Why Do Most Real Estate Agents Fail?

It can be one of the most frustrating parts of being a brokerage owner.  Out of the blue, one of your new agents announces they’re giving up on real estate.

Most real estate agents don’t quit the real estate world by choice.  They leave because they’re just not making enough money to thrive.  And it happens more than you might realize. There’s a lot of varying statistics out there, but some say almost 90% of new agents fail in their first five years.  At any rate, it’s safe to say: it’s a lot!

As a brokerage owner, it’s frustrating to watch a promising new real estate agent give up.  The good news is that you can do a lot to keep your agents from failing.  Let’s take a look at the four big reasons real estate agents fail.  More importantly, let’s talk about what you can do about it.

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-Lack of proper goal-setting

This seems like such an obvious thing that it’s easy to assume your agents are already doing it.  Unfortunately, that’s often not the case.  Far too many real estate agents aren’t properly setting goals for themselves. Without these goals as a guiding principle, these agents are setting themselves up for disaster.

Note that I said proper goal-setting. Most real estate agents, (especially new ones) will sit down in January and set their goals for the year.  They’ll have an idea of where they want to be; they’ll write down what they need to achieve to get there. Then they take a look at them once a month or so, and forget about them the rest of the time.  That’s hardly a good way to achieve any goal!

Make sure your agents are doing more than “setting and forgetting” their goals.  Have them create a step-by-step action plan to get them there. Help them set realistic and achievable goals. Then make sure they revisit their plan every month!  Otherwise,  your agents will be looking at disappointment by the end of the year.  As they say, “a failure to plan is planning to fail”.

-Lack of proper marketing

I find this one thing trips up real estate agents more than anything else.  For people who know how to market a property’s best attributes,  agents often don’t know how to market themselves.

Again, the key word here is “properly”. I”m sure your agents mail out showcards each month.  They probably follow a regular marketing schedule. They likely have an established presence on social media. That’s all well and good.  However, too many real estate agents make the same mistake they do with goal-setting. They’ll set up their marketing, but fail to ensure it’s actually working.

I find this is particularly true on social media.  Real estate agents often don’t give any added value to their followers. People want to hear more than what home an agent has sold, or which listings they have coming up.  If a real estate agent isn’t giving them more than that, they’ll soon tune out. That’s a huge miss when any one of them could be a potential client!

It’s key that you make sure your agents are accurately measuring their marketing efforts. They need to take proactive measures once they realize their outreach has been ineffective. 

Take the time to sit down with your agents, and revisit their marketing plans.  If they haven’t created a plan that’s robust,  their marketing will fall flat.  No one wants that!

-Lack of lead generation

This might be the issue that discourages real estate agents most of all.  An agent’s business is built on lead generation.  Without it,  agents cannot grow their inventory of properties for sale.  In fact, lack of lead generation might be the biggest killer of a young agent’s career. Worse, many young agents are unaware that’s the problem.

When many new real estate agents come to me, they believe they’re having trouble building business.  It often turns out that their true problem is they’re having trouble generating leads.

The good news is,  once they’ve mastered the art of lead generation,  this problem is solved in a snap.  The bad news is,  many new real estate agents find lead generation is easier said than done.

Part of your role as a brokerage owner is helping your new agents overcome this problem.  Find out how much time they’re spending on lead generation.  More,  find out if that time is being spent well.   With some guidance from you, your agent will likely find out where they’ve been going wrong.

You’ll likely find that lead generation issues are tied to problems with marketing and goal setting.  None of these issues exist in a bubble, after all.  Often, what a real estate agent needs is someone who can help connect the dots.  This brings me to my final reason why most real estate agents fail…

-Lack of a good mentor

There’s only so much a real estate agent learns while in school.  Much of an agent’s practical skills are only developed once they get out there and start selling. An agent’s career will progress much faster if they have an experienced agent guiding them.  Without a mentor, they might not realize they’re having serious problems until it’s too late.

I’ve spoken before about the value of a good mentor.  Mentorship is extremely helpful for a brokerage owner like yourself. So think about how much more valuable it is for a young real estate agent just starting out.  A mentor can identify problems before they start.  They can also teach new agents proactive steps to increase their chances of success.

When you’re onboarding a new agent,  I encourage you to make sure they have a mentor.  Someone within your brokerage is ideal. You may even want to mentor them yourself.

More than anything else, an agent can help resolve the reasons new agents fail.  Better still, they can prevent them from occurring in the first place.

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-Next Steps

Now that we’ve discussed the four big reasons why real estate agents fail, you’ve probably realized there’s a lot that you can do to prevent it.  Part of your role as a brokerage owner is helping new agents avoid the things that cause so many to struggle.  The tips I’ve given you today should help you identify if any of your agents are struggling.

If you’ve lost a lot of new real estate agents, though,  and you want more help preventing this,  then let’s talk.

I’ve helped broker-owners like you keep your agents from failure.  So let’s set up a free consultation today.  Click on timewithbill.com to get started.  We’ll set you on the path to leading your life, your way.

Bill Foss

I love helping brave business people, those who take risks and place their future and financial wellbeing squarely on their own shoulders, to reach for their business potential in a way that supports their life vision!

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