New real estate agents, like most new professionals in all fields, want nothing more than to do the very best for their clients and for themselves. While achieving such lofty goals, newbies must pay attention to common mistakes that could cost big time in terms of unnecessary expenses and reputation pitfalls.
Ten Common Mistakes to Avoid
While dipping a toe into the unchartered waters of real estate as a new agent, it’s important to remember two things: money does not buy everything and being a successful agent is about growing your business and yourself.
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Here are ten examples of mistakes new real estate agents would do well to avoid:
- Not knowing what you’re doing.
- Without knowing what you’re doing from both a financial and market point of view, forget about having a successful, substantial career in real estate.
- Focus on learning and becoming expert in financial investing and industry knowledge.
- Learn and develop on-going expertise in contract negotiation, market research, marketing communications, real estate tech, etc.
- Ineffective, excessive marketing efforts and dollars
- Forget costly, ineffective, wasteful, non-specific ads, mailings.
- Focus marketing efforts and dollars on things that provide value to your target sellers and buyers such as current market statistics, comparable pricings, neighborhood updates and information, educational data specific to your market niche, etc.
- Focus on consistently written, regularly scheduled content via targeted social media channels, e-mail, webinars, newsletters that is niche specific.
- Not sweating the small stuff and details
- Forget hurrying through the details to get the deal done.
- Sure, newbies want deals to close so they can generate commissions BUT rushing and overlooking the details can cost portions of your commission and/or extra fees.
- S-L-O-W and S-T-E-A-D-Y mean paying attention to simple line items, calculating/transferring costs and fees correctly and building your proficiency.
- Extravagant closing gifts
- Forget overly expensive wines/meals as gifts.
- Treat your clients with dignity and respect and they will know that you appreciate them and their business.
- Clients appreciate practical, useful closing gifts such as a basket of useful household tools or a guide to favorite neighborhood restaurants/hiking trails, list of subcontractors/home service providers, and/or a list of community clubs/organizations/adult and/or kids’ classes
- Pretending to be what/who you think you ought to be
- Forget dressing or buying a look, a car, or a house you think you have to have in order to fit into a mold of perceived success.
- Be and look professional in all you do while being yourself.
- People will want to business with you because of who you are and how you are as a professional
- Concentrate on generating your own profit by focusing on profit-generating activities such as lead generation, marketing, accounting contract management, market knowledge, etc.
- Focusing exclusively on one deal/one client
- Forget the minutia of one deal or one client.
- Work on your business, not in your business.
- Nurture relationships for future business and longevity.
- Nitpicking over commissions
- Forget making every, single detail go your way.
- Be flexible, “read the room,” know what you want out of this working relationship and commission and let extraneous details go
- Show your value in your behavior, provide excellent service, and be willing to negotiate.
- Being financially illiterate
- Forget mismanaging/misallocating funds.
- Set aside a certain portion of every commission for a rainy day/emergency.
- Have a game plan with and for your money and stick with it.
- Make your money work for you.
- Having no boundaries
- Forget “going” on all cylinders all the time and at all hours for fear of missing out on a deal and/or a client.
- Focus on taking care of yourself so you can function at your highest level.
- No professional is “available” all the time.
Thanks to Anthony West, founder of The Luxury Life KC with Moffitt Realty writing for Inman.