Top 7 Mistakes Rookie Real Estate Agents Make
Every time I speak to someone about my business and career, it always comes up that “they’ve thought about getting into property” or know anyone who has. With so many people thinking about getting into real estate, and getting into property – why aren’t there more successful Realtors on earth? Well, there’s only so much business to go around, so there can only be so many Real Estate Agents in the world. I feel, however, that the inherent nature of the business, and how different it is from traditional careers, makes it difficult for the average indivdual to successfully make the transition in to the Real Estate Business. As a brokerage, I see many new agents make their way into my office – for an interview, and sometimes to begin with their careers. New Real Estate Agents bring many great qualities to the table – plenty of energy and ambition – however they also make a lot of common mistakes. Here are the 7 top mistakes rookie REALTORS Make.
1) No Business Plan or Business Strategy
So many new agents put all their emphasis on which PROPERTY Brokerage they will join when their shiny new license comes in the mail. Why? Because most new Real Estate Agents have never been in business for themselves – they’ve only worked as employees. They, mistakenly, think that getting into the Real Estate business is “getting a new job.” What they’re missing is that they are about to go into business for themselves. If you have ever opened the doors to ANY business, you know that among the key ingredients is your business plan. Your organization plan can help you define where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what it does take for you yourself to make your real estate industry a success. Here are the essentials of worthwhile business plan:
A) Goals – What do you want? Make sure they are clear, concise, measurable, and achievable.
B) Services You Provide – you do not desire to be the “jack of most trades & master of none” – choose residential or commercial, buyers/sellers/renters, and what area(s) you want to specialize in. New residential real estate agents tend to have probably the most success with buyers/renters and move ahead to listing homes after they’ve completed a few transactions.
C) Market – that are you marketing yourself to?
D) Budget – consider yourself “new agent, inc.” and write down EVERY expense which you have – gas, groceries, cell phone, etc… Then write down the brand new expenses you’re taking on – board dues, increased gas, increased cell usage, marketing (very important), etc…
E) Funding – how are you going to pay for your allowance w/ no income for the initial (at the very least) 60 days? With the goals you’ve set on your own, when do you want to break even?
F) Marketing Plan – how will you get the word out about your services? The MOST effective way to market yourself would be to your personal sphere of influence (people you understand). Make sure letting agent achieve this effectively and systematically.
2) Not Using the GREATEST Closing Team
They say the best businesspeople surround themselves with people who are smarter than themselves. It takes a fairly big team to close a transaction – Buyer’s Agent, Listing Agent, Lender, Insurance Agent, Title Officer, Inspector, Appraiser, and sometimes more! As a Real Estate Agent, you are in the position to refer your client to whoever you choose, and you should be certain that anyone you refer in will undoubtedly be a secured asset to the transaction, not someone who will bring you more headache. And the closing team you refer in, or “put your name to,” is there to make you shine! If they perform well, you get to participate of the credit because you referred them in to the transaction.
The deadliest duo out there is the New AGENT & New LARGE FINANCIAL COMPANY. They gather and decide that, through their combined marketing efforts, they can take over the planet! They’re both focusing on the right section of their business – marketing – but they’re doing each other no favors by choosing to provide each other business. If you refer in a bad insurance agent, it might result in a minor hiccup in the transaction – you create a simple phone call and a new agent can bind the property in less than one hour. However, because it normally takes at least fourteen days to close a loan, if you use an inexperienced lender, the result can be disastrous! You might find yourself ready of “begging for a contract extension,” or worse, being denied a contract extension.
An excellent closing team will typically learn than their role in the transaction. Because of this, you can turn to them with questions, and they’ll step in (quietly) when they visit a potential mistake – since they want to help you, and in return receive more of your business. Using good, experienced players for the closing team can help you infinitely in conducting business worthy of MORE business…and best of all, it’s free!
3) Not Arming Themselves with the required Tools
Getting started as an agent is expensive. In Texas, the license alone can be an investment that will cost between $700 and $900 (not considering the volume of time you’ll invest.) However, you’ll come across even more expenses when you attend arm yourself with the required tools of the trade. And do not fool yourself – they’re necessary – because your competition are definitely using every tool to greatly help THEM.
A) MLS Access is probably the most expensive necessity you are going to run into. Joining your neighborhood (and state & national, automagically) Board of Realtors will allow you to purchase MLS access, and in Austin, Texas, will run around $1000. However, don’t skimp in this area. Getting MLS access is probably the most important things you can do. It’s what differentiates us from your own average salesman – we don’t sell homes, we present any of the homes that we have available. With MLS Access, you will have 99% of the homes for sale in your area available to present to your clients.
B) Mobile Phone w/ a Beefy Plan – Nowadays, everyone has a cell phone. But not everyone includes a plan that will facilitate the amount of use that Real Estate Agents need. Plan on getting at least 2000 minutes per month. You want, and need, to be accessible to your clients 24/7 – not only nights and weekends.