7 Common Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make
While mistakes are part of our success, some of these are avoidable. Here are 7 common mistakes real estate agents make early in their career and how to avoid them.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) statistics, 87% of real estate agents fail within five years of starting their careers and 75% give up within the first year. And there’s the 13% who make it—some even earning millions in commissions. What could be their secret? They avoided common mistakes rookies make that lead to burnout and eventually, quitting.
While mistakes are part of success, some of these are avoidable. Here is a list of common mistakes real estate agents make early in their career and how to avoid them:
1. Starting their real estate career slow
Some agents enter the industry without a strong commitment to succeed. Most of them are just interested in closing deals and earning commissions. Some also start as part-time agents. Given how cut-throat the real estate industry is, it’s even harder to succeed if you work part-time.
Mastering all the skills, confidence, credibility, and market presence in real estate takes a long time. The amount of time you work often also equates to the money you earn. This is why many agents who start slow or on a part-time basis quit early on because they’re not making enough money.
Pro Tip: If you want to succeed in real estate, you must go all-in as a professional. Don’t just be interested. Be fully committed. If you’re not sure about going full-time yet, create a business plan with realistic goals and schedule boundaries right out.
2. Not creating a business plan
Unlike other professions, being a real estate agent is like having your own business. Hence, you need to have a business plan to keep your career on track.
Most real estate agents fail at the beginning of their careers because they don’t have a business plan that outlines the steps to reach their goals. Without a business plan, you don’t have a clear direction for your real estate career and business.
Tip: To save time, use a business plan template. Make sure to include the following essential components: mission statement, SWOT analysis, specific goals, strategic marketing plan, timeframe, target audience, and systems and processes. You should also review your business plan regularly (i.e., quarterly, semi-annually, or annually) and make necessary changes based on your career objectives.
3. Providing friends and family discounted services
It’s understandable for agents to provide family and friends discounted rates, especially since they are usually the first clients. However, if you give them discounted rates on your services, you’re not giving your business enough financial foundation to stand on. Not only that, but you also set a precedent for other acquaintances down the road, which could be difficult to break.
Tip: If you’re hesitant to charge your family and friends the full costs, consider providing exceptional service and a meaningful closing gift instead. By giving excellent service and earning your full commission, you set a professional boundary to keep your business growing.
4. Focusing too much time on social media (and following the fads)
Not all marketing efforts in real estate are done online. Selling houses is a people business. This means you need to go the extra mile to establish REALationships with your clients. This includes making cold calls, sending cold emails, meeting them over for coffee, and joining community programs. Sure, social media is an effective platform to find leads. But do you really have to spend five hours on TikTok?
Being a social media star and chasing after likes for months will highly unlikely get you leads if the users aren’t part of your target audience.
Tip: Create a social media marketing strategy and invest your time and money on platforms that are filled with wealthy people who might buy a home someday. LinkedIn, for example, is a great platform where real estate agents can find buyers who have substantial purchasing power.
5. Using misleading descriptions in your property listings
Let’s be honest: we sometimes want to exaggerate our listing descriptions to attract leads. But this could result in misleading information about the property, disappointed prospects, and worst, lawsuits. This, in turn, negatively affects your reputation and credibility as a real estate representative.
Tip: To avoid marketing exaggerations, describe the property accurately. If you want to attract leads, instead of simply enumerating the property features, create a compelling description by telling a story—let the buyers know how these features perfectly fit into their lifestyle.
6. No CTA in all marketing materials (or too many CTAs)
If you want your phone to ring or receive emails from your target audience, all you have to do is ask. Some rookie agents (and marketers in general) fail to include call-to-actions (CTAs) in their marketing materials.
CTAs are important because they act as a signpost that informs clients what to do next. Without a clear CTA, a prospect may not know what to do next to purchase a home or sign up for your newsletter. They are more likely to leave your marketing campaign without accomplishing anything.
Tip: Write a clear CTA that will tell them exactly what to do next. While common CTAs like “Contact us” and “Sign up now” can still get you clicks, make your CTAs more engaging. Here are some examples:
- “Call us for a free quote”
- “Get my house value”
- “Win a free consultation”
- “Schedule a visit”
- “See the exact location”
- “Request a virtual tour”
- “Get your free offer”
- “Book a free appraisal”
- “Find your home”
However, having too many CTAs can create confusion. This usually keeps clients from taking any action at all. While there’s no set rule, having two CTAs is enough. The first CTA is for prospects to take the desired action (ex: “Call us today for a showing”) while the second CTA is for nurturing leads (ex: “Sign up for a free newsletter”).
7. Not responding to leads quickly
Homebuyers inquire about many listings from different agents. In a consumer study, a fast response time is the most important attribute of a good customer experience. That’s why it’s crucial to respond to inquiries immediately. But how soon should you respond? The acceptable response time is within 12 to 24 hours, but your goal should be to respond as fast as you can.
Tip: To reduce your response time, you can implement customer service software and use email autoresponders, templates, and text shortcuts.
Using listing platforms also allow buyers to contact seller agents immediately. Ziba Property, for example, enables your leads to contact your phone or email when they’re interested in your property.
Real estate is a highly demanding profession that requires endurance and diligence. Finding the balance between work and play is difficult, especially for agents who are new in the industry. By learning from others’ mistakes and avoiding these common pitfalls, you minimize the risks in your career and establish your business for success.
About Ziba Property
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Ziba Property is a global real estate property management software that enables real estate agents to list apartments, condos, and properties for sale or rent. Because of its cloud-based real estate agent management system, agents can connect with a fast-growing community of property buyers and sellers anytime, anywhere.