New Real Estate Agents bring a lot of great qualities to the table – lots of energy and ambition – but they also make a lot of common mistakes. Here are the seven common mistakes new Real Estate agents make.
Becoming a real estate agent can be difficult, but can also be a great way to make a living. Getting a real estate license is only part of becoming a real estate agent; before you sell any houses you will have to find a broker to work with.
1) No Business Plan or Business Strategy
A lot of new agents put all their emphasis on which Real Estate Brokerage they will work for when they get started. Most new Real Estate Agents have never been in business for themselves – they’ve only worked as employees. One of the most Common Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make is to think that getting into the Real Estate business is “getting a new job.” In fact, they are going into business for themselves.
Having a well thought business plan is essential to prevent most of the Common Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make. Your business plan helps you define where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what it’s going to take for you to make your real estate business a success. Here are the essentials of any good business plan:
Goals – What do you want? Make them clear, concise, measurable, and achievable.
Services You Provide choose residential or commercial, buyers/sellers/renters, and what area(s) you want to specialize in. Being all over the place and unfocused is one of the more Common Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make As a new residential real estate agents you will generally have more success with buyers/renters and can move on to listing homes after you have closed a few transactions.
Market – who are you marketing yourself to? This means knowing the local market, buyers and sellers. One way to do this is to start communicating with people you know and “reminding” them that you’re in real estate. Here is a great article that speaks to this: http://www.inman.com/next/5-strategies-newbie-real-estate-agents-can-use-to-market-themselves-without-sounding-like-an-inexperienced-rookie/
How much are your personal expenses? Make and follow a plan to make sure that they’re paid while still allowing you to allocate time and budget to your new business. Write down EVERY expense that you have – gas, groceries, cell phone, etc… Then write down the new expenses you’re taking on – board dues, increased gas, increased cell usage, marketing (very important), etc…
Funding – how are you going to pay for your budget w/ no income for the first (at least) 60 days? With the goals you’ve set for yourself, when will you break even?
Marketing Plan – how are you going to get the word out about your services? The best way to market yourself is to your own sphere of influence (people you know). Make sure you follow a plan to do so.
2) Not Using the Best Possible Closing Team
Not Using the Best Possible Closing Team is another of the most Common Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make. Success leaves clues, so choose your team wisely. It takes a big team to close a transaction – Buyer’s Agent, Listing Agent, Lender, Insurance Agent, Title Officer, Inspector, Appraiser, and sometimes more! You will be able to refer your client to whoever you choose, and you should make sure that anyone you refer in will be an asset to the transaction.
A strong closing team will typically know more than their role in the transaction. Yo can go to them with questions, and they will step in (quietly) when they see a potential mistake – because they want to help you, and in return receive more of your business.
3) Not Arming Themselves with the Necessary Tools
Getting started as a Real Estate Agent is expensive. Not choosing the right fit real estate school is another of the Common Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make. In New York, the average course completion time is around 8 weeks, since you are usually bound to whatever schedule the school offers for the individual class sessions. The cost can vary from $275 – $465. And the State requires a textbook to accompany the course, which may cost an additional $35 – $50
MLS Access is probably the most expensive necessity you’re going to run into. Joining the Brooklyn, NY Board Of Realtors will run you $475. Do not overlook the importance of joining your local board of realtors. Getting MLS access is one of the most important things you can do. It’s what separates you from your average salesman – we don’t sell homes, we present any of the homes that we have available. With MLS Access, you will have 99% of the homes for sale in your area available to present to your clients.
Mobile Phone with an unlimited calling plan. You want, and need, to be available to your clients 24/7 – not just nights and weekends.
Computer (Preferably a Laptop) – There’s no way around it, you have to have a computer & be savvy enough to use email. You would be wise to invest in some business management software, as well.
Real Estate Friendly Car – You don’t have to have a Lexus, but your Miata won’t do the trick. Make sure that you have a 4 door car or SUV that is comfortable and presentable.
4) Lack of Proper Funding
Your well crafted business plan should have your budget. You must follow your budget. However, the budget itself does not address the important aspect of funding. Most new agents will want to have three months of reserves in savings before going into full time agency. However, money in the bank isn’t the only way to answer the question of funding. Not having this reserve is another of the Common Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make. When you start your new business, you may not earn any income for the first sixty days.
5) Refusing to Spend Money on Marketing
Most new Real Estate Agents don’t realize that the hardest part of the business is finding the business. This too is one of the most Common Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make Often the LAST thing they want to do is to spend more money on advertising and marketing. However, you have just started a Real Estate Business, you haven’t taken a new job. How much business you GET is directly correlative to how much you SPEND on marketing. When you choose the right brokerage, you will get some good inbound leads. Do not neglect a good, personal marketing campaign from the beginning to get your own name out as the Real Estate Agent to go to.
6) Not Focusing Their Marketing Efforts in the Most Effective Areas
Spending marketing dollars it in the wrong place is another of the Common Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make. New Real Estate Agents should look to their own sphere of influence and referral marketing to see the most effective return on their investment. You can invest as little as $100/month marketing to their family, friends, and colleagues and see an incredible return. When you consistently market yourself to your sphere of influence as the Real Estate Agent to go to – then you will get more business. Pick a system and follow it to see results.
7) Choosing the Wrong Brokerage for the Wrong Reasons
New Real Estate Agents choose their new broker for a variety of reasons – they have a good reputation, they offer the most competitive split, the office is close to their house, etc… While these are understandable reasons to select a broker, they will not contribute much your success. For a monster list of questions to ask when choosing a broker to work for, go to https://www.reedc.com/blog/career/monster-list-22-questions-to-ask-when-choosing-which-real-estate-broker-to-work-for-reedc/
A new career in Real Estate is very exciting. Starting a Real Estate business can offer you opportunities for limitless potential and freedom. New Agents have a notoriously high failure rate, however, so a new Real Estate career can also be a very scary prospect. However, if you avoid these mistakes, then you’ll be way ahead of the competition!