5 New Agent Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Your Real Estate Career

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New agent, rookie, newbie, upstart… whatever you want to call yourself, you’re in an all-new world… and you’re not quite sure where to turn.

You feel all alone… and desperate to start making things happen.

But mistakes at this stage can slow or stall your progress, and that’s the last thing you need.

So I thought I’d share some mistakes I see agents make when they get too eager, too cocky, too lazy, or just too oblivious to avoid them.

My hope is you’ll take this blog to heart and make sure to avoid these mistakes at all costs!

Ready? Let’s go!


“New Agent” Mistake No. 1: They Choose the Wrong Brokerage

Ooh, I can see you now, excited and on the edge of your seat, waiting for me to deem certain brokerages “right” and others “wrong.”


That’s not what I mean here.

What I mean is that some agents choose their brokerage for the wrong reasons. And it hurts the growth of their career.

Instead of looking for the most lucrative offer or the office where you know someone, make sure you’re finding what you’ll need in a brokerage.

For the vast majority of new agents, I’d argue a strong training program is way more important than a bigger split.

The same goes for mentoring. And finding a supportive culture where you feel comfortable.

Others might seek certain technological advantages.

The key is to look within yourself and figure out what you need to perform at your best. Then go find a brokerage that will provide that. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions when interviewing with different brokerages. The more openly you express what you need and what will make you successful, the better fit you’ll land yourself in.


“New Agent” Mistake No. 2: They Have No Written Plan

There are agents who get into this business thinking that it’s just another sales job, but with higher price tags than selling cars or furniture.

What they fail to realize is that’s not the case at all. As a real estate agent, you’re essentially starting your own business, and therefore you need a written business plan.

Getting into this business without creating a written business plan is like jumping in your car for a cross-country drive without giving any thought to what route you’ll take. You might eventually reach your destination, but your journey is going to take much longer and encounter many more starts and stops along the way.

Create your business plan and share it with other business owners to get feedback and make adjustments before you get too far into your journey.


“New Agent” Mistake No. 3: They Fail to Invest in Their Businesses

Relatively speaking, real estate has a pretty low barrier of entry.

You have to agree, right?

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to be successful in this business.

Far from it.

The vast majority of people who enter this business fail within the first five years.


Primarily because they aren’t willing – or can’t afford – to market themselves properly.

Like we said in Mistake No. 2 above, this isn’t just another sales job. You’re starting a business. You need to invest capital into any business to make it successful.

Whether it’s buying leads from Zillow or hiring an agency to create your personal brand and map out a marketing plan, you need to spend money to make money in this industry.

If you’re getting into real estate because it’s “easy” and “requires no overhead,” STOP! You’re not going to be successful with that mindset or approach.


“New Agent” Mistake No. 4: They Don’t Invest Enough Time Learning the Business

The saying “you can’t run before you can walk” feels fitting here.

Lots of rookies enter this business with visions of Million Dollar Listings (however you want to interpret that) and assume it’s all glitz, glamour, and easy money.

Hopefully you’ve heard me stress the importance of being the “knowledge broker” for your marketplace previously. If not, here’s your first of many times you’ll hear me say that.

Your job is to serve as an expert resource, which means knowing the ins and outs of the business, of contracts, of your current market trends, of local property values, and much more. Not only knowing it, but demonstrating that knowledge in your marketing.

Earning your license is only the very beginning of your real estate education – and frankly, the most useless part of the equation.

I’d recommend you devote time every day to learning more about this business. You can start by watching every video on my YouTube channel or searching right here on my website for keywords like new agent, marketing, or scripts.

Talk to the more experienced agents in your office. Ask if you can tag along or “shadow” them for a day – or a week. Find out how they do things, what systems they have in place, how they talk to clients… all of it. Commit to being a sponge for at least your first year.

Believe me… the more you invest in learning to do things the right way, from the beginning, the quicker your ascent will be.


“New Agent” Mistake No. 5: They Don’t Work on It Every Day

As a new agent, you might not currently have many tasks to do throughout your day.

Once you start getting a few clients, however, you’ll quickly understand how easy it is to let this business overwhelm you.

When you do that, it’s also easy to lose sight of the fact that you’re building a business. And building a business requires steady progress day after day, not just when you have some free time to work on it.

One of the most important delineations you can grasp at this point in your career is there are two aspects of working in real estate: Working in your business versus working on your business.

Working “in” your business is everything involved in servicing your clients… making your appointment setting calls, conducting research for buyers and sellers, going on appointments, helping people buy and sell homes, negotiating, etc.

Working “on” your business is setting yourself up with systems and technology and automation to keep your business moving forward each and every day. Marketing, operations, sales skills… you need to be refining these things and looking at them from a CEO’s perspective. And you also need the discipline to do it regularly, not just whenever you “get around” to it.

If you lack that discipline, now is the time to find someone to hold you accountable – BEFORE you develop bad habits that are nearly impossible to break. Accountability can take many shapes, from your broker or manager, to a deal you make with your family or friends, to hiring a coach, to finding a peer or mentorship group. Whatever form accountability takes for you, make sure you have it.


Bonus Tip: Am I Contradicting Myself Here? I Don’t Think So

It might seem contradictory in a blog about mistakes to avoid, but here’s a bonus tip: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

The mistakes I’ve outlined above are “big picture” mistakes that can set back your career.

But when it comes to the day-to-day running of your business, you can’t live in fear of making a mistake. Actually, a much better approach is to accept that you’re going to make mistakes – lots of them, even – and pledge to yourself that you’ll always learn from them.

Then, don’t repeat them.

If you never make any mistakes, chances are you’re not trying hard enough to do things differently and stand out in your marketplace.


Whether you’re brand new to the business or a longtime veteran, I’d love to know your thoughts on this blog. Veterans: What would you add? Rookies: What’s your biggest takeaway? Let me know in the comments below!


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