6 reasons real estate agents fail

  • Successful agents invest in training on their own. They sharpen their skills. They search YouTube or real estate training sites for any ideas they can find to hone their craft. They attend conferences and invest in coaching.
  • The lifeblood of real estate sales is continuous lead generation. Real estate is a contact sport, and the lack of contact with potential prospects leads to failure.
  • You might be able to make people like you on your first encounter, but for them to know you -- and believe in you -- it takes time and follow-up.

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The number of agents who don’t survive their first five years in business is alarming. Success leaves clues, but so does failure. The following are six common characteristics of agents who don’t make it in real estate.

1. They don’t have a plan

Goals are great, but a plan of action is critical to success in real estate sales. How are you going to generate leads? How many daily calls will you make? Will you sit open houses, call expired listings, work FSBOs (for sale by owners) or develop an Internet lead funnel?

Your plan of action is your roadmap to success. Without a well-defined plan of action, failure is imminent.

2. They don’t invest in training

Agents who wait to be trained by their broker are doomed to failure. Some brokers do an excellent job training their agents, but the majority do not.

“For the best return on your money, pour your purse into your head.” – Benjamin Franklin

Successful agents invest in training on their own. They sharpen their skills. They search YouTube or real estate training sites for any ideas they can find to hone their craft. They attend conferences and invest in coaching.

An agent who doesn’t invest in training fails to set himself or herself apart from other agents in the market and slowly fades from the business.

3. They don’t prospect

The lifeblood of real estate sales is continuous lead generation. Real estate is a contact sport, and the lack of contact with potential prospects leads to failure.

The top agent develops a plan of action for prospecting. He or she is disciplined to prospect on a continuous basis. The more consistent an agent is at prospecting, the more success he or she will have.

Without a coherent and disciplined approach to prospecting, agents will not survive in this business.

4. They don’t follow up

Prospecting and lead generation are the first steps to building a successful business, but most people don’t do business with someone after only one encounter.

“Success comes from taking the initiative and following up.” – Tony Robbins

Buyers and sellers do business with people they know, like and trust. You might be able to make people like you on your first encounter, but for them to know you — and believe in you — it takes time and follow-up.

Without a plan of action for follow-up, the seeds agents plant will never be harvested.

5. They aren’t self-motivated

There are no clocks to punch in real estate sales. The amount of work you put into this business is completely up to you.

The most successful agents have the discipline to work while others play. They understand success in this business requires more than part-time hours.

The person who doesn’t have the ability to self-motivate will not last long.

6. They don’t take enough action

Taking massive action would give the unsuccessful agent the ability to overcome any of the characteristics listed above. The most successful agents are rarely the smartest or most talented agents. They are the agents that take ridiculous amounts of action.

“The distance between your dream and reality is called action.” – Unknown

The unsuccessful agents wonder why the awkward guy in their office who doesn’t wear the right clothes or speak eloquently is selling way more real estate than they are. The answer is simple: He takes massive action.

You can have all the knowledge in the world, but if you don’t take action, you are destined to join the ranks of the unsuccessful agents who don’t make it in this business.

These are just a few of the reasons many agents fail. In the comments section below, share the traits you’ve seen that lead to failure.

Jimmy Burgess is the founder of Real Estate Sales Machine. Follow him on Twitter.

Email Jimmy Burgess.