Succeeding as a real estate agent is no easy task. It’s a shame that schools promoting real estate classes don’t spell out the challenges that new licensees face. However, if they did, I guess they’d have far fewer students. Be aware of these roadblocks to real estate success so you can overcome them.
The first roadblocks to real estate success come from having unrealistic expectations.
If you have friends who are thinking of getting into real estate sales, share this with them. It might make them look at their potential career more realistically.
Some think that a real estate career equals easy money.
They expect to become licensed and jump right into making a 6-figure income. The truth, according to NAR, is that the median income for REALTORS® in 2020 was $43,330. That’s the Median – which means fully half of all REALTORS® made less than that.
I’d love to know the percentage that DO earn 6-figures, but the published statistics don’t reveal that.
Thinking it’s going to be easy is one of the primary roadblocks to real estate success. Expect to work hard for a living and you’ll start on the right foot.
Some think that pursuing a real estate career means having plenty of free time.
They expect to be able to take off for long lunches, shopping, or a round of golf any time they like. And unfortunately, many do just that.
NAR statistics also show that the average REALTOR® works only 35 hours per week. On top of that, I’ve known plenty of agents who count “work time” as any time they’re in the office. Never mind that they’re playing computer games, gossiping, or discussing TV shows.
Could this possibly be the reason for earning so little?
Many of the top agents I know work upwards of 60 hours every week.
Others think being an independent contractor – being your own boss – means freedom!
What it really means is responsibility – and answering to a “boss” who should be more demanding than any who came before. Self-discipline is a necessary component of success.
People who have an “employee mindset” simply aren’t cut out for being their own boss, because they can’t decide what to do or when to do it. But don’t worry, if you were one of those people, you wouldn’t be reading this message.
Some expect that once they’re licensed, all their friends and family members will do business with them.
Unfortunately, that isn’t true, so try not to let it hurt your feelings. There are those who believe you should never do business with friends or relatives. They just won’t do it. Others don’t want people close to them to know details of their financial lives.
Fortunately, not everyone feels that way, so if you present yourself correctly, some of your friends and family members will choose you to help them buy or sell.
Some roadblocks to real estate success can be ongoing, so overcome them starting now…
First is failing to self-promote.
For some, fear is the greatest obstacle to self promotion..
Sounds silly, doesn’t it? And yet, for many it isn’t easy to “put yourself out there.” Part of that comes from early training, and part from a lack of confidence.
This post about blaming Mom is 9 years old, but is every bit as valid today.
Don’t be too hard on Mom, Dad, or whoever else influenced you. They were just trying to raise a polite, considerate person. And aren’t you glad they didn’t raise one of those obnoxious braggarts that everyone tries to avoid? You have to toot your own horn, but some take it a bit too far.
For others, money is the barrier.
While there is plenty you can do without spending much, you really do have to invest some dollars in your career.
You need a website and promotional materials, and you do need to prospect. If you don’t write well, you’ll need to purchase prospecting letters, such as those I offer at Copy by Marte. And, while you can begin to build a list via contact forms on your website, investing in printing and postage will get you moving faster.
You also need a client-attracting bio and web content that showcases what you have to offer.
If you want a successful career in real estate, you absolutely must let everyone know what you do for a living…
Something I’ve always found odd is that many sales people don’t want other people to know what they do for a living. They’re afraid of what people will think of them for being a salesperson.
So get that good bio and post it on your website, on your brokerage’s website, and on every social media platform you use. Be proud of what you do!
For more on real estate self-promotion, visit www.promotemyrealestatecareer.com.
Lack of confidence in your own skills is another hurdle.
Here’s how to get over it:
First, learn everything you can about doing your job well.
What students learn is real estate classes is only the tip of the iceberg. The real knowledge comes later, from self-study, classes, and experience. Start with these basics:
- Know the real estate forms inside and out. Learn what every paragraph means and what goes into every blank. Be able to explain it to clients.
- Learn how to read an appraisal, and if you haven’t taken a course on appraisal, find a mentor and learn all about how the adjustments are made.
- Know and understand how to do the math – for appraisals, for net sheets, etc.
- Learn how to read a title report – and how to spot things that could put a glitch in your transactions.
- Become thoroughly acquainted with the neighborhood(s) you hope to serve, Know all about the services, the schools, nearby attractions, mass transit, recreational and dining opportunities, medical services, and shopping.
- If you’ve chosen a niche, learn all you can about the people and/or homes in that niche.
- Never be afraid to ask for help. No matter how much you study, something new will crop up. Turn to your broker or a trusted associate for help and advice.
There’s an ancient proverb that reads:
|He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool…shun him.|
|He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is willing…teach him.|
|He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep…awaken him.|
|He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise…follow him.|
Become that person who knows and knows that you know.
Knowing how to do your job well is the first step. Now present yourself well.
- Dress appropriately
- Always be on time
- Be prepared for every meeting
- Wear your smile, even when answering the phone
- Resist agent (or client) bashing. Don’t do it in person, in an email, or on social media. If you need to vent, go home and vent to a loved one who won’t take it any farther.
- Pay attention to your thank-yous, compliments, and testimonials. Realize that people are saying nice things to or about you because you’re doing things they appreciate. Read them often to boost your self-esteem.
- Monitor your speech habits
The last step – learn how to say no.
Realize that you aren’t required to represent every client who wants to use your services.
- If the transaction will take you far out of your area of expertise or your geographic area – say no.
- If the potential (or current) client is uncooperative or abusive in any way – say no.
- When the little voice in your head says “This is not a good idea,” say no.
Saying no without looking back is one of the most confidence-building acts you can perform. When you do it, you’re telling yourself that you really are in control of your own life and your own business.
Even if you need the business, remember that becoming involved in a bad transaction will take time that could be better spent prospecting for new and better clients, keeping in touch with past clients, or even going for a walk with a loved one. Clients who are wrong for you will also drain your energy and steal your smile.
So do learn to say no.