Embarking on a new real estate career is an exciting time. New agents are often ready to hit the ground running before the ink is dry on their new license.

Many new agents learn the business as the problems fall in their lap or by making mistakes. Here are seven common mistakes you might be making as a new agent. 

1. Not doing your homework when choosing an office

Real estate offices are not a one-size-fits-all. Brokerages come in many shapes and sizes, just like people. Determine what your goals are with your new career, and find a company that aligns with your needs.

Money should not be your only reason for choosing a real estate office. The money will come as you gain experience and exposure. Find an office where you are comfortable with the company culture and training.

2. Thinking negotiations are permission to be a bully or aggressive

Much of real estate is negotiating. Agents negotiate with clients and other brokers on a daily basis.

Negotiations are about how to best serve your client, not about how much you berated the other party into giving up something.

Remember the old expression, “You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.”

3. Being the know-it-all 

Getting a real estate license does not mean you are an expert in the industry. Take training seriously, and take classes often.

I can tell you after 10 years in the real estate business, I still have a lot to learn. The real estate industry changes at lightning speed, and every day you wake up, it’s a new day in real estate.

When you are new, it’s OK to not have all the answers. Work to find the answers, and try to learn something new everyday.

4. Throwing manners and etiquette out the window

There are general rules and etiquette that agents should follow when showing homes and working with other agents. It’s not appropriate to let your clients scrounge through a seller’s home during a showing or to show up without an appointment to view a home.

This would also include using a seller’s home for bathroom breaks, eating their food or looking in their cabinets. A home is not a buyer’s home until it’s sold and closed.

Set the proper boundaries with your clients at the start of your relationship.

5. Jumping for every new lead opportunity

All business is good business and a learning opportunity when you are new. But it’s important to create a habit and a system early in your business to run it like it is — a business.

Real estate is a relationship business. Spend time qualifying new buyers or sellers before you run out the door to meet a random stranger at a home you don’t know.

Ask them questions to find out more about their property needs and how they found your information, and find out what stage they are at in the homebuying or selling process before running out the door to meet them.

6. Not treating your real estate business as a business

When you got your real estate license, did you know you’d become a business owner? I didn’t when I first started. Owning a business means you will work harder than you have ever worked before.

As a new agent, a business plan is essential. This will help you map out where you will spend your money, and it will help you remain consistent with how you will develop your client base.

7. Buying leads, trinkets and other shiny objects to grow your business

Buy leads, trinkets and shiny objects when you have the business systems, staff and money to pay for them. Until then, don’t.

As a new agent, there is no replacement for hard work, networking and learning. It’s easier to add on more layers to diversify your business after you have learned how to manage the fundamentals.

Mistakes, even those that seem simple can cause an agent to lose valuable time, money, or worse, be faced with an ethics violation for not conducting yourself professionally.

Spend time working on your new business fundamentals and work to avoid these simple mistakes as you embark on your journey as a new real estate agent.

Kellie Tinnin is a training administrator with the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors. Follow the GAAR on Twitter or Facebook.

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