According to NAR, 89% of real estate buyers say they would use their agent again and/or refer friends to them. But that doesn’t happen. Also according to NAR, only 12% used an agent they had used in the past. 38% used someone who was referred to them, and 10% used the agent they found when inquiring about a specific property they saw online.
Why the discrepancy?
Two sad reasons why only 12% of real estate clients are loyal to their agent
I’d love to tell you that it’s only because those forgotten agents aren’t using my staying in touch letters (or some other method) to stay in constant touch with their clients.
But that’s only reason #1.
Reason #2: According to NAR, 87% of all new agents leave the business within 5 years. So if those folks purchased their homes 6 or 7 years ago, there’s a chance that the agent who helped them buy the house is no longer in the business.
Too bad there’s no survey to tell us whether those buyers ever heard from their agent again after their closings. My guess is that the 12% who used the same agent DID hear from their agent often enough to a) Know how to get in touch with them and b) have confidence in their abilities.
The bigger question is “Why do so many agents fail?”
Here are my top 5 guesses:
The person wasn’t well-suited for the job.
- They may love houses but dislike interacting with people.
- They may think they “love people and want to help them,” and fall apart when they learn that some people are not lovable.
- They may be easily offended and crushed when a client says “no,” fails to show up for an appointment, or buys a home from someone else.
- They may have family that makes them feel guilty when they work on the week-end or in the evening.
They don’t have business sense and are not suited for being their own boss.
Some people need to have someone telling them what to do each minute of the day. They don’t know how to create a business and marketing plan – and “boss” themselves into following it. Others don’t understand budgeting and the need to set money aside for such un-interesting expenses as income tax, license renewal, etc.
Sales requires self-leadership skills – and some people simply don’t have those skills.
They weren’t prepared for the hard work.
To an outsider, real estate looks like a “fun, easy job that makes tons of money.” You and I know better than that!
Sometimes it’s fun – a lot of fun. Some days are easy. Sometimes you make a good chunk of money. But there are many more days that are anything but easy, and when you make good money, you have to work for it.
There are days when you’re pulled in ten different directions, all with important people or tasks that need your attention. There are days when you’ve worked hard for a closing – then have to work even harder and longer to keep it from falling apart at the last minute. And of course there are those days when nothing you can do will save the transaction.
They chose the wrong brokerage.
No one comes out of real estate school actually knowing how to list and sell a house. Instead they must learn by “trial and error,” by “guess and by gosh,” or by having sound in-house training and mentoring.
Some brokerages offer extensive training and set their new agents up with mentors to help them through the first difficult months. Some don’t. And, sadly, some brokerages are populated by agents who will do all they can to see a new agent fail. They don’t want the competition, so they eliminate it.
This isn’t to say that agents who don’t get in-house training can’t succeed. They can. However, they need to apply themselves to watching and learning from others and to reading extensively. The advice and help they can find on Active Rain is astonishing.
You’ll find links to some of that advice on a website I created for new agents, agents re-entering the business after many years away, and agents who find themselves in a slump. Just click here to get advice, freebies, and links to both articles and products that will help you succeed.
A word of caution:
Just because you have someone advising you doesn’t mean they’re always right – or that their methods are right for you. A few months ago I read an appalling story about a dozen agents from the same brokerage sending cruel, tasteless letters to a recent widow. It appears that a trainer in that brokerage had advised this horrible tactic.
So use your own common sense and your own sense of decency. Then adopt the methods that will actually work for you. If you’d rather walk barefoot on hot coals than knock on a door – don’t knock on doors!
They didn’t understand that they have to market themselves.
This is a huge reason for failure, and some agents don’t even know they need to do it. Lead generation is vital to success, and if you do nothing, you’ll get nothing.
- They didn’t prospect. Whether you use my real estate prospecting letters, use someone else’s letters, or write your own, you simply must keep reaching out to new people. Start small if you must, but start.
- They didn’t bother with a personal website. Every agent needs a website that not only showcases their skills and reveals their niche area of expertise or geographical territory, but also captures leads.Capture boxes tied to drip marketing campaigns can keep those people in your pipeline and encourage them to call you. The drip marketing campaigns are easy – just choose one of my letter sets for buyers or sellers and upload the letters into an autoresponder. Then set them to go out at intervals and be ready to respond when those folks call, email, or text.
- Follow those letters with news about the neighborhood, buyer or seller advice, just listed/just sold notices, or even real estate trivia. The main thing is to stay in touch with something interesting.
- Everything you do should drive prospects to your website to learn more about you and what you have to offer. So fill that site with good information, starting with a bio that shows your expertise and your attitude toward your business and your clients.Then go on to add advice to buyers and sellers and information about your community that is both interesting and useful.
- They didn’t blog. I know – some people say they just can’t do it, but when you do, people get acquainted with you and learn to like and trust you long before you ever meet in person. Don’t just take my word for it – Google “Active Rain success stories” and read how blogging has helped agents build their businesses.
Oh – and one more: Go back to the very first point – they didn’t stay in touch with past clients and people in their sphere of influence.
Building a real estate business is far easier if you never let go of past clients. They’ll not only come back to you again and again; they’ll send their friends and family members.
Graphic courtesy of Stuart Miles |freedigitalphotos.net