As a new agent, chances are you have some big ideas about how you are going to market yourself, spend your money, and do business to absolutely crush it in your career! All the right things, if done right.
Now, there is no one right path to achieving your goals, but there are certain pitfalls that you will want to avoid. From unnecessary advertising costs to simple contract blunders, here are 10 costly mistakes new agents make.
1. Wasted marketing dollars
You’ve probably heard the saying “throw money down the toilet” before. Well, in a way, this is a situation where you can find yourself wasting money on marketing that isn’t actually getting you business.
From zip codes that miraculously open in your area, to big budget, low yield ads, unnecessary postcard mailings to random neighborhoods and more, there are easy traps to fall into with your dollars. of marketing.
Instead of spending money on everything, try to focus on a few things that really hit the target area you intend to work in. Things like sending out market stats and neighborhood updates and events, as well as being a source of valuable information for a particular niche, will pay off tenfold.
2. Precipitation of the case
Early in my career as a new agent I made a number of mistakes which cost me part of my commission and additional fees. It was simply because I was moving too fast in the transaction, which made me forget some simple line items.
This includes errors such as incorrectly calculating the total amount of commissions owed by the seller on their product spreadsheet and failing to notify the buyer’s agent of the co-op of the HOA transfer fee. They finally got back on me and I had to take responsibility for them.
One of the best ways to avoid costly mistakes is to slow down and figure out what you’re doing. In retrospect, these mistakes were very easy to avoid, but the rush to do so caused a lot of unnecessary expense.
3. Sumptuous Closing Gifts (Keep It Simple!)
While I love a good closing gift just as much as the next person, when you start out you should be aware of the lavish gift you are giving someone. You want to show your appreciation without overdoing it.
Putting together a simple gift basket with many of the necessities someone might need on a move goes well beyond a $ 350 bottle of wine. In fact, thinking about your giveaway and what it can be practical will not only prove useful for your client, but may be the lasting impression needed to get them to refer more business back to them.
4. Look at the play
It is certainly important to look at the part, depending on who you would like to do business with. Unfortunately, in some ways this business can be superficial. From the way you dress, to the car you drive and even where you live, IIt’s easy to feel like you have to fit a certain mold in order to be successful in this business.
While I certainly think you should be looking your best, I don’t think you should go above and beyond just to look like you’re doing it. Ultimately, you want to do business with people who want to do business with you because of who you are and the skills you bring to a transaction, and not because of your material possessions or your appearance.
5. Surpass yourself
As a real estate agent, you are essentially running your own business – and that includes everything that comes with it. Think: marketing, accounting, lead generation, contract management, and all areas of business in between.
My philosophy is that it is important to know these things and to have the ability to do them yourself, as it allows you to develop expertise and an understanding of what needs to be done in your business on a day-to-day basis.
That said, at some point you should be able to delegate certain tasks to an assistant or office manager. Solo agents tend to do everything and not delegate anything. Truth be told, there’s not much one person can do, and if you expand too much, some areas of your business will end up suffering.
6. Focus on a single case
Have you ever had that one case that takes all of your time? It can get you so bogged down that is all you focus on.
One of the hurdles that many agents who are not on teams face is this very thing. You can be so inundated with little minutiae that the big picture is completely missed.
This is the classic case of work in your business and not to your company. Nurturing your relationships for future business is essentially about longevity, and getting caught up in one thing for too long can be detrimental.
7. Bother about the commission
The Commission negotiations are an area where you have to choose your battles. Fortunately during my career, as the years rolled on, the majority of clients I have worked with had no concerns with the commission requested as they understood the professional value I brought to the table. However, earlier it was not that easy.
Having said that, you have to read the play. What do you ultimately want to get out of this working relationship? How much leverage do you really have as a new agent?
If you are so obsessed with making an “x” commission on a transaction and not being flexible, the chances of that client wanting to do future business with you let alone refer you to others may decrease. . Be a team player, provide great service and show why your value is top priority.
8. Poor management of funds
Financial literacy is essential in life, and being in a traditionally commission-based industry makes it all the more important. At the end of the day, many agents don’t know where their next fence or activity will come from.
When the only thing we can do is manage our time and our activities, it can be quite taxing from a financial standpoint. Having a game plan that you can stick to is crucial.
Whether it’s setting aside a portion of every commission check in a rainy day fund or making that money work for you in another investment opportunity, mismanagement of finances can be a big deal. rookie mistake.
9. Neglecting your knowledge bank
One of the best lessons I have learned from my broker is to go to the knowledge bank first. Before you even start to think about commissions, you need to have an idea of what you are actually doing.
Real estate is one of the most important financial investments most people make, and if you fall short in the profession, your chances of lasting a long time and having a substantial career are slim, if not good. zero.
One of my favorite quotes is, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for the day, but teach a man to fish and he will eat his entire life.” In short, knowledge is power, and that will take you far.
10. Constantly on the move
The holidays are my favorite time of year, not only because everyone is generally in a good mood, but because the market is slowing down a bit and allowing you to slow down with it as well.
We’re constantly on the move, and pressing that reset button is a must for good work-life balance. Spending seven days a week for months can wear you out and ultimately decrease your productivity.
To be at your best and perform at a high level, you need to take care of yourself. Mistakes are inevitable in life and in business, but taking the time to regroup and align your mind, body, and soul will renew your mind and energy and bring you back stronger than ever before.
Ultimately, these are common rabbit holes to take down but easy to avoid. As tempting as it may be to throw money on everything, go through contract details, spoil your favorite clients, or hire that fancy car, as a new agent you need to be careful of mistakes that can have their consequences. costly consequences and instead focus on growing your business and yourself.
Anthony West is a real estate agent, the founder of The Luxury Life KC at Moffitt Realty and an entrepreneur in Kansas City.