10 reasons you will fail as a real estate agent

Success requires a particular mindset especially when life and clients throw you a curve ball

MCoatesThis post by Matthew Coates was originally published on Matthew is a real estate agent specializing in Chandler, Arizona, and the surrounding valley area of southeast Arizona. To contact Matthew, email him on his site or reach out on Twitter.

If you have ever met me, you know I’m a fairly optimistic person. I work hard to avoid and focus on the negatives of life — to me they are just something that gets in the way of enjoying it to the fullest. So when you look at the title of this post it probably throws you off as to why I’m bringing up why something WON’T work for somebody. Well, I also think that I know people — and negative news tends to get more press and attention that positive news. I guarantee if the title was “10 reasons you *will* make it in real estate,” you might not be reading this right now. Tell me I’m wrong — haha. :)

Anyhow, being an agent for over seven years I have had the opportunity to watch what successful agents do, and what unsuccessful ones do. It’s night and day, folks. Here is what I can tell you — there is one thing, and one thing alone, that will cause your success or failure. And that’s YOU. More specifically, your mindset.

So ask yourself: What are you thinking about most of the time when you think about your business?

Since mindset is kind of a fuzzy subject for most people, I thought it appropriate to discuss 10 specific items why you’ll end up not making it in real estate over the long haul.

1. You won’t prospect.

Prospecting conjures up big-time fear in most people’s minds. We’ve been conditioned to associate the word “no” with rejection, failure and pain. I can’t remember the stat exactly, but I have heard that by the time we’re 18 years old we have heard the word “no” 250,000 times vs. “yes” a mere 10,000 (apologies if I don’t have the precise numbers, but I do know they are worlds apart). So you have subconsciously learned to associate “no” with not getting what you what. It’s normal — don’t feel badly about it — BUT you have to start getting back on track and reassociating “no” with what you want.

Real estate is a numbers game — no matter how you slice or dice it. I hear a lot of real estate agents say they aren’t in sales, that they just want to help people. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you want to increase your business and help lots and lots of people, you have to work through the numbers.

And please don’t hear what I’m not saying — I’m not saying that people, clients, etc., are numbers. I care about everyone I talk to on the phone and don’t treat them like a number. You have to be interested in the situation and looking for a way to help them out — assuming they want help. I’ve talked to plenty of people who just don’t want to be helped, and you know what? That’s OK.

If you are going to have success in real estate, you have to prospect. There are about a million ways to prospect in real estate — I won’t go into specifics because that isn’t what I’m after here, but get to it!

2. You won’t follow up.

Follow-up is everything in real estate. How many times have you talked to somebody for the first time and they say, “Yes, I want to buy or sell a home immediately! Where do I sign up?”

Yeah, almost never.

You can’t build a lasting, concrete, sustainable business that way.

Many agents give lip service to follow-up and tell people they’ll call when they are supposed to, but lack the decision to set up a follow-up task to do so. It fascinates me how many people I see in the business world (not just real estate) that say they are going to call me at such and such a date , or do something for me, only to find out it doesn’t get done! It’s actually more normal than abnormal, and that’s not OK.

In my business, nothing is left to chance or falls through the cracks. EVER.

If you want to last in real estate, simply be a person of your word. Everyone admires someone who does what they say they’ll do.

3. You’ll let one bad experience throw you into a downward spiral.

This one is huge!!! As humans, we tend to enjoy drama. All you have to do is turn on TV and find all of the great reality TV shows out there (sense the sarcasm) and you know what I’m talking about. We love to wallow in how bad a situation is and give it all of our time and energy.

Stop it!

I know it’s hard but you have to train yourself to do it. Otherwise, you’ll end up broke, depressed and unhappy.

So what do you do when something bad happens in your business, like you lose an escrow, a client you thought was solid says they are going to work with another agent, you get a letter from the local department of real estate, a client yells at you? Is your stomach turning yet?

Here’s the secret: Keep moving. Deal with the situation and do the best you can to remedy, and if you have given everything you can into turning it around or finding a solution, move on and do something else productive. Don’t let it suck you down to the bottomless pit of anxiety. That isn’t going to help you get what you want. A good word to describe this is to compartmentalize your thoughts and actions. It’s crucial for your business success (and life success, really). What I mean by this is don’t let the bad feelings you have from one problem bleed over into other parts of your life. I see it all the time.

4. You’ll think the business is too hard, when the truth is you just haven’t made the decision to be great yet.

I’m sure I might get some backlash on this, but I believe it’s important to speak the truth. Real estate is not a complicated business. You find people who want to move from one place to another, and assist them in that process. Simple. I didn’t say it was easy — it’s just not complicated. If you talk to (the right) people, be genuine in your approach and have a proactive plan of follow-up, you’re going to do well. You just will.