If given the chance to create a real estate handbook, every agent would have something vastly different to say; personal rules that have resulted in their success, hard-learned mistakes that must be avoided,  or necessary hardships that must be endured. Some even have superstitions that they swear by – such as the agent who wears the same dirty socks for every listing appointment. (Well, at least we hope the socks are the only thing that’s unwashed.)   Regardless on what tickles your personal fancy,  there are some undeniable truths and advice that apply to all agents – new or old.

Thankfully, Agentology’s agent network, numbering in the tens of thousands, provides us with key industry insights and statistics otherwise not available to the public. After plumbing the minds of our members, we’ve determined 6 tips that were constant across the board.

Mistake #1: Not having a plan in place

In an AgentoloTip from one of our very own: don’t just go with your gut, because “real estate is an analytics, mathematics game.” This means that one of the most important things you can do for your business is to have a plan in place. This typically consists of 3 things (among others):

  • Defining your goals
  • Performing a SWOT Analysis
  • Defining your Marketing plan

Though at first glance this appears to be a monumental undertaking, there are tools to help you with this endeavor. This resource provided by NAR is a great asset to help you get started on putting your business plan together.

Mistake #2: Not having a buffer and/or another source of income

As the old adage goes: “You have to spend money, to make money.” This is no truer than when it comes to real estate.  But when starting off, ensure that you have some type of nest egg or additional source of income in place to ensure you don’t spend yourself into debt.

While real estate is one of the best ways to make money, it can take some time to get that money making machine into gear. In fact, according to MarketLeader “the journey to buying a home [typically] takes 11-27 months!

More specifically, the timeframe in which a lead is looking for your expertise can last up to 4-11 months before they’re ready to actually buy! As a result, it’s important to build yourself a security blanket to tide you over until you start consistently closing deals.

Mistake #3: Not having an Open House route planned

There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in traffic or running into a detour while driving your clients around to tour open houses. First of all, it’s a waste of gas. Secondly (and most importantly) the last thing you want to do is exasperate your next potential payday!

Make sure you show the best house first (bonus tip), and then plan out the remaining open house route to cut down on the time between showings (and thereby building in more time for you to find your client their dream home). You can do so with this tool by Mapquest (yes, Mapquest is still a thing).  

It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate how your the neighborhood expert and the best person to navigate them through any situation – whether that be traffic or choosing the best home.

Mistake #4: A Lack of Communication

Transparency and communication is crucial to building trust with your client. Grant Inaba, of Climb Real Estate, provides a great rule of thumb:

“In the introductory phase I contact clients daily by phone, text, email, until they communicate to me how seriously and quickly they want to buy a house. From there I generally let them dictate how often we communicate.”Home Value Leads

And Grant isn’t wrong, communication is a skill that’s vital to success. In fact, according to research by Hubspot, 3 of the top ways to create a positive sales experience are:

  • Respond in a timely manner,
  • Listen to [your client’s] needs,
  • Provide relevant information.

Essentially, communication is key – especially in a profession where your competition is often guilty of not practicing it. Did you know – only 27% of real estate leads are ever contacted? Can you imagine leaving all of that money on the table, simply due to not communicating with a (potential) client? It’s imperative that you don’t succumb to that level of inaction and get trapped in a money sinkhole.

Until the client explicitly conveys their real estate timeline or “dictate how often [you both] communicate,” it will always fall upon you to remain diligent in opening up those channels. Short of inundating them with messaging, you need to do whatever possible to connect with your client and stay front of mind throughout their process.

Thankfully, there are resources available to help you with this, and even streamline the process for you. You can find out for yourself 

Mistake #5: Burning Yourself Out

Given the daily grind of real estate, burnout is a common phenomenon that journeyman and veterans alike can attest to. It’s important to block out time for yourself and for your loved ones. A perfect example of this is John Greene, who shares tips on avoiding the type of burnout that led him to quit real estate.

Mistake #6: Not Utilizing Your Resources

Lastly and most importantly, use the resources that are at your disposal. The right tools can help you save time for yourself and boost your business. There is also an (objectively) fantastic option that effectively handles your communication funnel with prospective clients, connecting them with you only when they’re ready to sell/buy.

Either way, remember it’s all about working harder AND smarter, especially when starting off. By following these tips you can set yourself up for continued success.

Raymon Lacy

Raymon Lacy

A San Francisco native and UC Berkeley grad, Raymon recently made the move to Sunny San Diego. When he's not being a Marketing Magician, you can find him exploring San Diego or nose-deep in anything that relates to tech, sports, video games, fantasy, music, beaches or craft beers. (And lists. He really likes lists)