Common Mistakes New Realtors Should Avoid
Many new real estate agents do not recognize one simple philosophy; they are in business for themselves. The employer/employee relationship no longer applies once you receive that new real estate license. No brokerage house, at least in today’s housing market, will supply you with a network or your own personal leads. A license alone does not guarantee success in the real estate industry. Your mindset, and how you approach the business, determines your success or failure. Therefore, you must explore common rookie mistakes and what you need to avoid.
What Successful Realtors Should Avoid:
No Marketing or Business Plan
First of all, you are in business for yourself. Therefore, you must have a defined marketing or business plan that clearly outlines your goals. The plan must include a timetable for achieving your goals. Successful realtors have clearly defined marketing or business plans and they update those plans annually.
The Seller Isn’t Always Right
Common Error: “The seller overpriced the property based on the comparables in this neighborhood, but I will list it at that price anyway. The customer is always right.”
Successful agents know when to say no. If a seller is unwilling to recognize the current state of the real estate market, it is not worth your time to try and negotiate a proper listing price. Successful agents know how and when to avoid bad decisions. Listing a home at a too high price just to prove the seller isn’t correct and then later dropping the price can greatly affect the overall sell price of the house. Other real estate agents spot the price drop and sense weakness. Often these kind of listings lose more value then they would have had they been initially listed correctly.
What to do: Get your client talking. Find out exactly why they really want to sell the house at such a high valuation. Is it more than simply believing it is worth that much? Maybe they need a certain dollar amount to get into a certain property. Perhaps they were told a different valuation years ago, in a different market, and need to be very thoroughly shown the new numbers. Just remember, selling a home at far less than the value the client had in their head is already a tough pill to swallow. Find the good in the sale and kindly point out all the positive notes to selling.
Weathering the Storm
Just like the stock market, the housing market fluctuates. A sharp downturn in the housing market can hit like a massive thunderstorm (take 2008 for example). Therefore, you must have a nest-egg, or a buffer, that helps you get through those sharp downturns. This is not to say go out and get a part-time job, but you must incorporate a plan that helps “weather the storm.” Remember, you do not get a commission check when the parties accept the contract. In any business, you don’t always get paid on time.
Not Owning the Right Tools for the Trade
Every business costs money, and the real estate game is no exception, especially in the information era. You must have a laptop and a smartphone, and there is no exception to this rule. You have to constantly network with your clients and other brokers, and in today’s market texting and email are the preferred method of communication. Plus, you can access the MLS from anywhere when you own a laptop or smartphone. Successful agents understand the importance of 24/7 availability to their clients.
Another great modern tool is social media. From staying in touch with potential, current, and past clients, to placing ads online. The tools available with today’s social media are no joke and can be managed by even some of the most un-tech savvy agents out there. Still there’s something to be said about the traditional marketing approach. An agent without the proper signage, business cards, or other print marketing materials can appear woefully unprepared. The best agents know the power of preparedness and how it can greatly affect a clients decisions. Make sure before you go out into the field you are fully prepared to meet and impress new prospective client’s along the way.
No Concept of the Current Market or Their Own Market
Although this philosophy appears simple on its surface, too many new realtors do not develop an understanding of the current real estate market or their own market in general. If you do not know how the current state of your own market is shaping out, then you should not expect to sell many properties in your area. If you developed a marketing or business plan, bought the right tools for the trade, learned when to say no, then why not take the time to get to know your own market.
No Concept of the Simple Idea That Knowledge Is Power
The real estate market is in a constant state of change, and if you do not adapt to that change by arming yourself with knowledge, then do not expect to earn a substantial income. There is a fairly common saying in the real estate game, “the more you learn, the more you earn.”
The real estate industry offers unlimited earning potential, flexible hours and the reward of helping people sell their properties or buy their first homes. However, it is a tough industry requiring constant attention to detail. If you avoid some of the common mistakes new realtors make, chances are good that you will enjoy a long and fruitful career in the real estate industry.