5 Mistakes To Avoid In Your First Year As a Real Estate Agent

5 Mistakes To Avoid In Your First Year As A Real Estate Agent

It’s not easy being green.

Newly minted realtors might feel like they’re ready to take on the market, but there are some things that only experience can teach.

That’s what makes year one as a realtor so important. Those first 12 months are when new realtors will learn the most — and make the most mistakes.

Some of the those mistakes are more common than others. Keep reading to discover the five mistakes that new realtors typically make in their first year (and how to avoid them!).

1. Not knowing your unique value proposition

New realtors are at the bottom of the totem pole. Competition is stiff, and new realtors might not have the benefit of testimonials and word-of-mouth recommendations (yet).

One of the biggest mistakes a new realtor can make is launching their career without knowing their unique value, and how to market that.

A well-developed unique value proposition can help lay the foundation for everything else — a marketing plan, personal branding, business goals, and everything in between. Without it, a new realtor will have a much harder time selling themselves to potential clients.

How to avoid this mistake: New realtors should guide themselves through a value proposition exercise before doing anything else. There are plenty of resources online, but it comes down to asking oneself:

  • Who’s your target market? What kind of people do you want to go after?
  • What’s your competition doing? What can you do differently?
  • What are your unique skills, knowledge areas and talents?
  • What are the pain points of your target market?
  • How can you, specifically, address and solve the pain points of your target market?


2. Skipping an online marketing plan

Online marketing presents a huge opportunity for new realtors, who don’t yet have the experience or capital of other agents who have been in the game longer. The Internet can help level the playing field for newbies. But only if they develop a plan for using it.

Many new realtors skip the planning part, diving right into tweeting, blogging and Instagramming, without a strategy behind all those taps and clicks.

Having an immediate online presence is great, but the strategy part is vital. Without it, new realtors may just be shouting into the void; with it, they can win their first clients.

How to avoid this mistake: Before jumping in, new realtors should think about where they want to have a presence (blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), what they want to achieve (newsletter subscribers, an active Facebook community group, a well-followed Instagram account), and how much time they will dedicate to online marketing.

Pardon the plug, but new realtors should read the myRealPage blog archives, too. This blog is filled with practical advice for winning the online marketing game.

3. Letting self-defeat creep in

It takes time to win the first client, let alone to make a living as a successful realtor. New realtors need to be prepared for what can be a slow and difficult climb.

Because they’re excited, motivated and armed with ideas, new agents often expect (even subconsciously) that business will come quickly. But it rarely does. And the feelings of disappointment that pop up can be detrimental to a new agent’s efforts.

Feeling defeated = no motivation = no sales.

How to avoid this mistake: Reasonable expectations are important. New realtors should set S.M.A.R.T goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.

A bad S.M.A.R.T goal: win 15 clients in the first 12 months.

A good S.M.A.R.T goal: establish a weekly newsletter and build a subscriber list of at least 50 people.

4. Having a weak listing presentation

Listing presentations are crucial for new agents. This is their biggest opportunity to win business. There’s no excuse for a weak presentation, but yet so many new realtors have one. We get it: with no testimonials or sales wins to fall back on, a new realtor might think they don’t have much to offer in a presentation. Wrong!

How to avoid this mistake: Follow our guide for putting together a winning listing presentation, specifically for new agents. It shows new agents how to work around a lack of experience in order to achieve those first few clients.

5. Ineffective time management

Being a real estate agent is not a 9-to-5 job. Nor is it a predictable job, with reliable schedules and routines. It can be tricky for anyone to get used to, which is often the case with new realtors, who might underestimate the hours of their new role or who are coming from a career that had a more consistent schedule.

Treating a career in real estate like a 9-to-5 will be detrimental to a new realtor’s growth. Prospecting, call-backs, events, social media scheduling, open houses, listing presentations, and other job duties will take realtors here, there and everywhere. Time management is key to productivity.

How to avoid this mistake: Plan, plan, plan.

New realtors should schedule each day as best as they can, including meals, breaks, buffers for getting to and from meetings, and windows for responding to emails and phone calls. Creating and sticking to a pre-planned schedule will help maximize productivity and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed out.

Looking back on the early days of your real estate career, what mistakes did you make? What advice would you give to a new realtor?




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