Why New Licensees Fail at Real Estate

Real Estate Agent with Platinum Properties TN Broker: 208698

They Come, They Go, But More Go than Stay


The road to success for a new agentOver the years I managed, trained and been a broker/owner who had the responsibility to interview and hire new agents into the business. I always used a list of questions that helped me decide the motivation and potential of the licensees. It's not all about the background, experiences and intelligence but about the willingness to invest both financially and personally into a new career. I made good hires and some not so good hires.

Successful agents present a glamorous picture of the world of real estate. We drive nice cars, live in nice houses, get to travel and seem to have clients always waiting for our services. The outsiders looking in see poised and confident real estate agents that lead a fun career and life. The new agent wants the same for themselves.

They don't see the long and late hours, days of working with no days off, the early morning distress calls and the weeks, months and years of experience and learning that has taken place to get to that level of success. It looks easy and we are at fault for making it seem like no effort is needed.

When the new hire starts, there is lots of new energy and enthusiasm. There is a commitment to learn and time is invested in studying forms, learning scripts, figuring out where to find buyers and sellers and maybe even shadowing a seasoned agent. There is lots to do and then frustration sets in. The self questioning begins like when will I get my first sale and why should a seller pick me over other more experienced agents? The appeal of the job has begun to fade and looks a lot less appealing. Reality has set in that it isn't nearly as easy as it looked and doubts and uncertainty come to mind.

Maybe this wasn't the right choice for a career. It is so much harder than ever imagined and the results aren't happening fast. Money is running tight and so is the energy and commitment that was there in the beginning.

These are the REAL reasons why real estate agents don't make it in the business.

  • Looking through rose-colored glasses
  • Unrealistic time table for results
  • Cash flow not sufficient to relieve day to day bill pressures
  • Not enough direction and management
  • Failing to establish systems to build a business
  • Inexperience, not knowing the right questions to ask
  • No sales skills or no real desire to learn
  • Not understanding how an independent contractor must work
  • Lack of creativity and interest in being resourceful
  • No written goals or plan
  • Not a self starter
  • Unwillingness to venture out or be rejected
  • Easily distracted by other responsibilities
  • Lack of dedication and time commitment
  • No love for the business 

New agents need to look into the future and know that it isn't going to be easy. Most successful agents take years to develop routines and master the skill of closing deals. You have to like people and want to serve. It takes commitment, determination and a clear goal. If you don't that, you will be one of those agents that comes and goes.

Posted by

 Centruy 21 Platinum Properties2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

Clarksville, TN 37040

When you need Real Estate services in Clarksville TN

                  it would be my pleasure to assist you!                             

Debbie Reynolds
"The Real Debbie Reynolds"

Check out all Clarksville TN Real Estate on My Website

931-771-9070 Office | 931-320-6730 Cell

Clarksville TN Homes 


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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 01/11/2017 04:49 AM
  2. Robert Vegas Bob Swetz 10/27/2016 12:17 PM
  3. Carol Williams 11/01/2016 10:00 AM
  4. Gabe Sanders 11/04/2016 04:58 PM
Real Estate Industry
new agents

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Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Great points Debbie, you listed all the reasons, I think the most important one is not having the LOVE for the real estate business. Have a great weekend!

Oct 29, 2016 12:36 AM #107
Macy Babb
Re/Max All Properties Realtor - 404-234-6166 - Cartersville, GA
Realtor, SFR, HUD/REO Certified

Great Post...I agree with all the points, I love getting those calls asking how much it costs to get a license...I always point out right then, that getting the license is the easy part and not where the money stops being spent


Oct 29, 2016 11:01 AM #108
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hi, Debbie!  I included this post in today's Last Week's FavoritesEnjoy your new week!



Oct 30, 2016 11:38 AM #109
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Another well written post Debbie:
Low barrier to entry;
High barrier to success!

Oct 31, 2016 04:56 AM #110
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

All new agents...and those even considering getting into the business--need to hear the pros AND CONS of what it's like to be an agent, especially those first few years.  This does not happen.  Brokers paint that 'rosy' picture and do not mention the hard slog it is to build a business.

Oct 31, 2016 05:04 AM #111
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

M.C. Dwyer that is an excellent way to put it.

Oct 31, 2016 01:53 PM #112
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I always told them how it was going to be but also told them about the potential if they were willing to work super hard and smart, Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR.

Oct 31, 2016 01:54 PM #113
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

What an honor being included in your weekly list, Patricia Kennedy. Thank you so much.

Oct 31, 2016 01:55 PM #114
Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

The attrition rate has always been high, but now there is a new breed of would-be Realtors who've been spurred on by unreal reality TV shows.

Nov 01, 2016 12:29 PM #115
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

They love watching those shows and aspiring to be a big investor in real estate, Fred Griffin.

Nov 01, 2016 01:10 PM #116
Alesha A. Wilson, M.Ed., MRP
525 Realty Group - Edmond, OK
Buy and Sell with Confidence

OK Debbie Reynolds, I've put off reading your post long enough... as a fairly new agent, I just didn't want to think abou it (:  But I was delighted to see that I have jumped some of those hurdles already.  Thank you for a list of things to keep in mind as I continue my "race."

Nov 01, 2016 02:00 PM #117
John Peak
Get Your FREE BPO Company List - Adelaide, WA

I think the main reason anyone fails in any type of sales is that they think the knowledge of the product is more important than the sale itself.  Sales is about contacts.  It's a numbers game no matter what you are selling.  I have seen so many agents that class themselves to death but they are too scared or too lazy to make the contacts necessary to get listings or buyers to sell to.  Contacts Contacts Contacts.  The BPO Expert

Nov 02, 2016 08:57 PM #118
EZ Online Mortgage
EZ Online Mortgage - Valley Village, CA
Get secure mortgage loans with EZ Online Mortgage

I like your post, keep up the good writing.  

Nov 03, 2016 03:58 AM #119
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Lots of discussion on this one!  I'm sure you are getting a boat load of compliments on this well-written post.  And lots of agreement for your spot on analysis of why agents fail.  So true.  I think some of it has to do with which office/company they choose as well.  Not every broker would be as great as you!  Great post!

Nov 03, 2016 03:01 PM #120
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA Lepic-Kroeger REALTORS - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist

We do make it look easy as seasoned agents.  But I don't sugar coat it to new agents.  I let them know that I had to work long and hard to get to where I am....it doesn't happen overnight.  You can have the nicest business cards, but until you can convince buyers and sellers to choose you, you are dead in the water.  Knowing how to market yourself as a new agent takes money, most new agents don't know how to spend the resources they have.  Great tips!

Nov 06, 2016 03:57 AM #121
Gary Kent
Gary Kent Team - Keller Williams Realty - La Jolla, CA
33 Years Experience & 5,000+ Homes Sold

Hi Debbie (this is actually Gary's right-hand man Kevin), we've used a similar list for years as part of our recruiting process.  But, I think I'll print yours out as well to show them that these are universal problems and they don't just go away.

Nov 07, 2016 07:15 AM #122
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

New agents should read this post!

I think the #1 reason is W2 mentality in a 1099 "world"; it's a business not a job.

I do agree with your list; lack of realistic expectations, under funded and no mentor/coach would be my top three reasons. To many see the "over night success" and not enough of the 10 years+ behind that success. 

Dec 19, 2016 04:51 AM #123
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

Where was I in October when you posted this? I'm glad Roy Kelley re-blogged it today. 

Jan 11, 2017 06:38 AM #124
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

Part of the problem is the licensing process. It doesn't address the realities of getting started after the license if obtained. I vividly remember my very first day. I went to the office, sat at my desk, and had absolutely no idea what to do. I've seen quite a few new agents come and go (some quickly when their funds dried up) who were surprised they had to obtain their own leads. Heck, I started out thinking I would do real estate part-time, but quickly learned it's a full-time business, and there's never enough hours in the day! But for those who can stick with it, there are certainly many advantages to working in real estate. 

Jan 27, 2017 07:09 PM #125
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

You said it so well. I am teaching a prelicense class and need to share this post Melissa E. Spittel.

Jan 27, 2017 10:06 PM #126
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Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent
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