Top 3 Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make

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Starting a new career is always exciting. Becoming a real estate agent is especially exciting because it looks like a lot of fun from the outside. I'm not saying that being a real estate agent isn't fun, but what I will say is that it is a job. And like any job, you have to do the work.

Instead of focusing in on showing houses, managing their own time and making lots of money, new real estate agents need to understand they are now running a business. Their focus should be on not making these three mistakes as they begin their real estate career.


Wasting Time

Time is such a precious commodity, so why do we choose to waste so much of it?

One of the benefits of being a real estate agent is that we get to set our own schedule.  One of the curses of being a real estate agent is that we get to set our own schedule.  Since there isn’t anyone looking over our shoulder telling us what to do or when to do it, it is very easy to waste time on unproductive activities. 

To use your time more wisely, put yourself on a schedule and be consistent in following that schedule.  Try time blocking your activities.  You’ll find that you are much more productive when you know what you will be doing on any given day.

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If you don't think you waste time, start keeping a time journal. Log how you use your time for two weeks. I can guarantee you, you will be shocked at the amount of time you waste. It's scary, but worth knowing.

Stop pretending to work by doing busy work.  Busy work includes almost anything that prevents you from getting in front of someone who might want to buy or sell real estate.  It could be something like taking a course to learning how to run a CMA or going to a motivational seminar. 


These may be important activities for you, but they are non-revenue generating activities and can be done during off peak times.  During peak hours you should be face-to-face or making calls to potential clients or leads.

Underestimating the Work Involved

Becoming a real estate agent is kind of like having a baby.  No one ever tells you what it’s really like.  They make you think that it’s just one glorious day after another.  Not true.  Being a real estate agent or should I say a successful real estate agent takes work.  Yes, it’s a fun job but it does take time to build your business.  It takes time to get that first, second and third client.

Watching reality television would have you thinking that being a real estate agent is a glamorous profession. You show a few houses, write the offer and go to settlement.  What they never show or tell is the struggle of wondering where your next client or commission will come from.


  • Showing a client dozens and dozens of houses only for them to decide to rent 9 months down the road. 
  • You don’t see that they may have to clean up a property before holding the open house. 
  • They don’t show you with a broom and dust pan in your hand because the seller didn’t get the house clean enough for the final walk through. 

But these are all of the hats a real estate agent has to wear. Even your pre-licensing class doesn’t prepare you for the amount of work involved in being a successful agent.   It isn’t until you affiliate with a broker that you realize that building your business takes focus, consistency and a willingness to work for free.

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Not Having a Plan

Being a real estate agent is like running for a marathon.  Talk to any runner and they’ll tell you their training schedule to prepare for the marathon.  You won’t find one serious runner who thinks they can get up one day and run over 26 miles.

If you talk to any number of successful real estate agents you’ll find they all have a plan.  They may not have started out with a plan, but they quickly realized that success doesn’t just magically happen, you need to have a plan. 


Your plan should include a realistic set of goals and a planned set of activities outlined so that you reach those goals.  Having a written plan helps keep you focused on your business when you get busy or when business slows down.

You also need to evaluate your business and your business plan on a regular basis. 


  • What did you do well? 
  • Are there areas that need improvement?
  • What’s working?
  • How much money did you make?
  • Did you stay within your budget? 
  • Have you made a profit?

Your goals for your business should be clearly defined.  You might get lucky and have some amount of success without having a plan, but if you’re looking to build a thriving real estate business and be in the business for a while, you need to have a clear plan.


Being a real estate agent is a business and it should be treated as such.

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Enjoy less stress by having smoother transactions by implementing these simple strategies today!

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  • Have you struggled turning contacts into clients?
  • Are you working hard, but hardly making any money?
  • Are you beginning to think you made a bad career choice?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you are in the right place!

Sign up for my FREE email course, 5 Things Every New Real Estate Agent Needs to Know to start building your real estate business on a solid foundation.  Click here to get started!


The Reality of Real Estate


To learn what it takes to be a successful real estate agent or to get your real estate business back on track, check out Candy's new book,

"The Reality of Real Estate - The Essential Guide to Planning, Managing and Growing Your Real Estate Business." 


Available on Amazon now!

Candy,  “The Real-Life Realtor”, coaches, mentors and trains new and experienced real estate agents to transform their business by mastering her proven systems for success.

In 2016, Inman News named Candy Miles-Crocker as one of the Top 25 Real Estate coaches in the United States.


She is a firm believer in managing expectations.

Her goal is to elevate the perception of real estate agents among the general public through education so every client has an amazing real estate experience.


Candy’s unique training methods have shown agents what it takes to be successful!

Learn more about her training program at or send her an email at


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Let’s Go to Work!

Posted by

Candy Miles-Crocker

Real-Life Real Estate Training

Comments (8)

Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Well said ! Newbies need to be taught how to Master Their Mornings ! They must develop a M-F Routine that makes them Money ! 

Feb 28, 2019 07:32 AM
Candy Miles-Crocker

So true Michael!  It's difficult getting them to understand the importance of having a schedule.

Feb 28, 2019 12:42 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Often the benefits of hard work are the most fun of all.

Feb 28, 2019 09:43 AM
Shanna Day Team Leader (UT & AZ)
Keller Williams SLC (UT) and Keller Williams Realty EV (AZ) - Park City, UT
Keller Williams Realty

I totally agree - but I see even experienced agents do all those things - yikes.   The thought that came to my mind first when I read the headline was, "Don't buy everything vendors try to sell you!" 

Feb 28, 2019 05:48 PM
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Yes, good points.  I can remember being a newbie and I hit the ground running.  Face time was where I concentrated. (I don't do cold calls, never have) I was lucky in that I started in the business as a more... seasoned adult (53) and I knew how to deal with people. That is something that needs to be learned, not taught. 

Feb 28, 2019 06:02 PM
Diane Christner
Bright Realty - Sarasota, FL

I would add PROSPECTING to the list.

Business plans and time management are great tools, but without prospects in the pipeline an agent cannot be successful.  Setting up a daily prospecting schedule is a key element that should not be overlooked.


Mike Ferry has a number of videos on prospecting that offer great tips for agents.

Feb 28, 2019 09:30 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

3 Great Mistakes that agents make.

I think these all come from lack of education up front.

I would urge all agents to invest in themselves by taking classes that will make you a more productive and professional agent.

Mar 01, 2019 07:18 AM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Great post, Candy Miles-Crocker! While I do agree with the points you raised, one that resonated with me is "making busy work". That is a trap after all these years I can easily fall into. Let's face it; in Real Estate you could work literally 24/7 and not run out of things to do. But how much of that was necessary? And how much of it brought you any prospects and/or future revenue? I could go on... Again, thank you for your post!  

Mar 01, 2019 01:40 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Everybody wastes time.  As an agent, it's a tough balance to make sure clients don't waste too much of our time!  Especially buyers--as you said.

Mar 01, 2019 03:00 PM