Why Do Real Estate Agents Fail?

failing real estate agent

Why Do Real Estate Agents Fail?

People become real estate agents because they want greater amount of control over their careers and their lives. They are drawn to the industry to have flexibility with their schedule, they want the chance to be their own boss, and they want their income to directly reflect their skills and ability—with no artificial caps or limits imposed by having a non-commission salary. In other words, if you’re successful you have almost unlimited earning potential.

The problem is, this dream is often not realized for many who start on the real estate agent journey. Tom Ferry claims that 87% of all agents fail in real estate. Even for those who “make it”, they get stuck in a cycle of good times and bad times in which the freedom, flexibility, and control over their income they dreamed of seem illusive or unobtainable.

But, if Tom Ferry is correct, then only 13% of all agents stick with it and build a successful real estate career. The question is, why do so many real estate agents fail?

There are a lot of answers to this question, and we’re only going to cover some of them in this article.

Not Putting in the Work

Being a real estate agent is more of a lifestyle choice than just a job. If you’re building a real estate career, you have to be fully committed to its success. The primary reason for this is that it takes a considerable amount of time of working at it before you start making consistent sales. You have to build your technical knowledge of the industry itself, develop your sales skills, create a network from scratch, and learn how to deal with a lot of rejection.

Many people get into real estate because they think it’s an easy way to have high income potential, and they have completely unrealistic expectations. Once they realize how much work needs to go into it to see even one sale, and that it’s not always easy or convenient, they tend to leave the industry.

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Not Thinking Strategically

Not thinking strategically could fall under not putting in the work, but I wanted to pull it out as its own reason. To be successful in real estate, you have to understand your market and the buyers and sellers within it. If you’re not constantly updating yourself on what’s selling, what’s not selling, what people are buying, etc., then you’ll be blind to potential opportunities all around you. Analyze your market, understand it, and recognize your place within it. Agents that don’t do that won’t make it.

Not Marketing Effectively

You have to have a solid, tangible marketing plan in order to be successful in real estate. At the very least you should have a website, a presence on social media, and a profile on both Zillow and Trulia. Yes, this means you need to put in even more work. When agents are starting out, they have to effectively become their own marketing agency, social media agency, and their own advertising manager. You have to figure out how to build your sphere online and learn how to effectively find clients on platforms like Zillow, Trulia, and Facebook.

This isn’t always easy, but marketing is the only way to grow and expand your business. To neglect it will almost certainly end your real estate career prematurely.

  • A good attitude

  • A desire to get better and learn

  • A desire to be better than the competition

  • The highest degree of integrity (i.e. they don’t lie or mislead clients or potential clients)

Not Knowing or Conveying What Sets You Apart from Other Agents

There is a lot of competition in the real estate world—we’re talking millions of agents in the US alone. One of the main keys to success is figuring out how to stand out from the pack and then communicate that differentiator to your prospects. The way you do that is with a unique value proposition. You have to show how your business delivers a not-so-unique service in a very unique way. Your value proposition needs to separate you from the crowd and showcase the benefits that you can provide.

Agents who can’t do that effectively are toast.

Not Constantly Honing Your Skills

To have a successful real estate career, you have to constantly be improving your skills and knowledge. I’m talking specifically here about your lead generating and conversion skills. Agents who sit back and think they know it all and that they are as good as they need to be, aren’t going to make it in this business for long. You need to be working with a coach and other agents, practicing with role plays, reviewing your phone calls, studying other agents’ methods—anything you can do to continuously increase your chances of winning new clients.

If you want to learn more about how to improve your real estate skillset, click here.

Not Willing to Make Mistakes

Successful agents know that they will make mistakes. It’s impossible not to. Making mistakes doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. It means that you’re learning what not to do. Embrace every error as a teachable moment, not an embarrassment. If you aren’t willing to put yourself out there, try out new methods and approaches, embrace new opportunities, then you will never grow as an agent, and you most likely will not be successful over the long term.

Make mistakes to see what works and what doesn’t.

Although many agents fail within their first few years, that doesn’t have to be your story. Stay motivated, find a great coach, constantly put in the work, and keep all the things we mentioned above in mind. You’ve got this!

If you want to kickstart your real estate career, Smart Inside Sales can help.

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