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4 Real Estate Career Mistakes You Can't Afford

June 23 2015

ss 4 career mistakes cant affordWould you say that a lot of time, effort, and money has been put in moving your real estate career forward?

You've (hopefully) learned some things that work and things that don't – probably the hard way. Time to save you some not-so-fun lessons down the line. Time to put on the "I'm thinking 5-10 years down the line" glasses because, if we don't, the hard work you are doing now won't matter then.

What they didn't tell you getting into this career was that there is a lot of working without any payoff. A client will come along that looks promising, you put on your "A" game and go to work, and do a darn good job at it. Three weeks in, the client bails and all you have to show for it is bills--and they are stacking up. I'm sorry to say there is no real way to avoid this. Thankfully your hard work earns you credibility, a good name, and hopefully a referral or two – because hey, what goes around comes around, right?

I am here to tell you there are some career blunders that you actually don't have to make. Let someone else pay the "stupid tax" for you for once.

Four real estate career mistakes to avoid:

1. Thinking Only of the Here and Now

Bills are important, and yes you can manage by selling "enough" homes. There comes a point where you have to ask yourself "Do I want this career to go somewhere?" If you do, then you need a plan for the future. Time to start making decisions that will have positive repercussions in the years to come.

Do you only care about this one client in front of you, or do you want them to refer you to all their friends who are also going to be buying/selling homes soon? Instead of selling maybe five to 10 homes a year, you could be doing a whole lot more. Not everyone will be a broker or have their own real estate team, but what if that person is you? You could be learning all the positions instead of just yours.

Try going above and beyond your position instead of having the mentality of "It's not my job so I'm not doing it." Yes, that is true, you shouldn't be doing people's jobs for them, but you could be picking up valuable skills for the future that you can use later. Thinking about the future--that's the key. Do you want to look at your life 10 years from now and see that you are doing the exact same thing? Maybe you do, and that's great. If you have higher aspirations, though, it's time to do some self-evaluating.

Maybe this looks like pursuing clients that have a little higher income. This is challenging, so you'll need to up your game.

This could also look like you signing up for a class where you will learn to be an expert in analyzing market trends and data, ultimately making YOU a valuable asset to any team.

Make yourself stand out by going the extra mile – whatever that looks like for you. Considering that the amount of people who will call themselves REALTOR® or real estate agent is expected to rise by 11%expected to rise by 11% in the next seven years as the market continues to recover, so you have your work cut out for you.

2. Not Using Automated Services

I am NOT saying lose the personal, human touch here. Clients like to know they are dealing with a real, living, breathing human being. They also want things fast and for the best price.

ForbesForbes reported that, "Since 2013, 650 million new physical objects have come online ... In 2015, Gartner predicts, all of these things will double again."

In other words, nearly ALL US consumers are connecting to the internet on multiple devices.

Business Insider reportsBusiness Insider reports that "In the first quarter of 2014, 198 million U.S. consumers bought something online." This is illustrated by their helpful chart below, categorized by age (and this has likely risen since 2013).

ss online buying by age 300x225

So what does all this mean for you? Let's break it down:

The majority of consumers buy online. People who buy online like things at their fingertips. They can customize their experience how they want and can buy from pretty much any store that they want, when they want. You better believe they will buy from whoever can give it to them the fastest, at the lowest price.

When a client comes to you, they will more often than not have at LEAST one smartphone. They will be able to research everything you are telling them at a moment's notice, as well as look up your reviews online. They will want you to give them what they want when they want it – which is usually right then or as close to immediately as possible. If you cannot give them what they are looking for, they will go to someone who can.

If you have not implemented technologies designed to up the game of real estate agents, you will get left behind. If these are the statistics now, just think what they will be in two, three, or five years from now. Fast, transparent, and easy to use is in HIGH demand.

Ultimately, when you use automated services, it frees you up to focus more on things that matter. Then you can sell that home smarter and faster, which paves the way for you to sell more homes – thereby making you more money.

Check out these articles for compilations of handy real estate tech and pick a few to implement!

3. Not Using Social Media

You could very well already have a social media account, but now would be a good time to take a look at your plan for posting. If you don't have a plan for how much you post or how often, or even the kind of content you share, you won't make much of an impact.

This social media "How To" for real estate marketing explains what a successful real estate marketing plan looks like. With 72% of internet users on social media, you can't afford to miss this.

It goes without saying that you need to have a good marketing plan in general to increase your reach. If you need ideas on how to do this, check out 8 Branding Techniques of Successful Agents.

Everyone is online and everyone knows how to Google. The first response these days when looking for any kind of service is to Google the reviews. If there aren't any reviews, they check out social media or go with a product/service that DOES have a positive online presence.

The idea is to use all of these things together so that you increase your effectiveness exponentially – because they all work off of each other. Internet use is only to grow, not diminish – time to start using it to your advantage.

4. Doing Just Enough

You've just had a LONG day – multiple showings, multiple clients, a million texts and emails, plus all that paperwork you just had to put together. You can't remember if you ate lunch, let alone answered all the correspondence with your clients. It's easy to get into a place of "I'm just trying to survive" in the midst of everything.

This is where you have to work smarter not harder.

What do I mean by this?

Strategy. It's time to implement a kick-butt strategy that will have you maximizing your time and multiplying your efforts without killing you. You will still have to work hard, but you will see more turnout in the end.

3 steps to create a killer real estate career strategy:

1. Invest in some kind of assistant to do all the mundane/brainless tasks for you.

  • Frees up your time for more important things, like finding that amazing home your client dreams about.
  • Helps you keep on top of things and stay organized so you don't miss anything important.

2. Create a system.

Get a routine going. Research shows that if you are consistent in your habits, you are more productive in the end. Of course, you need to make good habits – including sleeping and eating right. A happy agent is an agent that does their job well.

3. Treat everyone like a potential referral.

Your reputation is everything. If you treat everyone you meet with integrity and respect, it WILL pay off in the long run (not including the "human" moments – let's be real, no one is perfect).

Don't burn your bridges. Build relationships when you encounter people; you never know when someone you happen to meet will be a "bridge" later.

With all of these "don'ts," it's about being intentional with your time, money, and actions. If you don't have a plan to move forward, you will not move forward – simple as that. You have valuable insights to offer those investing in real estate. Don't let that be looked over because you haven't taken the time to put your best foot forward.

To view the original article, visit the Showing Suite blogShowing Suite blog.