11 mistakes a new real estate sales person should avoid making
Anyone starting a new job is bound to make some mistakes along the way. Having said that there are some basic ones not to make.
1. Not choosing the best agency in the speciality you are interested in.
Anxious to get their careers off the ground, many newbie agents often make the mistake of not choosing the best agency to work with.
From a recruitment perspective, the biggest mistake would be choosing a less than ‘best in market’ agency to commence your career with.
“You learn so much in your first role, ranging from negotiation and dialogues, through to ethics, legislation, standards, that will hold you in good stead for the rest of your career, even if you choose to move on later.”
Make sure you begin your career with a reputable and well-respected agency that has skills in the sector you are interested in. ie if it’s residential, don’t start with a firm that specialises in commercial real estate.
Whichever agency you choose, excellent international marketing resources, administration support and advanced training options are essential.
2. Losing your licenses to operate
When you’re a real estate agent, there are two licenses you can’t afford to lose – your real estate license and your driver’s license.
Fortunately, you would have to have done something really bad to lose either license – so it’s definitely not an easy mistake to make. But it happens.
3. Failing to network with people within your market segment.
We’ve all heard “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and this certainly rings true for the real estate industry.
Relationships are everything in real estate, so you can’t afford not to be networking all the time. Clubs, associations, family offices, rotary, schools, law firms, accountants and other relevant professionals.
Referrals are a crucial part of the game and a major source of business because people want to be able to trust the person handling their biggest asset – so they’re more than likely to take advice from someone they already know.
Team up with mentors in the industry. Watch and learn.
4. Not knowing your market segment
Real estate is all about understanding the market you live and work in, back to front.
A good real estate salesperson should easily be able to advise on market conditions in that location and property trends, as well as the local assets.
If you’re buying a house, you’re relying on your real estate agent to advise you on the demographic who live and work in the area, as well as community events and groups, local schools, hospitals, and shopping. On the other hand, if you are buying a farm you need advice on soils, rainfall patterns, flooding risks, water rights, power, roading types and distance to the ports etc.
A potential vendor or investor will know within minutes of talking to you if you know your market or not. Don’t fake it. Learn it.
5. Are you a jack of all trades and master of none
Real estate is highly competitive, so dominating a particular niche is a great way to stand out among the competition.
Niche markets can be determined by location (inner city, country, or coastal/holiday areas), by property type (luxury lifestyle, investment units, farms, new developments, commercial), or by the buyer (downsizer, upsizer, first home buyer, investor etc).
6. Thinking short-term only
Many newbie agents don’t realise a successful real estate career requires short and mid-term investment for long-term success.
It’s natural to want to climb the career ladder as fast as possible, but lets be realistic. This hardly ever happens, regardless of the industry you’re in.
Some of my best agents started their careers in reception and learned the ropes, eventually progressing all the way to the top with a more thorough understanding of the industry and the market.
7. Not Associating with Real Estate Winners
It is all too easy to be office-bound in your comfort zone listening to other salespeople who are on their way out of the industry. Watch and learn from the successful people in your network.
8. Not Upskilling
If you are in a bilingual market learn the local language. Keep up with modern marketing technologies, attend the local licensing board seminars to keep up to date with the legal requirements. Keep pushing out of your comfort zone.
9. Not Prospecting
If you don’t have anything to sell you will go broke. Make the phone calls, collaborate with others. Ask current vendors and active buyers for help, (they will know all the new listings).
10. Not leveraging your current talents
If you have an attractive personality and looks then great but that will not necessarily make you successful in real estate (maybe modelling). You need to have a combination of a professional presentation that aligns with your client base along with good basic knowledge, hard work, energy plus all of the above.
11. Not planning for success
It’s a big step to pass the real estate exams, get a license and start a new business. It’s exciting, but scary as well. Most new agents fail in their first year or two, but you do not have to be one of them. They fail because they have not planned for success. Sometimes starting part time is a better approach, as you can at least count on some income. Sure, starting part time is more difficult, but if it makes the difference between failure or success, it is worth it. Often just one commission can cut the ties to the old job and move you to full time. If you do the work and stick to a plan you will find real estate a fulfilling and financially rewarding career. Good luck.
Contact the Gateway to South America team to learn about the best investment opportunities in the region. The company is a benchmark for foreign investors wishing to invest in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, providing expert advice on property acquisition and investment tours.
Advice for the Serious Investor