When rock legend Jim Morrison said “Some of the worst mistakes of my life have been haircuts,” he was serious. A trend in the 1970s, the ‘Morrison’ hairstyle promoted his worldwide image and generated tens of millions of dollars for the music and beauty industries.
As a real estate agent, your mistakes might not involve your hairstyle, but they can still be costly to your bank balance and your reputation. However, it’s not all bad news, as mistakes are also learning opportunities. You know the line – it’s what you learn from your mistakes that really matters? Remember that it’s not making mistakes once that will bring you down – it’s repeating the same mistakes over and over, that will get you into trouble.
Whether you’re new to the industry or you’re a seasoned real estate professional – mistakes are going to be made. However, there are ways in which you an learn from others in the industry. Let’s look at seven of the most common real estate agent mistakes (we promise none of them involve haircuts!), and how to avoid them.
7 Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make That Cost Them
1. Being unwilling to educate your clients
If your clients are misinformed about the sales process, are being unrealistic about price, or won’t budge on their expectations, it’s in everybody’s interest that you educate them. This can be particularly hard for new real estate agents. However, for many experienced agents – not providing the right guidance and education is where they will see themselves falling behind in the industry.
Don’t be afraid to step up and explain things; to run through the paperwork again or to sit them down for a respectful reality check. They’ll thank you later when they realise what could have happened if you didn’t care enough to ensure they were properly informed.
It doesn’t matter if you’re one of the new agents or you run your own business – always explain the process and costs to the client, even if they appear to know already.
2. Being a jack of all trades and master of none
One of the most common real estate agent mistakes made is trying to do too much at once. If you’re a new agent, look for an area of real estate where you can specialise and focus on becoming an expert in that area. It can be a particular location or a type of property, such as specific suburbs, inner-city or regional – or commercial property, new developments or historic homes. Working in a particular niche will allow you to become an industry-expert in one field, where you can rely on being the ‘go-to’, as your primary lead generation source will be referrals from those who have sought out your expertise specifically.
Also look for talent in your own agency where you can collaborate. If digital inspections make you uncomfortable, for example, lend your expertise to a colleague in exchange for assistance.
3. Failing to upskill and participate in ongoing training
Many agents have continued professional development (CPD) requirements to fulfil annually, but you shouldn’t stop there. Always look for opportunities to gain new skills, stay up to date with the current market, and improve your current skills – this applies to new and more experienced agents.
The real estate industry is constantly evolving and your success depends on how skilled and informed you are. Clients evaluate an agent’s suitability to represent them in a variety of ways, but among the most important are transferrable skills that you can learn.
4. Not having a customer relationship management (CRM) system
A CRM system is a vital resource for any real estate agency. Maintaining an online client database can take time and expertise, but it ensures you have all the information you need on your laptop or desktop computer at any time of the day or night.
A good CRM system keeps your client information, communication, and your business plan in one place, and this is gold when you’re juggling multiple clients. You can automate processes, notifications and invitations, as well as follow-ups and holiday greetings. You can also share data across multiple channels and organise superstar marketing campaigns.
Managing your customer relationships effectively will keep you ahead of the curve and the rest of the industry.
5. Forgetting to promote yourself
You might work for an agency, but your relationship with your clients is direct and personal. Don’t rely on your agency to polish your image or check your marketing. While you’re part of a team, you’re also a solo performer. Your marketing efforts should always be dynamic to ensure that you can continue building on past clients, and finding new clients.
If you have multiple clients pulling you in all directions, don’t lose your sense of direction. Success doesn’t last when you don’t care properly for your clients or your real estate business.
Learn to promote yourself. Put your smiling, friendly face on brochures, Facebook Messenger, emails and calendars. Promoting your image let’s clients know that you’re proud of your work and accountable for it. Not doing so will be one of the costliest mistakes for your business, brand, and reputation.
6. Not saying ‘no’
Trying to do too much and saying yes to everything is one of the most common mistakes made – particularly if you’re in the first five years of your career. If you’re a ‘yes’ person, imagine what could happen if you said ‘no’ sometimes. Learning to say no isn’t easy if you’re a new real estate agent who’s accustomed to agreeing with people, or you’re conflict-adverse.
There’s no easy way around this. Take care not to come across as arrogant, but also remember you have a right to protect yourself from unreasonable requests that waste your time and cost you money. In some cases, your long term success is contingent on making short term compromises.
7. Failing to network
Relationships are everything in real estate – particularly if you’re a new real estate agent. When you’re selling a person’s home, you’re dealing with their largest asset and something they’re emotionally attached to – something they may not even want to part with. Trusting you is essential.
Start networking before you have to, so you’re building relationships with no ulterior motive. Be open, friendly and authentic, and don’t dismiss anybody as unimportant.
Don’t view networking as a solo interaction. Be generous and introduce people to each other when you see they have something in common. Be an interested listener and ask people questions about themselves and their work.
You network best when you believe its true value is in helping others.
If you’re interested in a successful real estate career, Entry Education is your golden opportunity to join the ranks of real estate leaders across Australia.
Our online training courses allow you to study in your own home at your own pace with your personal online tutor. Contact us today. We’d love to hear from you!