Realtor Tips

Top 10 ways new agents screw up their real estate business

Commission as found in the dictionary

It seems like just yesterday that I was a new agent in the real estate biz with no clue what to do on a daily basis to keep myself busy. Now 9 years into the business, I wanted to share the top 10 mistakes I see new agents making as they start their careers. 

1.  They tell others how slow their business has been

I want to punch new agents in the face when I hear them sulking in front of potential clients.  In order to achieve success you have to project success.  No one wants to work with an unsuccessful agent so don’t give your friends or family a reason to think you suck at selling homes.  Communicate the positives and instill confidence that you are an awesome agent. 

2.  They are reactive instead of proactive towards generating business

Rarely do companies teach their agents how to generate new business.  As a result, agents are waiting around for business to come to them.  As a new agent, you need to go after the low-hanging-fruit on a consistent basis.  New agents should be hosting open houses every weekend and exploring ways to expand their sphere on a daily basis. 

3.  They fail to dress for success each day

You need to take this career seriously and always be ready for an opportunity to arise.  Most new agents don’t bother showering until after they finish watching the Price Is Right.  If you get a head start on your day and plan for business, business will come your way.

4.  They take on their company’s branding and tools

HUUUUUUUGE mistake.  Obviously you’ve got to keep the company logo but register your own email address, develop your own website and ensure your leads are your own property.  Just like in professional sports, rarely will you stay on the same team for your entire career.  Make sure you own and control your future, not your broker.  

5.  They don’t start a database

Growing your real estate business is like rolling a snowball down a hill.  Over time, the snowball builds as more people refer business your way.  If you don’t keep your name in front of them, they will forget about you and stop referring business.  Failing to maintain a database is like replacing that snowball with a rock.  The rock will never get bigger as it rolls, and neither will your business. 

6.  They go it alone

Teams are big right now and every team could use a hardworking, new agent.  Don’t worry about your split but instead focus on what you will learn and the leads you will generate.  Your company broker won’t be able to provide the mentoring you need and can only get from working on a team.  Once you figure this business out, feel free to go it alone at that point. 

7.  They don’t further their real estate education

You’ve got to be an industry expert and a housing expert to become an expert real estate agent.  Whether it’s understanding loans, how homes are built or selling techniques, you’ll never have more time in your life to put towards developing your real estate IQ than as a new agent. Stop wasting your days watching Netflix and read some books.     

8.  They don’t sacrifice their personal life

Hate to say it but there is no “work life balance” as a new agent.  Work has to be the top priority until you’ve built your foundation.  If you expect to only work 9-5 during the business week, think again.  Turnover is extremely high during the first two years for agents and only those who are committed to becoming successful will survive.  

9.  They do zero marketing

You have to make the world aware that you are a real estate agent, they won’t simply find out on their own.  You don’t need money, a database or a marketing background to become an effective marketer.  You have the internet.  With the internet you can learn and do all things.  If I can learn how to  build 29 costumes from a cardboard box, you can learn how to market your business.

10.  They put the commission check above their client’s best interests

I understand that new agents have bills to pay and debt piling up so it’s easy to focus more on getting to “pay-day” than providing an awesome experience.  Focus on the long term effects of how you run your business and you will understand that a satisfied client who refers business your way is much more valuable than a single commission check.   

Bonus: They build a team before they are ready

You can’t expect people to blindly follow you when you have no clue as to what you are doing.  Teams aren’t all they’re cracked up to be so if you want to go the team route, grow over time while focusing on attracting the best talent. Don’t be too quick to hire a real estate assistant you can’t afford.  Use Nekst instead to develop the systems that will enable you to scale to a mega-team. 

Check out Nekst, the premier app for real estate process management. Streamline your real estate processes by creating a custom real estate check list to ensure you never miss another date or deadline again!


I’m sure there are plenty more ways that agents are screwing up their business.  Feel free to share your experiences to help keep new agents on track for success! 

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