6 common mistakes real estate agents make

Oct 15, 2018 · 10 minutes to read

Start a real estate business

No matter what your background or education is, if you are a people person then the career of a Real Estate agent might be just what you were looking for.

One of the biggest benefits of this career choice is that a good realtor is always in demand. As long as people buy and sell houses you virtually have a guaranteed job.

Of course, it is not that simple.

Many are drawn into the profession by the success stories of local agents making millions of dollars and successful agents exist having the dream job we all want. However, for every successful agent, there are many that struggle.

So what can you do to be a successful Real Estate agent?

The recipe for success is different for everybody, but there are some universal mistakes that can make your road to success that much harder.

Read below for our tips on how to become a successful realtor and how to avoid those new agent mistakes.

Should you be a Real Estate agent?

The profession of a realtor seems deceptively easy. Many people see it as a dream job. After all how difficult can it be to help a person buy a house especially if they are actively looking for one?

As many newly licensed agents find out, the road to success in this business can be difficult and frustrating, with many things that can go wrong., but through perseverance and hard work, all that effort is worth it in the end.

What to expect

As a newly licensed agent, you will almost always work under a Real Estate broker. This helps you learn the ins and outs of the business, allow you to ease into the profession and provides you with legal protection. Working with a well-known brokerage may also help you get those first few clients and get the marketing support you need.

Keep in mind though, that even though you are working for a broker you are still an independent contractor, i.e. run your own business, and thus are responsible for covering most of the expenses. These expenses include items such as business cards, for sale signs, building your own website etc. The brokerage will usually let you work out of their office, use office equipment such as a printer and of course put their well-recognized name on your business card.

The most difficult part of being a new agent is finding your first clients. A realtor is a profession that thrives on word of mouth and referrals. Especially in a competitive Real Estate market, prospective clients are looking for an experienced, trustworthy agent and they have plenty to choose from. Be prepared to work extra hard at cold calling, internet marketing and networking to find clients that are willing to give you a chance. And then work twice as hard to do the best job for them to get their referral.

How to be a realtor

Becoming a Real Estate agent is a straightforward process that will require you to invest time and money in it to succeed. Here are some of the steps you should take:

Take the required pre-licensing course

Each state has it’s own requirement for how many hours you need to log before you are allowed to take the licensing exam. For example, California requires 135 hours, while Florida only requires 60 hours. All states, however, require you to take these pre-licensing courses from a certified provider. During the course you will learn all the basics to operate as a Real Estate agent. This means all the laws surrounding buying and selling of properties, your obligations as an agent, best practices and all the terms you need to know.

Take and pass the licensing exam

Once you have completed the training, you can go ahead and schedule your exam. You can take as many exams as you wish during the two years after the completion of the course. Once the two years pass, you may be required to repeat the training. You will be required to pay a fee for both the exam and the license.

Activate your license

The licensing fee that we mentioned in the above section is used to activate your license, so you can start operating as a Real Estate agent.

Join a brokerage

As a brand-new licensee, you will not be able to work entirely on your own. Joining a brokerage is your next step, and it’s an important one. Chose a brokerage that you “click” with and can work out the most beneficial agreement with. As an independent contractor, you will be paid on commission once the deal closes so most brokerages are happy to have new agents join the team since there is no cost to the company.

Eventually you will be able to apply for a Real Estate Broker license; however it’s a good idea to spend the first couple of years learning from an experienced agent.

Common mistakes beginner Real Estate agents make

While the process of getting the license is pretty straight-forward, making it big from the get-go is anything but. Below are the most common mistakes that new agents make.

Being too impatient

As a new agent, one of your biggest hurdles to overcome is getting your foot in the door and finding some clients.

As you just start out, it’s common to feel defeated if you don’t see results right away. Be prepared that getting traction takes time. As we all know, slow and steady wins the race.

Not choosing the right brokerage

Too often, when choosing a brokerage, a new agent focuses on money. Is it tempting to choose the brokerage that offers the biggest split or has the most prominent name? Of course, it is!

However, remember that as a new agent you have a lot to learn. The purpose of working for a brokerage is to help you learn the ropes and set you up on the path to success. So instead of asking “what commission do you offer?” Ask things like “What learning tools do you provide? Do you offer any training?  How will you support me as a new agent? Do you give your new agents any leads?” After all the biggest split will mean nothing if your brokerage doesn’t help you learn to get and close the deal.

Not having a plan

When you drive to your neighborhood grocery store you know (or find out in advance) exactly what roads you need to take and where you need to turn. You have a plan! Business is no different. A cornerstone of every successful business is a business and marketing plan. It gives you a roadmap, helps you stay on course and helps you move towards your goals instead of getting sidetracked and losing sight of the bigger picture.

Outlining your roadmap is your key to success. Create actionable goals and check in periodically to assess and adjust.

Not investing on the right marketing campaigns

This goes hand in hand with the mistake of not having a plan. This mistake has to do specifically with not having, or not executing on, marketing plans.

No matter how good of a salesperson you are, nobody will know about it unless you invest your time and money into effective marketing campaigns. When creating your business plan, outline the marketing strategies you plan on implementing and the tools and resources you will need and ask things like:

– Who is your ideal client?

– Whom do you want to market your services to? Well to do singles looking for a swanky apartment? Or maybe families looking for a house in the suburbs?

– What makes you stand out amongst hundreds of other agents around?

If you can answer these questions, you’ll be able to create an effective marketing plan.

Tips to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent

Now that you know what mistakes to avoid, it is equally important to focus

Work with other agents

Have you ever heard the saying “teamwork makes the dream work”? The Real Estate business is no exception. Working with other agents that you trust will help everyone win. Combining your strengths, you will be able to get done what you otherwise couldn’t have.

Use online marketing

These days, everything is online. Stay relevant and streamline your marketing efforts by using online marketing. Get involved in social media, network on local forums and Facebook groups, use an online lead generation or host a webinar targeting your market segment. These are just some ideas to jump-start your online presence.

Work with a professional marketer or publicist

If you want to take your marketing a step further, consider working with a professional marketer. They will be able to tell you where you should focus your efforts, what you should do and will work on creating marketing strategies to help you get your name out there.

Host a lot of open houses

One of the best ways to meet potential clients is to host open houses. With some luck, you’ll see many people pass through, most of whom are actively looking for a property. So many potential clients to network with!

Keep your network and relationships

Speaking of networking, this aspect of the business often slips through the cracks. It’s completely understandable – with many time-sensitive tasks that this business requires, taking the time to network and nurture relationships can slide onto the back burner. Don’t do it! Networking is one of the best ways to keep a healthy stream of clients going. Make time, consistently, to reach out to those you would like to network with, grab an occasional lunch, congratulate on accomplishments, etc. Social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook make it easier than ever to keep up with what’s happening with your network.

Get an insurance policy

It takes only one lawsuit to bring your business to a screeching halt. Marketing plan, networking and so on make sure your business takes off the ground. Purchasing insurance makes sure you protect what you worked so hard to build. The most important policy for a Real Estate Agent is a Professional Liability insurance policy. This policy is designed to protect you from the cost of a lawsuit.

Related: 7 Qualities that make a successful and trusted real estate agent


A Real Estate Agent can be a very lucrative profession if you approach it right from the very beginning. Mistakes such as joining the wrong brokerage, lack of vision and a plan and not having clear marketing strategies can hinder your growth.

Thousands of people take a Real Estate licensing exam every year in hopes of making it in this business.

In this article, we have provided proven strategies that work such as hosting open houses, maintaining your relationships, purchasing insurance and more.

While we can’t help you with most of these, we can help you with any questions about insurance. In our litigious society, appropriate insurance coverage is critical to ensure you have the peace of mind that your business is protected from the financial fallout of a lawsuit (and we all know how expensive lawsuits can get).

BizInsure works with leading partners that specialize in insuring Real Estate Agents like you. Click here to read more about the coverages we offer as well as getting an instant quote for Real Estate Liability insurance.

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