardless how many years you’ve been a real estate agent, you’ll make mistakes.
Fortunately, they don’t have to happen ever again, if you’re willing to draw lessons from it.
Let’s hope as a newbie real estate agent; this ‘never-to-do‘ list will save you lots of sweat, tears, money, and frustration!
The sooner you realize that you shouldn’t be doing the things discussed above, the closer you will be to making it to the next level as a real estate agent!
And avoid becoming a statistic in the process!
Other Real Estate Agents Tip & Advice:
- Habits of highly successful Realtors via Xavier De Buck.
- First year Real Estate advice: 17 Realtors® go back in time via Ryan Fitzgerald.
- Help to become a better real estate agent via Lynn Pineda.
- Expectations of your buyer’s agent via Kyle Hiscock.
Use these additional resources to learn how to become a better real estate agent.
If you found this article interesting, please help share it across your social media networks!
About the author: The above article 10 things a Real Estate Agent should never do was provided by Xavier De Buck, your top-producing Johannesburg (South Africa) real estate agent, who’s passionate about the property market, technology and the synergy of both! You can read his blog at LuxuryHomesJohannesburg.com.