5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Getting Started in Real Estate

Thanks to HGTV, there has never been more people interested in starting a career as a real estate agent. The allure of a flexible schedule, huge commission checks, being your own boss, and helping people buy or sell their homes definitely sounds like a dream come true. Unfortunately the reality of a career in real estate consisting of “three showings and commission check” is shattered quickly when you first get started. Sure all of the things I mentioned above can happen, however, they come with long hours, a lot of hard work and the three P’s: patience, persistence, and practice.

In this blog article, I’m going to go over the top six pitfalls anyone thinking about a career as a REALTOR needs to consider.

#1 Expecting Immediate Success

Unlike HGTV, working in real estate isn’t as easy as three showings and a closing. With the average buyer engaging with a real estate professional as far as 3 to 6-months before their actual purchase, that first commission check could be a long way off. You need to plan for the worst-case scenario and make sure you exercise a lot of patience when getting started in real estate.

#2 Not Having Enough Savings

Hands down this has to be one of my biggest frustrations as a real estate broker and mentor. Every day I see individuals getting started in this business with little to no savings and virtually no startup cash. Check out our blog on the start-up costs to get a better idea on what you’re going to need at a bare minimum to get your business going. On top of that, I recommend that all new agents have enough money in savings to cover at least 6-months of bills and I’d be much happier if they had 12-months.

#3 Not Having a Business or Marketing Plan

When getting started in real estate it is important to understand that you are in business for yourself. Sit down with your broker to develop an aggressive, yet achievable, marketing and business plan. Set clear goals for where your business needs to be in 3-months, 6-months, 1-year as well as develop a long-range 10-year plan.

#4 Underestimating the Work

If you want to be successful, you’re going to need to get out there and hustle. In addition to financial resources, you’re going to need to invest a lot of sweat equity into your business. Every day you need to be out on the streets knocking on doors, holding open houses, attending networking events, previewing homes for sale, and touring new construction communities. You’re also going to need to get on the phone calling expired listings, homes that are listed for sale by the owner, as well as your friends and family.

#5 Not Having the Right Tools

When getting started in real estate it is important to have all the right tools. Every agent needs a website, customer relationship management (CRM) system, social media profiles, an email account, cell phone, computer, and a tablet, just to name a few. While no broker will provide you with the technology hardware for your business, many brokers provide you with a website, CRM, and many other digital tools. Don’t spend money on tools that your broker can provide you. Take advantage of those free tools and devote your real estate budget towards marketing and business development.

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