Real Estate by Debbie Reynolds: Why New Licensees Fail at Real Estate

Why New Licensees Fail at Real Estate

They Come, They Go, But More Go than Stay

 

The road to success for a new agentOver the years I managed, trained and been a broker/owner who had the responsibility to interview and hire new agents into the business. I always used a list of questions that helped me decide the motivation and potential of the licensees. It's not all about the background, experiences and intelligence but about the willingness to invest both financially and personally into a new career. I made good hires and some not so good hires.

Successful agents present a glamorous picture of the world of real estate. We drive nice cars, live in nice houses, get to travel and seem to have clients always waiting for our services. The outsiders looking in see poised and confident real estate agents that lead a fun career and life. The new agent wants the same for themselves.

They don't see the long and late hours, days of working with no days off, the early morning distress calls and the weeks, months and years of experience and learning that has taken place to get to that level of success. It looks easy and we are at fault for making it seem like no effort is needed.

When the new hire starts, there is lots of new energy and enthusiasm. There is a commitment to learn and time is invested in studying forms, learning scripts, figuring out where to find buyers and sellers and maybe even shadowing a seasoned agent. There is lots to do and then frustration sets in. The self questioning begins like when will I get my first sale and why should a seller pick me over other more experienced agents? The appeal of the job has begun to fade and looks a lot less appealing. Reality has set in that it isn't nearly as easy as it looked and doubts and uncertainty come to mind.

Maybe this wasn't the right choice for a career. It is so much harder than ever imagined and the results aren't happening fast. Money is running tight and so is the energy and commitment that was there in the beginning.

These are the REAL reasons why real estate agents don't make it in the business.

  • Looking through rose-colored glasses
  • Unrealistic time table for results
  • Cash flow not sufficient to relieve day to day bill pressures
  • Not enough direction and management
  • Failing to establish systems to build a business
  • Inexperience, not knowing the right questions to ask
  • No sales skills or no real desire to learn
  • Not understanding how an independent contractor must work
  • Lack of creativity and interest in being resourceful
  • No written goals or plan
  • Not a self starter
  • Unwillingness to venture out or be rejected
  • Easily distracted by other responsibilities
  • Lack of dedication and time commitment
  • No love for the business 

New agents need to look into the future and know that it isn't going to be easy. Most successful agents take years to develop routines and master the skill of closing deals. You have to like people and want to serve. It takes commitment, determination and a clear goal. If you don't that, you will be one of those agents that comes and goes.

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Comment balloon 122 commentsDebbie Reynolds • October 26 2016 07:52PM

Comments

Debbie all good points, for some reason I think what is forgotten is that it is very easy to get in this business and it is very easy to get out... that is part of the problem, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) almost 2 years ago

You're so right about what creates success in what we do!  I remember talking with a gal who was eager to get her license.  She thought it all came to just holding Open Houses on the weekends.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 2 years ago

Ah yes...the part time agent who will make the big time with very little effort and lots of prosperity...never as easy as it looks !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 2 years ago

Good Morning Debbie - people should really know and understand and they should know their why.  Then they need to have reserve and expect hard work and do all of the thing you mentioned.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 2 years ago

I am going to share this with my management and the agent leadership council - we should use this as a starting point for discussion 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) almost 2 years ago

New agents need great mentors to teach them the business in my opinion.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) almost 2 years ago

These reasons are why a newbie is better served by joining a well run Team who will supply leads and 1 on 1 mentoring !

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) almost 2 years ago

Good morning Debbie. Without determination, dedication and mentoring many will suffer failure! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) almost 2 years ago

Debbie Reynolds all very valid points as many who enter the world of real estate are indeed looking through rose coloured glasses...they don't understand the hard work involved, the commitment and discipline one must have to be successful.   

Posted by Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent, REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results! (BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE SIGNATURE SERVICE) almost 2 years ago

It's so true...more go than stay. It's definitely not for everyone!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) almost 2 years ago

In the real estate business, as with most professions- you get out what you put in and there's no magic pill to make it happen! 

Posted by Faith LaRosse, Serving Berks, Chester & Montgomery Counties (Springer Realty Group) almost 2 years ago

When I went into retail as an owner I never realized that 95% of small business owners fail in the first year in 1973. Not much has changed in the entrepreneurial world in 2016.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) almost 2 years ago

This is very good reading for those who are considering a career in real estate.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) almost 2 years ago

This post could really help someone starting out Debbie. Becoming a success in Real Estate is one of the hardest things I have ever done in life.

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie Reynolds I think that one of the big problems is selection. You are right to have a list of questions, but I see the problem being "who can afford to be a real estate agent."

I think we need to "hire" like the Fortune 500 companies do, on merit and potential. We need to pay the new people just like the big companies do.

And then hold them to a tough standard of behavior and activity.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) almost 2 years ago

Debbie, I hope you post gets featured. Anyone considering getting into real estate needs to read it. Being successful in real estate is extremely difficult. It takes working incredibly long hours day after day in order to both obtain success and maintain success. You nailed this post!

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group) almost 2 years ago

Yes, Debbie... all of the above. It takes more than "I love people and I love looking at pretty houses," which is the rationale I hear most often when I ask someone why they are considering real estate as a career. The cash flow issue is a very big one and reluctance to spend money to establish one's business is a major issue for many new agents.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) almost 2 years ago

Debbie really good post!  I too hired and fired agents and most do not have what it takes - long term - to make it in this business and be successful.  It looks real good with those rose colored glasses on but until they take off the glasses, roll up their sleeves - and get to the real work of learning the business and committing years it's simply not going to work out all the well. The statistics tell the story in my area.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 2 years ago

I think you are 100% correct.  They do not think of getting into real estate as opening their own business.  It's such a different concept.

I think we all have met 3 people in the last month who say they are thinking of getting their license because they love looking at pretty houses, or how fun our job looks.... or my all time favorite, their husbands job is crazy and they need a very flexible job so they can raise their small children.  I want to shake them and scream!  Lol  - I have offered to many to sit down for coffee if they are serious and open up my books so they see the true story of how much money we put in before we make money and what our job really is.  They may not be getting the full truth from HGTV

Posted by Amy Gutschow, Professional Real Estate (RE/MAX) almost 2 years ago

Debbie, Spot on.  I had the benefit of riding shotgun with Liz for a bit before I ever attended real estate school.  I knew what to expect.  My take away from classes were MOST of the folks sitting in there truly had no idea of what they were actually getting into, it was all dreams from The Nutcracker, sweets galore in those upcoming BIG EASY paychecks.  I wonder how many, (if any) are still left from those 2004 classes.  Bill

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) almost 2 years ago

Debbie. Real Estate  easy. just ask anyone who has never had a license before

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) almost 2 years ago

They should have higher requirements to get realtor license and impose credit score requriments.  In CA 900 hours is a cinch.  95% do not make enough to justify their license.

Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie

These are all great points, and you see these issues all the time. And even with some agents who manage to hang in there you see that some of these issues are having an impact. It's not an easy business to be in and yet the perception i that is is. Rose-colored glasses indeed!

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 2 years ago

Some People really do believe they can get their license and just make money... it will just flow to them... real estate is hard work and you have to work a lot of hours and be dedicated to the work every single day to make a real career. It aint easy... I do think a new agent needs a mentor... someone to teach the ways of the world...

Posted by Debra Leisek ( Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska) almost 2 years ago

Good post Debbie. I have been there and still am at the newbie stage. It is a lot of long hours and dedication, following a plan and daily routine. But when you get to help a client is very rewarding. 

Posted by Iva Sarnova (Keller Williams Realty) almost 2 years ago

Debbie excellent list of reasons.  I would also add lack of a referral base and unwillingness to contact those who they know to let them know they are in the business.  To many sales people think they are being pushy, but in order to be successful in this business there needs to be a level of being pushy.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 2 years ago

Well said, Debbie!

I know of agents that started their real estate career during the height of the market back in the mid-2000's.  Properties were selling just as they hit the market.  All they really needed was a license.  U nfortunately, they never learned what is required to be truly successful in this business.

Brigita

Posted by Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker, The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around (Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd.) almost 2 years ago

Great posts.  This is a commission based, independent line of work.  For the person who can complete assignments, but is not self-motivated, it won't work.  When I was interviewing agents, my first question was always:  "Why do you want to be a real estate agent?"  If they answered with "I love looking at houses," I would say "You should become an appraiser."

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie - Great post, and lots of food for thought for those who are considering a career in real estate. Regardless of how it may appear from the putside, there's nothing easy about being successful and many who start out just aren't willing to do what's necessary.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 2 years ago

Debbie ~ Poignant postulations! When they come from the corporate world, the first surprise is that there's no supervisor looking over their shoulder with a critical eye on them and the clock. Some can't handle the freedom of being an independent contractor.

Posted by Suzanne Strickler, School is never out for the Succesful. (Realty Mark Associates) almost 2 years ago

Debbie Reynolds -  I think you hit the nail on the head with this statement:  "Most successful agents take years to develop routines and master the skill of closing deals..."  To be successful in any business it takes time and that is the biggest miscalculation new agents make! A wonderful post that hits a number of key reasons why most do not make it in this business.

Posted by Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com, Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers (Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260) almost 2 years ago

You are right Debbie and unfortunately this lack of planning combined with the misconception that real estate is some magical field where we all drive fancy cars, talk to wonderful people and go to the bank on a daily basis to cash those checks.  

If they only knew it was a business and not just a fun money funnel into our bank.  

I don't think a week goes by that someone tells me they are thinking about getting their license.  We know getting a license is easy but developing the skill to suceed in this or any professional business is more than that 8x10 license that is way too easy to obtain.  

 

Posted by Teri Pacitto, Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty (Compass) almost 2 years ago

Debbie Reynolds , and yet, against all odds some make it. We just don't know which ones. I say, let them keep their rose colored glasses and see what happens. If you don't try, how will you know if you can do it?

Posted by Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®, Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie.  I spent a year teaching new agents how to make a living at real estate. Many of them thought there should be an easier way!  I remember one newbie saying, "I don't want to do all that stuff [lead generation].  I just want to help people buy and sell houses!"

Bless her heart, as we say in the South.  She didn't get it.

Posted by Dianne Goode, Realtor/Broker (Raleigh Cary Realty) almost 2 years ago

Excellent list and also Debbie an agent need to develop a thick skin without being jaded. That is a tough one.

Posted by Dana Basiliere, Making deals "Happen" (Rossi & Riina Real Estate) almost 2 years ago

...In this very boat right now. Thank you for the honesty. I prefer this to rose-colored glasses. My frustration comes from thinking my productivity should be equal to our top producers while I'm still in my first year. While I know that isn't realistic and it will take time, effort, and consistency... I'm embarrassed to say these things outloud in my office for fear they will be labeled as excuses to fail. So thank you for confirming the logic. For me, your blog helped boost my motivation and dig in a little more for the long haul!!!

Posted by Lisa Blenden REALTOR, RSPS, Building Wealth, Dreams, and Luxury Lifestyles (Keller Williams Realty - Lake Travis) almost 2 years ago

Oh man! You nailed this. Exactly how I'm feeling ...lots of questioning. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words and inspiring renewed effort.

Posted by Rebecca Nelson almost 2 years ago

Good post and with our crazy high prices in California, several people have been asking me about selling real estate.  Their regular career is winding down and selling real estate looks so easy and obviously there are HUGE profits to be made.  It is hard work - getting the data base together, doing open houses for agents every possible weekend, sending out the marketing, following up with everyone and everybody.  That feeling that there is always something more to be doing.  I love real estate and was lucky to have an outstanding mentor/teacher who gave great advice and kept me kicked into gear. Also, I had left a corporate job and really really needed the  money so I was motivated!

Posted by Ann Wilkins, Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA (Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty) almost 2 years ago

 

Hi Debbie! I can relate to your talking points as a new agent since July 2016 myself. I fear that each day I wake up is my results is not good enough. Since July 2016 I have successfully closed 3 buyer transactions and 1 seller transaction. I have also secured 2 landlot listings a 1 single family under 100K listing. I farm my areas locally, but get dishearten when I see FSBO and after I ride by a few times I finally see another agent’s real estate sign in their yard. I also have landing pages’ setup to capture potential sellers leads online. I have also PPC on local realtors Google campaign, and paid Facebook video targeting sellers which has gained a few people’s attention to inquire. I also try to get open houses from my broker but other agents are not inclined to allow me to hold one of their open houses. I love real estate and I know it’s a lot of hard work that often goes without pay. I am a few months into my career but worry about being able to self-sustain my business as a new agent. My broker brushes me off saying I am worrying too much and that I am going to make it. I am beginning to question myself if I am being too pessimistic.

 

Posted by Jeffrey Peters, Local real estate agent serving Anderson county (The AgentOwned Realty Co) almost 2 years ago

Wow, well written and to the point. 21 years in the business and my Rose colored glasses came off in month 2 when I was supposed to close my first deal. A $24,000 lot and it did not close for 3 weeks after the initial close date. Then the broker fees franchise tax etc and my check was $325.00. But it was my first check and I was proud of it.

Posted by Ben de Anda (RE/MAX Cross Country) almost 2 years ago

I felt the same way this week. I'm one of those that may take alittle time to get rewarded. But these are the exact reasons why I started doing real estate again because I know more now than I knew before and I take time to create an art to running my business. Thanks for these kind words Debbie!

Posted by William Matheis, Real Estate agent serving New York City (Atmack, LLC) almost 2 years ago

Debbie, I'd like to add one very important thing to your list - finding a good mentor.   So key when starting any new business.   

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) almost 2 years ago

I've been doing this 30+ years. Ya gotta keep that pipeline full! Closings don't happen on time but mortgage payments are expected by due date. It's a great business. But it's a conventional oven. Not a microwave. Have a bunch of money on the bank when you start. You'll need it.

Posted by Jeanne Gregory almost 2 years ago

Debbie Reynolds great post!  

A while back I was talking to a friend of mine who was a career city employee.  She was nearing retirement and wanted to do something to make easy money.

I gave her a much needed reality check.  I told her that real estate requires you to put up a lot of money on day one.  I explained that real estate agents often work long hours, work nights, and work weekends, with nothing to show for it.  I also told her she should assume that nobody will help or mentor her, because other agents are afraid she will take business away from them.

I also pointed out, in a diplomatic way,  that as a career city employee who was used to a regular paycheck, four weeks of vacation, and good benefits, that the entrepreneurial lifestyle may not be a good fit and probably wasn't what she was used to.

However, I did state that I never wanted to tell someone they shouldn't pursue their dream, so if this is what she wanted to do, she should do it.

Guess what?  She decided not to go into real estate after all...

 

Posted by Althea Kippes, Esq., Serving all of Silicon Valley and San Francisco (Catarra Real Estate, Inc.) almost 2 years ago

Most of the Agents I find successful have just outlasted the others.  They aren't doing anything special to close business, they just have name recognition and a database to work with.  Plus, all the newbies are trained to do what the other 1000's of agents in an area are trained to do.  No uniqueness at all in any of them, especially the large brokers.  

In todays world if you can't think outside the box, there is a good chance you'll be gone in 12 months.  Another big thing I find which the post mentioned was financial stability.  Most can't afford to go 3-6 months without a paycheck and many can't or won't put in the time to work outside of their normal job to succeed.  

I guess it comes down to how bad do they want out of that job they're in???  Thats the first question I ask.  

Posted by Mark Gilbo, Buy, Sell, List Investment Properties (Gilbo Realty LLC) almost 2 years ago

Great list, Debbie. I particularly liked the last one, no love of the business. I would add unsupervised to that list, not that it applies in your situation, of course, but many agents are just unsupervised, and that leads to failure. They need to be accountable.

I hired a new agent, brand new -- trained her myself -- started in January. To date, she has closed 14 sales, and she's kicking herself because it's not 20. (as she should be, LOL)

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) almost 2 years ago

Hello Debbie

Wow what a great post and the list at the bottom is so true and congrats on the Gold Star from the AR Gods

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) almost 2 years ago

I'm in my 1st year... Your post dovetails nicely with a brown bag lunch my brokerage held today on business planning.  I'm a 15 year veteran of the ad sales industry, so I came to Real Estate with the thick skin and determination required to succeed.  I probably could have dove head-first into the deep end of the pool and may well have survived.  Despite that, I chose to join a successful team at a very established brokerage.  Rather than jump in as a full-fledged broker, I chose a more humble path, learning the ropes as a licensed assistant.  The mentoring and guidance received is invaluable.  It's low on risk, it's low on expense, and it's high on learning.  I'm not making a lot, but it's an investment.  Despite working primarily as an assistant, I got to work my first lead nearly 2 months ago and closed on an investment property for this out of state buyer just last Monday.  (Batting 1000, go me!)  My point is this, and it echoes some of the comments... In addition to what you mentioned... Join a strong team, strongly consider working as a licensed assistant, and take a disciplined, measured approach to success.  Learn from others.  The most successful brokers/agents will tell you that they're still learning a fine-tuning everyday.  Find someone willing to share their knowledge and soak it up!

Posted by Chris Kallin, Broker (SeattlebyDesign / Realogics) almost 2 years ago

thank you for this post, it highlights what needs to be done to make it work in real estate. Good for new agents like myself

Posted by Lilian Zeitouni, Seller and buyer agent in Research triangle park (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) almost 2 years ago

The attrition rate for agents starts at the class level and by the time the first year of practice has ended. almost 70% of those  that started to take the classes are no longer trying to be agents.  For those that survive the first year, only about 10% make 5 years

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 2 years ago

Debbie, great information! I have had several friends ask me lately what it's like to be in real estate, if they should go into real estate, etc. I've talked about it and sent them some blogs on the topic already, but I am definitely emailing them yours as well. Your post is also a good guide for anyone who's been in the business for a while, but not doing so well.

Posted by Donika Parker (Maximum One Greater Atl. REALTORS) almost 2 years ago

You are spot on. If you are not a fan of "work" then go find another gig. LOL

Posted by Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster, A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa (Maricopa Real Estate Co) almost 2 years ago

When I got a license and went looking for somewhere to work, the first broker said "I hope you have someone else to support you while you get started."

I did, and I stuck with it for 19 years until I realized the part I had come to love most was marketing and lead generation. Then I switched to writing marketing materials for other agents.

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 2 years ago

Truly a great post. Thanks so much for providing these points. Now I have something to refer to when speaking with potential new agents who think the life is glamorous right out of the gate.

Posted by Chris Fosgate, Assistant Team Leader - Keller Williams, KC North (Keller Williams) almost 2 years ago

Thank you for your honesty about the long hours. Disallusionment can happen in any new job!

Posted by Stephanie Weirich, Finding my niche (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 2 years ago

Excellent post Debbie. You nailed the reasons...right on. What I would like to see more of in this business is management taking a bigger role in an agents success. You can take tons of classes but unless you put that information into action it is useless. Many do want to succeed and just need some direction, goals and mentoring. 

Posted by Janice Hope Zaltman Realtor,LEED AP (United Realty Group) almost 2 years ago

Excellent points, Debbie!  I just had a conversation with an agent today - the timeline and PIPEline get them every time!  They expect immediate results and won't focus on future business to fill their pipeline - they want it NOW and are hugely disappointed when someone isn't READY, SET, GO!  

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) almost 2 years ago

I'm in my 41st year and was recognized by NAR as a Realtor(r) Emeritus. I'm a licensed instructor, grew a large (for our area) company and have hired and trained many past associates. I began my career under the close guidance of a fine individual and outstanding mentor. It was a struggle to get started and everything Debbie has said was true in my experience. I find it very unfortunate that one of the models in our business, promoted heavily by franchises among others, is to hire anyone they can find and figure some will stick. I consider that dishonest and misleading. Debbie's post brings more reality to this topic and I will share this with anyone considering this as a career path. It is far too easy to become licensed (a mere 40 hours in our state) and too many as Debbie has said, think it's the slick way to easy street when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Long hours, persistence, honesty, dedication, a big heart, putting others first, intelligence, creative problem solving, diligence, going above and beyond, the need and drive to succeed, the goal of helping other to achieve their dream, these are some of the critical qualities that are required for the long haul. It's a terrific career for the right people....but then again some days I find myself wishing I had a much easier job....but then that passes.

Posted by Paul Harsch almost 2 years ago

I think this is true to any business. The points that you made are true, valid and accurate.

Posted by Shahar Hillel almost 2 years ago

I'm in my 41st year and was recognized by NAR as a Realtor(r) Emeritus. I'm a licensed instructor, grew a large (for our area) company and have hired and trained many past associates. I began my career under the close guidance of a fine individual and outstanding mentor. It was a struggle to get started and everything Debbie has said was true in my experience. I find it very unfortunate that one of the models in our business, promoted heavily by franchises among others, is to hire anyone they can find and figure some will stick. I consider that dishonest and misleading. Debbie's post brings more reality to this topic and I will share this with anyone considering this as a career path. It is far too easy to become licensed (a mere 40 hours in our state) and too many as Debbie has said, think it's the slick way to easy street when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Long hours, persistence, honesty, dedication, a big heart, putting others first, intelligence, creative problem solving, diligence, going above and beyond, the need and drive to succeed, the goal of helping other to achieve their dream, these are some of the critical qualities that are required for the long haul. It's a terrific career for the right people....but then again some days I find myself wishing I had a much easier job....but then that passes.

Posted by Paul Harsch, Realtor Emeritus, CRB, CRS, GRI, CBI (Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate) almost 2 years ago

You did a great job with this post, Debbie!

Posted by Coach KC™ The Prosperitor™, Marketing • Productivity • Revenue • Development (Prosperitor LLC dba Secured Futures) almost 2 years ago

Regardless of the business, an owner must have the ability, confidence, basic intelligence, discipline, persistence, perseverance and business capital. He must have a comprehensive business plan and assemble a team of mentors or advisers. 

The plan must be monitored and measured every 90 days for productivity, efficiency, and success in achieving targeted goals. The most important element to success is your mentor/coach or trainer. 

Best training usually results in best performances, however, without the individual basic traits, even best training won't produce best performances. Great post.

 

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) almost 2 years ago

Good post and a good comment thread, too. 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) almost 2 years ago

Great post Debbie, hopefully these words of wisdom will help prevent a few failed careers.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities) almost 2 years ago

Debbie Reynolds - 'No love for business'! I consider this as #1 reason.

If they don't have a passion at what they do, it is unlikely that they will be successful!

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 2 years ago

Sadly too many folks get in "because I thought real estate was easy".

Posted by Michelle Carr-Crowe Just Call 408-252-8900 Top 1%!, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) almost 2 years ago

Having the time, dedication and money to succeed are rate combinatons that weed out the wanna be agents from those who have a career.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 2 years ago

I definitely think determination and desire are key "must haves" in order to succeed in real estate. I think, though, that even very determined and skillful people can fail if they pick the wrong agency off the bat. Support, encouragement, mentoring, skills training, fairness in the office are all a must!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) almost 2 years ago

They are not exposed to reality in the pre-license classes!!!

It looks easy and we are at fault for making it seem like no effort is needed.

Posted by Sham Reddy, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) almost 2 years ago

This is a great post, Debbie.  I had an acquaintance tell me that she was thinking about getting her license as a hobby because she loves to watch House Hunters. 

I would also add to the list by saying that the lack of training is a detriment.  Newbies should latch on to a broker that offers mentoring and training.

Posted by Chris Lima, Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you. (Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise) almost 2 years ago

So true, Debbie.  And we can tell prospective new agents all about this and they won't believe us until they have been in the business for a few months.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 2 years ago

You right on with everything!

Posted by Danielle Desousa, Mortgage Banker NMLS #1649268 (Ameris Bank) almost 2 years ago

Great post, Debbie.  And might I add:  The family doesn't understand the demands of the job.

Posted by Carol Williams, "Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services" (U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business.) almost 2 years ago

Your list is quite thorough, Debbie, and I agree with it. I let people know that this is a tough business with long hours and not for everyone.

Posted by Jill Winchel, We make it easy. You make it home. (Royal Shell Real Estate - Koffman & Associates ) almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie Reynolds   I was going to pick my two or three favorites from your list to agree with...and then as I was reading I said yep to that one...then the next ...and the next...and the next. I realized that I agree with almost every single one plus a couple mentioned in the comments.

I will say this though...the one that I think is one of the most important is your number 3 listed one:  

"Cash flow not sufficient to relieve day to day bill pressures"

That almost did me in when I first started in 1992 and then 12 years later when I relocated and started over.  The bill's for both personal and business have to be paid out of the first $50 to $75K you make before you get to make a profit...so if you are a $75k a year gross commission person...you have thin margins of profit and that makes it hard to be happy. 

Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) almost 2 years ago

An excellent list. I would add one more...choosing the wrong broker/mentor.   

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 2 years ago

I would second your comments X2 and perhaps even X3. On a percentage basis, being a success in real estate is pretty rare.  I'm guessing that less than 10% of of the agent do 90% of the business, or so it seems. There is room for a high energy new agent with commitment, but it still takes time to build the foundation.

Posted by Brian Rugg, Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est (Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-966-3200) almost 2 years ago

Great post.  I think most agents don't realize that they are actually self-employed and lack self discipline.

Posted by Myron Lund, Serving the Rochester area for 30 years (Real Estate Directory) almost 2 years ago

A couple of years ago a friend called me. Her 30-year old son was going into real estate. He was relatively new to his market--Denver. It's a hot area. Surely sales would fall in his lap. I asked where he planned to get business. Oh, he's working for a prestigious KW office no problem there. I tried to explain that brokers don't typically just hand out the leads. Unfortunately, new agents don't seem to heed our advice. Spoke to my friend yesterday...her son got out of the business after a year. Apparently, he hadn't successfully closed one sale. So much for that prestigious brokerage passing on leads. If agents don't know how to lead generate and work those leads like crazy, they're not going to be successful. It's the nasty little secret in our business that no one seems to discuss with people who are looking to begin a career in real estate.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) almost 2 years ago

Good posting here. One of my most successful beliefs for all things holds to this day: Whatever you start, finish & the Universe will see you as a good investment

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 2 years ago

Couldn't have said it better myself, Debbie. Outstanding post.

Posted by Tim Lamson, Phoenix, AZ almost 2 years ago

Couldn't have said it better myself, Debbie. Outstanding post.

Posted by Tim Lamson, MBA (Better Homes & Gardens Move-Time Realty) almost 2 years ago

Having watched and trained agents for decades, my thought for a management book would be titled: "Your Agents Won't Do ANYthing." (Without management leadership.) The level of initiative of agents is amazingly low...and there are very few managers who will lead, train, inspire and hold agents accountable.

Posted by David Knox (David Knox Productions, Inc.) almost 2 years ago

Thanks for the post.  I am new to selling real estate but not to real estate.  I prepared closings for title companies and law firms for nine years.  I know real estate is anything but easy.   I enjoyed reading your points of why new agents fail.  I will try to keep it in mind as I am working on my sales.  It gives me somethings to look out for.

Posted by Rhonda Savoie (Nick Galiano Realty) almost 2 years ago

A common reason for their failure is that a friend said to them, Hey you are lovable and outgoing you should be a Realtor! After that, we all know the reasons...

Posted by Ron Aguilar, Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995 (Continental Mortgage) almost 2 years ago

Working for a real estate school, we come across a lot of these misconceptions. We always explain that passing the state exam is the first of many steps to success. We can provide a lot of helpful information about the practices and laws of real estate. We have experienced instructors that still work in the business to provide real insight. But that doesn't mean that finding a mentor or support system to continue to learn isn't important. 

Posted by Cody Carmen, Market Analysis--Educational Content, Adhi Schools (Adhi Schools, LLC) almost 2 years ago

Great post Debbie and spot on as usual!

 

Posted by Chris Shull, Your Realtor For Life! (ColumbiaLand Realty) almost 2 years ago

Debbie, you hit the nail on the head!!

Being a real estate agent is definitely not easy nor a get-rich-quick solution to life.

People that want to be real estate agents should shadow a middle-of-the-road-producing agent for a couple of weeks - maybe they will be able to do better, maybe NOT.

Posted by John Dotson, The experience to get you to the other side! (Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC) almost 2 years ago

If you can't produce a list of at least two hundred people who would recognize you if you called them and identified yourself, you are not ready for any independent sales job.  The list can include people who would recognize you if you said you were xxxx's spouse, son, daughter, brother, sister, if they are already in the business. 

There are additional requirements for success, but no single one is as important as the initial contact list.

Posted by Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about. almost 2 years ago

You nailed it, Debbie!  It takes a real commitment to make this a career!  If they find themselves a great mentor, then they will most likely succeed in this industry.

Posted by Mike Bjork (American Pacific Mortgage) almost 2 years ago

Thanks for your extremely accurate post Debbie!

Sales is a tough business. One must dig deep to push on sometimes. The agents who are successful have a "never give up" mentality, are focused and are continually looking for new resources to expand their knowledge which - in turn - expands their business. It's like anything else in life - the more you practice the better you get. Agents who are successful have A LOT of practice.

Posted by Linda McKnight, Capital Gains Tax Strategist (Keep Your Wealth Sale Solutions) almost 2 years ago

Great blog Debbie Reynolds with excellent points - Indeed the flame of passion must be fanned well continuously ...

Posted by Maria Sapio, Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA. Mariasapio.com (Berkshire Hathaway Homesale Realty) almost 2 years ago

GREAT article! So glad you really tell it like it is.

Posted by Annie Adjchavanich, CRE LA, Orange Co, SFV, South Bay, Inland Empire (ADHI Real Estate) almost 2 years ago

Debbie, for a few years, I was the managing broker at in a sort of young, hip office in downtown DC.  And one thing that struck me after I'd been doing it for aboutt a year was that I had no way to predict who would be a slug and who would turn into a ball of fire.  And one woman who's English was a little funky and who chose my office to interview did so because she thought I might be one of the Kenndys.  I almost didn't hire her and she turned out to be a fantasic agent.  I learned a lot from her about figuring out what motivates people and how to look at what is inside the wrapping!  Love this post.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 2 years ago

I have an agent who now works in my Brokerage.  Prior to getting her license, she was one of my clients. She and her husband and I worked together on several different transactions. They bought and sold homes for their two children.  They sold their personal home and purchased a new home. The entire time I worked with them as clients, they wanted me to reduce my commission because "we are friends". They did FSBO so they could save half the commission, etc.  Now that she is has worked as a Realtor for about a year, she fully understands how hard we work and how the commission we negotiate with our clients is well deserved.  She is an absolute great agent and I am proud to be in business with her.  She and I talk about all the shenanigans she pulled before.  We laugh about it now!

Posted by Mary McGuire, Broker (TODAY Realty, Inc.) almost 2 years ago

This is such a grea post. Truth is you can start earning $90/hourly for working online from your home for few hours each day... Get regular payment on a weekly basis... All you need is a computer, internet connection and a litte free time... Read more here>>jobnews80.com

 

Posted by Bella Spencer, Professional real estate agent in Florida (Southern Estates Consultancy) almost 2 years ago

Excellent post Debbie!!! I'm going to make sure my newest agents see it. Real estate can be amazingly fun and a wonderful career choice...but like I tell them all the time you have to have a passion for it (and that means "working" tirelessly)! However, if it's your passion you will never "work" a day in your life.

Posted by Jan Bradshaw almost 2 years ago

Good points Debbie Reynolds !

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 2 years ago

Excellent post Debbie!!! I'm going to make sure my newest agents see it. Real estate can be amazingly fun and a wonderful career choice...but like I tell them all the time you have to have a passion for it (and that means "working" tirelessly)! However, if it's your passion you will never "work" a day in your life. 

 

Posted by Jan Bradshaw, Specializing in Lake Greenwood for over 13 years. (The Bradshaw Group) almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie - good list; looks like you've seen them all. I think one of the most important features you pointed out is not being a self-starter. Also, they need a thick skin to withstand the vultures in the business.

Posted by Olga Simoncelli, CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management (Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate) almost 2 years ago

Great information and my broker shared this as well with our office!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) almost 2 years ago

You hit the nail on the head. It does come down to a plan, commitment, ability to learn, think outside the box, sincere desire to provide the best service to clients, and a great work ethic. Great article!

Posted by Russell Smith, Experience to Help Originators & Realtors (OVM Financial Inc) almost 2 years ago

Great points Debbie, you listed all the reasons, I think the most important one is not having the LOVE for the real estate business. Have a great weekend!

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) almost 2 years ago

Great Post...I agree with all the points, I love getting those calls asking how much it costs to get a license...I always point out right then, that getting the license is the easy part and not where the money stops being spent

 

Posted by Macy Babb ... North Georgia Realtor, Realtor, SFR, HUD/REO Certified (Re/Max Around Atlanta Realtor - 404-234-6166) almost 2 years ago

Hi, Debbie!  I included this post in today's Last Week's FavoritesEnjoy your new week!

  

   

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 2 years ago

Another well written post Debbie:
Low barrier to entry;
High barrier to success!

Posted by M.C. Dwyer, Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist (Century 21 Showcase REALTORs) almost 2 years ago

All new agents...and those even considering getting into the business--need to hear the pros AND CONS of what it's like to be an agent, especially those first few years.  This does not happen.  Brokers paint that 'rosy' picture and do not mention the hard slog it is to build a business.

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experience Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) almost 2 years ago

M.C. Dwyer that is an excellent way to put it.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 2 years ago

I always told them how it was going to be but also told them about the potential if they were willing to work super hard and smart, Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 2 years ago

What an honor being included in your weekly list, Patricia Kennedy. Thank you so much.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 2 years ago

The attrition rate has always been high, but now there is a new breed of would-be Realtors who've been spurred on by unreal reality TV shows.

Posted by Fred Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) almost 2 years ago

They love watching those shows and aspiring to be a big investor in real estate, Fred Griffin.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 2 years ago

OK Debbie Reynolds, I've put off reading your post long enough... as a fairly new agent, I just didn't want to think abou it (:  But I was delighted to see that I have jumped some of those hurdles already.  Thank you for a list of things to keep in mind as I continue my "race."

Posted by Alesha A. Wilson, M.Ed., MRP, Buy and Sell with Confidence (Buy and Sell Oklahoma LLC) almost 2 years ago

I think the main reason anyone fails in any type of sales is that they think the knowledge of the product is more important than the sale itself.  Sales is about contacts.  It's a numbers game no matter what you are selling.  I have seen so many agents that class themselves to death but they are too scared or too lazy to make the contacts necessary to get listings or buyers to sell to.  Contacts Contacts Contacts.  The BPO Expert

Posted by John Peak (Get Your FREE BPO Company List) almost 2 years ago

I like your post, keep up the good writing.  

Posted by EZ Online Mortgage, Get secure mortgage loans with EZ Online Mortgage (EZ Online Mortgage) almost 2 years ago

Lots of discussion on this one!  I'm sure you are getting a boat load of compliments on this well-written post.  And lots of agreement for your spot on analysis of why agents fail.  So true.  I think some of it has to do with which office/company they choose as well.  Not every broker would be as great as you!  Great post!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) almost 2 years ago

We do make it look easy as seasoned agents.  But I don't sugar coat it to new agents.  I let them know that I had to work long and hard to get to where I am....it doesn't happen overnight.  You can have the nicest business cards, but until you can convince buyers and sellers to choose you, you are dead in the water.  Knowing how to market yourself as a new agent takes money, most new agents don't know how to spend the resources they have.  Great tips!

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) almost 2 years ago

Hi Debbie (this is actually Gary's right-hand man Kevin), we've used a similar list for years as part of our recruiting process.  But, I think I'll print yours out as well to show them that these are universal problems and they don't just go away.

Posted by Gary Kent, 33 Years Experience & 5,000+ Homes Sold (Gary Kent Team - Keller Williams Realty) almost 2 years ago

New agents should read this post!

I think the #1 reason is W2 mentality in a 1099 "world"; it's a business not a job.

I do agree with your list; lack of realistic expectations, under funded and no mentor/coach would be my top three reasons. To many see the "over night success" and not enough of the 10 years+ behind that success. 

Posted by Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D, & Host of Postcards From Success Podcast (Big Block Realty 858.232.8722) almost 2 years ago

Where was I in October when you posted this? I'm glad Roy Kelley re-blogged it today. 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) almost 2 years ago

Part of the problem is the licensing process. It doesn't address the realities of getting started after the license if obtained. I vividly remember my very first day. I went to the office, sat at my desk, and had absolutely no idea what to do. I've seen quite a few new agents come and go (some quickly when their funds dried up) who were surprised they had to obtain their own leads. Heck, I started out thinking I would do real estate part-time, but quickly learned it's a full-time business, and there's never enough hours in the day! But for those who can stick with it, there are certainly many advantages to working in real estate. 

Posted by Melissa Spittel, "Achieving Results Together " (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 1 year ago

You said it so well. I am teaching a prelicense class and need to share this post Melissa E. Spittel.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Participate