As someone who has worked in real estate through ecommission for a few decades now, I'm all too aware that getting into the real estate business is tough. Not everyone can make it in this game, even when the market is good. But the first year is often the most difficult and if you can make it through that, you’re probably on your way to a successful career as a real estate agent.
There are a number of mistakes that often make or break aspiring agents. Some are easier to avoid than others, but all can lead to your potential downfall. So it’s far better to be aware of them sooner than later, when it could be too late.
The key to success in sales is confidence. Once you’ve lost that, you’re done. Trying to convert leads as a newbie can be discouraging. It takes tremendous mental stamina to keep going after the 20th consecutive rejection. But every successful real estate agent goes through periods like this, particularly at the beginning of their careers.
Think of the slew of rejections as a test. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but you have to work for it. You should try to learn from each failed lead –– and try to figure out things that worked and didn’t work. But, what you cannot do is lose faith in your ultimate ability to make a sale.
Putting on an act
Honesty and authenticity is what wins the big bucks. People want to work with somebody who is likable, approachable and above all, trustworthy. Despite what the movies may suggest, “slick” sales people are more likely to turn off customers. The wonderful thing is there is not one type of personality that works in real estate. If you enjoy telling jokes, go for it! If not, then don’t bother trying. Customers will always differ on the personality types they favor so don’t be afraid to be you.
Not asking questions
At your brokerage and elsewhere, you’ll be surrounded by people with more experience in real estate than you. Ask them for advice! Many veteran agents love sharing what they’ve learned with up-and-comers in the industry. In addition, these days there are a number of great online resources where agents trade tips. Take advantage of it!
Putting off training
In addition to the wisdom you gain through your colleagues, you should constantly be updating your training by earning new designations and certifications. Getting a designation as a Seller Representative Specialist, a General Accredited Appraiser or Counselor of Real Estate boosts your stature in the competitive world of real estate. But more importantly, it furthers your understanding of the industry that will guide you to success.
Spending the first check you earn
When you get started, you’re probably going to need some type of financial backing to pay the bills while business is slow. That may be savings from a previous job, personal loans or a commission advance. Regardless of what your financial situation is at the beginning, your first priority when you do start getting commissions is to establish some savings that will help you get through future tough times. You should talk to a financial adviser as soon as possible about setting up a nest egg that can support you throughout your career.
What are other common mistakes that first year agents make? What were the missteps that you made?