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“Kids”… Doing things the hard way – Mistakes new agents make

“Kids”…Always doing things the hard way – Mistakes new agents make

 
I have now been a Realtor since 2002.  Even though some Realtors might still look at me as new (my association has great retention), I think I may now have gained a bit of a perspective on our industry.
 
My career as a Realtor came at a great time.  I was here when times were booming, homes sold in the blink of an eye and, in many instances, at over asking price.  I was there when the market crashed –a hard time to witness – but was able to learn a lot about perseverance and really selling.  A priceless education that cannot be taught in a classroom.
 
I have watched agents come and go in the past 12 years, observing from distances both close and far.  Always learning and growing, looking at others’ successes and failures, and putting it all together to help me improve and thrive.
 
There are some very common mistakes new agents make.  Here’s what I see:
 
1. Jumping in without having an online presence – So you got your license and you want to make your first sale….now.  You’re eager and ready to go.  This is priority for you.  So you let everything else go 
 
If cold calling – what do think the public will do directly after talking with you?  They are going to “Google” you!  What will they see?  
 
When telling family and friends about your exciting new career – they need to see this is a committed, professional full time job, not just a part time time-filler – having a proper online presence will greatly help with that.  Your “party” pictures on Facebook may be fun, but do they help instill confidence in your commitment and professionalism with prospective clients?
 
2. Prospecting OUTSIDE your sphere of influence 
 
Wow…this is a popular one.  Start where you have influence and then grow from there.  Trying to grow influence where you have “none” is very difficult and will take lots of time.  My guess is you need money now!  Go to the people who already know you and trust you, then when you reach outside to your chosen market – you can share experience with new people.
3. Thinking the big-ticket sales are the best sales.  Then only going after them. 
 
Most successful agents I know either started out as a buyer’s agent or as a first time homebuyer specialist.  Going right into big-ticket sales is like a unicorn, it may exist but I have not seen one yet.  
 
Owners of high-end properties are going to want to know your experience, your success rate.  These homes do not usually sell as fast or are nearly as plentiful as the first time homebuyer price range.  First time buyers are the one client base that always seems to be consistent in our marketplace.  Do well with them – who do think is watching – parents and friends with higher priced homes.  Trust me, the big tickets will then come.
 
4. Not being able to say NO! 
 
New agents say yes to everything – they want EVERY sale and EVERY buyer.  They’re like new puppies…so cute, energetic and eager to please.   I LOVE this can-do attitude and if you balance this with smarts, you will rock your career.  You cannot be all things to all people.  Learn to leverage your connections and strengths.  
 
Driving an hour one way for a very low priced home in an area you don’t know may not make financial sense – build a referral relationship in other areas.  Learn to use your time wisely and efficiently.   Otherwise you will become run-down, frustrated and, if you do it long enough, perhaps broke!  I had a ‘mom” Realtor call me on one of my listings the other day.  Helping her child buy a home an hour away.  She did not have MLS access, she did not know the area, and she did not know our business practices.  She was spending hours just trying to set up the showings, not to mention the time she will put in driving long distance and showing homes.  Mom should have referred business to a trusted Realtor in the area and then just come along for the ride.  
 
5. Asking questions of everybody else and NOT your Broker.
 
If you listen to nothing else – listen to this! That is what your Broker is there for – to help you.  If you get bad advice from a peer and they are wrong – are they going to be in court with you?  Are they responsible for the outcome?  In my experience, many Realtors are willing to “help” but it is amazing to me the different answers you can get.  If you want to get ideas from others, absolutely do it – then discuss with your Broker before implementing them.  Be smart and follow the rules!
 
6. Trying things one time and then quickly giving up because it “didn’t work”. 
 
Marketing and advertising takes time.  As a Realtor, we want immediately gratification – and I’m no different.  I want it, I want it, I want it now! You need to build and stick with a well thought out plan.  Discuss with your team leader/Broker your business plan.  Work out the bugs together then stick with it.  I just got a call for a $600,000.00 listing from an ad I ran 6 months ago.  It will come, be patient.
 
7. While you are waiting for success to run over you, you get a part time job. 
 
a. Here’s my biggest pet peeve.  So you get a PT job – I understand you need the cash while you wait for the real estate income to come rolling in.  But now you barrage everyone on FB about your great new PT sales job.  So people think maybe Real Estate is your hobby? Or maybe, you’re just not good at it because you have to have another job.  Along comes a real buyer who wants to see a home.  Opps…can’t do it because you are busy at your second job. Work this out where Real Estate is, and looks like, your full time job.  Make sure this is always priority.
 
8. Not being safe
 
a. Flashback…see number 4.  Say NO sometimes.  Trust but verify and ALWAYS go with your gut!  A buyer calls you out of the blue and wants to meet at a vacant home.  You run out to meet them without a “wingman” or knowing anything about them.  Great person and a new opportunity…likely.  Creeper who liked your FB photos, I hope not.  Meet at a public place first or have a buddy watch your back.  Safety first always!
 
I love what I do!  It’s my passion. I wake up and cannot wait to go to work.  I literally hover by the phone waiting for 9am to come so I can make my first call of the day. The most fulfilling part of my job is training others to do what I do.  
 
Real Estate is hard work, it is a series of heartbreaking NO’s until you get that feels so good YES!  It takes years to build a business and seconds to loose everything with one bad mistake or judgment call.  It comes with laughter and tears.  It comes with great pride and a feeling of accomplishment.  It’s a career where you can say, “I built this, this is MY business” – I can pass this down to my kids or maybe even sell it.  But don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy and you can do it successfully as a hobby.
 
Want more information on building a Real Estate career –  let me tell you what they have done for me lately

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