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Warren Buffet once said, “It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.” This article shares mistakes I see most agents making in the hope that you can avoid learning them the hard way.
1. Lack of focus on lead generation
The foundation of a successful real estate business is a steady flow of new, qualified leads into your business. Although this should be the number one priority of all agents, most agents spend very little time developing or enhancing their lead generation strategies.
Whether you choose to geographically farm, buy online leads, host open houses, or make outbound calls to your sphere of influence, you must have a minimum of three sources or strategies in place to consistently bring leads into your business. What are the strategies you utilize?
If the answer to that question doesn’t immediately come to mind, recalibrate your focus and immediately begin developing and implementing the strategies needed for your business to thrive. If you’re looking for ways to generate leads, this article shares 40 lead generation strategies you can put into place immediately.
2. They are a ‘secret agent’
The term “secret agent” refers to agents that seemingly hide the fact that they are a real estate agent. Years ago, gaining exposure for an agent’s business had to be accomplished via tons of direct mail, expensive newspaper ads, or by purchasing ads on billboards and park benches. These were expensive and time-consuming ways agents had to market themselves to be remembered or to stay top of mind with potential clients.
Many of those strategies still work, but social media and the use of video content has provided a way to stay top of mind in a much easier and less expensive manner. Documenting your journey via Instagram or Facebook Stories and Reels, posting market update videos, or sharing testimonial posts are all subtle ways to make sure everyone thinks of you when they think of real estate.
It’s time to double down on your social media and video content creation. You know it is needed, so take action now and make it happen. Don’t make the mistake most agents make of being forgettable.
3. They don’t nurture their leads
Oftentimes the problem is not lead generation, but lead nurturing. What are you doing to add value to the people in your sphere of influence, your past clients, and the people in your database? How are you communicating with them in a way that gives them the education and confidence to choose you when they decide to buy or sell?
On the homeowner side, providing market updates, details of homes that sell or come on the market in their neighborhood or similar areas, and providing unsolicited video CMAS are a few great ways to nurture homeowners until they are ready to sell.
On the buyer side, providing details on financing options, neighborhood updates for areas they may consider buying in, and providing specific properties that might fit their next home’s criteria are a few ways to help potential buyers move toward their goal of purchasing their first or next home.
Don’t make the mistake of not nurturing the existing people you have in your pipeline.
4. They don’t make enough calls
Everything you want for your business is on the other side of your fear or dislike of making phone calls. Despite this understanding, most agents simply don’t pick up the phone and make the calls.
If you would like your business to double in the coming year, simply double the number of real estate-related phone conversations you have. Make it a priority to time block every morning or afternoon to make outbound calls. This simple discipline can transform your business and your life in the coming year.
5. They don’t focus on lead conversion
Nothing happens until something happens. Over the last few years, during the hot market, buyer agents were basically order takers. Listing agents could simply put listings in the MLS and field the dozens of offers that quickly followed. In most markets, that has passed or will likely pass this winter season.
In today’s normalizing market, agents need to understand how to prepare buyers and sellers for the steps they will need to take, or be prepared to take, to achieve their goal of buying or selling. This is the time to sharpen your negotiation skills. This is the time to engage your creative mind on how to put and keep deals together. This is the time for you to focus on being the best agent in your area at helping your clients achieve their goals by converting leads into closings.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking business will just happen. Focus on developing better conversion skills and watch your results multiply.
6. They lack accountability
I’ve never seen anyone achieve all that they were able to accomplish without having some form of accountability for their lives or their business in place. This could come from a business partner, a mastermind group, a coach, or all of the above. Most agents fall short in this area, and their business drifts along without purposeful direction.
Having someone in your life and in your business who “knows” you well enough to “no” you when you drift away from the purpose of your business is invaluable. Proper accountability challenges you and doesn’t allow you to settle into your comfort zone. Accountability is love and when you allow trusted accountability partners into your life and business, things always change for the better.
7. They don’t follow up after closing
You’ve done the hard work of working with someone to a point where they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you. Why would you not continue to add value after the closing to deepen the relationship and broaden your opportunity to receive referrals? Most agents never follow up with their clients after the closing. Huge mistake.
The ideal business evolves to a structure where 80+ percent of future business comes from referrals or repeat customers. The only way this happens is if you continue to build on the relationship momentum started during the transaction.
Develop a follow-up plan for after closing that focuses on continuing to be the source for all things real estate for your clients. This is another area where most agents drop the ball. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake.
8. They lack consistency
Real estate can be a roller coaster that moves from no activity or immediate prospects to extremely busy. This is usually created by a lack of consistency. Most agents find themselves without business, so they go into prospecting mode. That generates showings and contracts that need to be managed through the closing process. The problem is most agents stop prospecting when they have hot buyers or contracts and then find themselves after closing those transactions with no additional buyers or sellers in their pipeline.
This leads to a never-ending roller coaster ride of feast and famine. The key is to consistently continue to prospect for buyers and sellers who are ready, willing and able to buy or sell. When you consistently prospect, your business becomes consistent.
9. They don’t treat it like a business
The biggest mistake I see most agents make is not treating this like a business. Many agents get into real estate due to the misperception that the business is easy, with flexible hours and easy paychecks. Those myths are quickly proven wrong.
The agent who prepares a profit and loss statement at the end of the month and who is disciplined in the amount of time spent consistently prospecting will always outperform the hobbyists. Choose to treat your business like a business, and you will be rewarded well.
How many of these mistakes are you currently making? We all have areas of weakness, but the best agents identify their weaknesses and work to eliminate them. Be the professional your clients need and deserve.
Do the work.
Provide more value than you’ve ever provided. By doing these things, you’ll be the agent of choice for the people you’re best equipped to serve.
Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.