Dan and I have grown from being successful solo agents to scaling a team of over 100 real estate specialists.
While growing our team, observing local competitors, and teaching real estate agents all over the country, we’ve noticed some patterns that differentiate agents who thrive from agents who fail out of the real estate industry.
Here are the top seven reasons we see agents failing.
Real Estate Agent Fail #1: They stop learning
Getting a real estate license might feel like a graduation, but that should be the beginning of an agent’s education, not the end.
Again and again we’ve seen that the top-producing agents on our real estate team are lifelong learners. The best agents take time to study, rehearse, roleplay, and practice. Ryan Serhant really put this point into focus at our 2019 HyperFast Sales Summit when he pointed out that doctors, lawyers, and all kinds of other professions spend years in school just learning before they ever get paid.
One of the great advantages of the real estate industry is that you can earn while you learn. Fast starts are possible – Dan sold $22 million in real estate during his first year. But ironically enough, these fast starts happen most often to agents who are focused on constant learning and improvement. In the long run, it makes sense to focus on learning every lesson you can from every transaction.
Unfortunately, most brokerages don’t offer agents much in the way of support, guidance, or even training – so agents are left to find their own education, and sink or swim on their own. That’s one of the reasons why we started HyperFast Agent: Our mission is to bring world-class training from top-producing agents and industry leaders to real estate agents everywhere.
Real Estate Agent Fail #2: Not treating their business like a business
Way too many new real estate agents fail to adequately plan for going into business for themselves. They don’t plan for self-employment expenses, they don’t write business plans, they don’t develop systems and processes, and they try to just muddle through.
Failing to plan puts agents at risk of failure.
If a new agent’s plan is as vague as:
- Get license
- Somehow make money
…then that agent is at risk of failing as soon as the market takes an unexpected turn.
Let’s be absolutely clear about this: Real estate agents need real business plans.
Going into business for yourself means you need to think and act like a businessperson. See The HyperLocal HyperFast Real Estate Agent book for the Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning framework that helped Dan come roaring out of the gate during his first year in real estate. It’s a great method for figuring out exactly who you’re trying to serve, how you’re going to reach them, and how you’ll create marketing messages that speak directly to those prospects and win their business.
Real Estate Agent Fail #3: They’re too busy to do business
One sure way to fail is to procrastinate the real keys to success and get caught up in busywork instead.
There are lots of things to get done as a real estate agent, of course, and agents are often pulled in many directions… but if you focus on what’s really important to your business and keep your calendar updated, you’ll get more done and feel less stressed doing it all.
If you’re doing more than 2 or 3 deals a month and you’ve truly got too many places to be all at once, it’s time to hire an assistant. Hiring an assistant at the right stage of your business frees you up to do higher-value work.
Too many real estate agents get caught up in low-stakes busywork that feels “productive” and busy but doesn’t actually impact their bottom line. Don’t agonize over getting every design detail of a business card perfect, for example, when you could be focused on reaching new people who might be looking to buy or sell a home.
Real Estate Agent Fail #4: They take their cues from the wrong people
Early on in my career, I used to literally walk in circles around my brokerage looking for someone – anyone – who could answer my questions. I really felt alone.
That’s part of why I’ve been so focused on providing my team with great training and support… and why I co-founded HyperFast Agent to offer that training to agents everywhere.
When you’re a new real estate agent at a brokerage, too often the agents most likely to be available are also the least busy – so, by definition, they’re the wrong agents to take advice from.
That makes real estate coaching crucially important for agents at all levels of business.
Believe it or not, there are real estate “coaches” out there – even some high-profile ones – who haven’t sold a home in years, decades… or ever. Do your due diligence and research real estate coaches before you make a choice! Make sure they’re getting real-world results, and make sure those results are recent.
In an industry as fast-changing as this one, you can’t afford to start with outdated methods. Vet your coaches!
Real Estate Agent Fail #5: Focusing only on SOI
Here’s what’s bad for your social life and for your real estate business: Failing to generate enough leads, and relying on only your SOI for deals.
You need a constant stream of leads to succeed in real estate, especially if you want to grow and scale a team. Generating an overflow of leads is crucial to growing and scaling your real estate business. Stop begging your friends and family for business and reach out beyond the people you know!
Real Estate Agent Fail #6: Poor time management skills
A real estate professional’s time management skills can make the difference between failure or breakthrough success.
Make sure that you’re organizing any and all to-do items so that you fulfill promises made to clients. And make sure that you’re blocking time for prospecting, follow up, and other vital tasks to make sure your real estate business’s pipeline stays full.
Real Estate Agent Fail #7: Relying on Trial and Error
You don’t have to go it alone! Even if your broker isn’t setting you up with everything you need to succeed in this industry, you can learn from those who have been where you want to be.
Yes, failure rates in the real estate industry are too high – but the good news is there’s still plenty of room for driven, motivated agents to break through. For those who can truly treat their real estate business like a business and avoid the common reasons for failure above, real estate has the potential to be an exciting, flexible, and very rewarding career. Scaling a real estate team has given Dan and I the freedom to spend time with family, speak all over the country, and live an awesome life while our team continues to grow and bring in contracts every day.
Want community, support, and training from billion-dollar real estate agents? Try our Inner Circle program. We offer world-class training, LIVE weekly Q&A sessions, and access to a private Facebook group full of driven, motivated agents. Click here to try our Inner Circle program for 30 days for just one dollar! No obligation – we’re confident you’ll love it… but if you don’t, cancel at any time.