5 Ways To Kill Your Career In 2010

Services for Real Estate Pros with Real Estate Pipeline, Inc.

It's a new year!

Well, its almost a new year...New business plans in the works...new budgets being considered (shoestring, though they may be...). New attitude attributed to a new year.

All good things....

But, none of that will mean diddly if you continue down the same destructive path that a good portion of agents find themselves on currently.

It amazes me on a daily basis how many agents that I deal with actually set themselves up for failure by making simple, yet deadly, mistakes in their business.  Some of these mistakes seem to be so simple to overcome.  Yet, time and time again, they repeat the same thing expecting a different result.  That is the definition of insanity. 

So, in the hopes that I can in some small way help YOU avoid making these mistakes, I wanted to summarize an article I found in BrokerAgentPro that lists 5 of the things agents do that hinder their own efforts...and ways to avoid getting caught in these commission killing traps.

Getting ‘Busy Work' confused with actual ‘Work' - Many agents across the country suffer from not having a consistent game plan for their daily activities.  There are several things that you should do daily.  These include: Lead generation; Contacting prospects that are potential clients; Work and sort out the motivations of existing clients; Negotiate contracts on pending deals; Present findings to your clients.  All 5 of those things MUST be done on a daily basis to maintain a consistent level of effort on all aspects of your business.  If you are not getting any one of these done, you are attempting to build a business on a weak foundation and you will fail. 

Not working a set schedule - Lack of motivation is the biggest cause of not working a set schedule.  "I don't feel like it today."  Guess what...no one *feels* like it.  But, they do it.  Successful agents work a set schedule every day whether they ‘feel like it' or not.  That set schedule might be any time between 8am and 9pm, but its a schedule none the less.  What do you do on days you don't feel like working?  See #1 above.

"It's a numbers game" - Well, sort of.  But, no, not really.  Yes, you need to track your numbers.  Yes, those numbers are important.  But, in no way will those numbers lead you to making any money!  This is a PEOPLE game!  If you are not out helping people with or talking to people about real estate, you are doomed to fail.  Focus on what you have to offer - your talents and abilities to assist people in buying or selling a house. 

Lacking multiple lead streams - That's right.  If you do not have multiple streams of leads, you will fail.  If your only source of leads is making cold calls, asking for referrals from clients, calling expired listings, etc...You are limiting your ability to get new clients.  If you take a day off, you don't make ANY progress.  None.  What if you lose your phone for a day?  What if you lose your voice for a day?  No progress.  So, having several good lead generation sources is a must in order to keep bringing in new potential clients.  Just remember, not every lead will close.  But, every lead needs worked.  That's what you do!

"Its all about the Benjamins, baby!" - This philosophy will ultimately be your demise in real estate.  You should never put earning a commission above your ability to be of service to your client.  If you are not out there to help your clients, you will fail.  If you don't know how to help your clients, LEARN!  The ‘rules' have changed.  Make an effort to adapt to those changes and *help* your clients.  The money will follow.


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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Laurel Stone 11/11/2009 04:19 AM
  2. Marte Cliff 11/11/2009 09:54 AM
  3. Hector G. Diaz 11/12/2009 07:48 AM
  4. David Patterson 02/17/2010 01:40 AM
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Clint - you are SO right. And why is it that our dogs are smarter than us?

You said that for success an agent must do the following 5 things every day:

  • Lead generation;
  • Contacting prospects that are potential clients;
  • Work and sort out the motivations of existing clients;
  • Negotiate contracts on pending deals;
  • Present findings to your clients.

What I found in working with agents for 19 years that once they were busy working on current offers, the first two items on that list got shoved aside for "later." I believe I was even guilty of that myself a few times when I was really busy trying to juggle several closings at once.

But it sure is a mistake. You can work your tail off for a couple of weeks, take a breath, then look around to find that you don't have even one transaction in the works.

When we had to find time to pickup the phone or write an individual letter it really was hard, but now that we have websites, email, and autoresponders, there's no excuse not to take free time to set up systems for lead generation, and for staying in touch with past, present, and FUTURE clients.

I've got 2 letter sets available for agents to use in maintaing contact with FSBO and Expired leads, and I'm working on more - because many of my clients just don't have the time or the desire to write those letters themselves.

But whether you buy pre-written sets or create them yourself, letters loaded into an autoresponder to go out to prospects when you're busy can save you from that dreaded "dead time."

For those who use postal mail, the letters can all be printed ahead of time, inserted into the envelopes, stamped, and marked for the day to drop them in the mail. Even if you're rushing out to meet a client, you can always take 10 seconds to pick up an envelope and drop it in the outgoing pile.

I also think agents should use any spare time they have to pre-write the ads that go into print media - because the ads written at the last minute tend to be SO lame. Staying ready ahead of deadlines is also a whole lot easier on your nervous system!

Nov 11, 2009 09:43 AM #51
Susan Laxson CRS
Palm Properties - La Quinta, CA
Local Knowledge & Global Network

This post is essential reading for all newbies and for some of us who have been in the business many years and have forgotten the basics.   Thanks for the reminder!

Nov 11, 2009 10:11 AM #52
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

This is a solid foundation on which to build a business plan, Clint. The road to success is marked by discipline and accountability.

Nov 11, 2009 10:16 AM #53
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Good article and things to keep in mind as I gear up for next year.  Thanks for the input.

Nov 11, 2009 10:20 AM #54
Don Anthony
Don Anthony Realty ~ www.DonAnthonyRealty.com - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte & Triangle NC Discount Realtor

Discipline is so key to this business.  It's so easy to just wait for the next email to come through or wait for the phone to ring.  If you aren't disciplined to do the things you need to do vs just what is easy to do, you are destined to either fail or be extremely mediocre.

Charlotte Flat Fee MLS Listing Don Anthony Realty

Nov 11, 2009 01:01 PM #55
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Nice points on the traps.  Everyone should be getting there business plan together for next year.

Nov 11, 2009 03:57 PM #56
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Nice post Clint.  And it comes at a good time!  Lots for me to think about in my planning ahead.

Thanks so much!

Nov 11, 2009 04:15 PM #57
Catherine Marrone
Integrity Residential Brokerage LLC - West Newbury, MA
West Newbury MA real estate, Essex County

Thanks for the post.  Good timing as I've been thinking about what I'm going to do 'differently' this year! Thanks for the motivation to get started.

Nov 11, 2009 10:42 PM #58
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

I think Marte summed it up best. Your points are dead on, but it does become difficult to do all of #1 at the same time, especially when you are working on pending deals. But putting a system in place is key to accomplishing all of the above.


Nov 11, 2009 11:48 PM #59
Charlotte Stilwell
Century 21 Hardee Team Realty - Magnolia, TX

It is so easy to get buried in the busy work - thanks for the reminder to set goals and be proactive.

Nov 12, 2009 03:11 AM #60
Sally Lawrence
Advantage Real Estate - Tehachapi, CA
Broker, CHS, e-Pro, SFR, REALTOR®

I always thought that when one repeats, "the same thing expecting a different result" that was the definition of futility!

Great post! I'm going to bookmark and try to remember to check back when i"m getting off track.

Nov 12, 2009 11:54 AM #61
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK
Realtor, Team Lead

The lack of structure and direction that's so prevalent in many agent's day-to-day routines is astounding, and then they complain about how unpredictable the business is. How can your business be predictable or reliable if your day-to-day productivity is unpredictable and unreliable?

Nov 12, 2009 02:05 PM #62
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

That's good advice Clint and a road map to a successful career in real estate.

Nov 12, 2009 02:43 PM #63
Sonja Adams
Keller Williams Realty - Purcellville, VA

Great points of what not to do...I totally agree that you need a schedule and follow it..every day.

Nov 14, 2009 11:43 PM #64
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

I am sorry for not being able to write back to you all sooner and individually....I had carpal tunnel surgery on Wednesday and am just now starting to get back into things. Typing is still a challenge, however. :-)

Thank you all for the wonderful comments and thoughts. You guys rawk!

Nov 15, 2009 11:12 PM #65
Amanda Alligood
Sunflower Creations - Yardley, PA

Great post Clint...and so true.  Isn't the definition of crazy doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?  I'm going to try and not be crazy in 2010 :)  Thanks for posting! -Amanda

Nov 15, 2009 11:20 PM #66
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

This is good advice, Clint.  The question is: how do you make real estate agents work for themselves like they would for someone else?!

Nov 17, 2009 06:02 AM #67
Darby Zerbini

To all posts:

I am so happy that I found this post. My husband and I were laid off August 2009. He is in IT so he found a job ASAP, but I wanted to go in a different direction in my career, which is real estate. When I tell people that I'm venturing in to this new career choice they always say "I think you will be really good at it." So, thank you all for posting such great advice on how to be a great success in the real estate world! I was already motivated, but I'm even more motivated now! Thanks so much :)

Mar 31, 2010 12:13 AM #68
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Darby -- I wish you the best of luck, Darby! If I can do anything to help...just ask. ;-)

Mar 31, 2010 01:00 AM #69
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Once you have an engine in place to process transactions from leads, the focus must be on lead generation to fuel the engine!

Nov 24, 2010 01:50 AM #70
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