From incorrectly handling contracts to betting on the wrong brokerage, this week, our readers talk about early-career mistakes real estate agents make (and what they can learn from them).

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There’s a reason why “everybody makes mistakes” is a saying overworn by repetition, and that’s because it’s true. We all make mistakes, especially early on in our careers.

If you’re new to real estate, chances are, you’ve already heard someone tell you that the first year or so on the job will determine whether you succeed or fail. It is a tough industry after all — erring and bouncing back from those setbacks is how you cut your teeth as a novice.

So, last week, we asked you, our readers, to reflect back on your first job, early-career failures and those times you made a stupid thing happen. From handling contracts with inexperience to dropping the ball on communication, here are the most common errors real estate agents make.

  • Not contacting listing agents to let them know an offer is coming over.
  • Not filling out the purchase contract correctly.
  • Not paying attention to the little details — like clauses in the contract. For example, agents must reply to home inspection report within two days of receipt. Missing this timeline can be costly.
  • Being scared to tap my sphere and made it really difficult for myself to generate quality leads. 
  • The biggest mistake I see rookies consistently make is focusing on non-revenue-generating activities. Googling “How to become a top producing real estate agent” will yield a ton of results, but unfortunately, paralysis by analysis is a very real thing. Unfortunately, agents are drawn more to the how to than the end result. In the beginning, focusing on high-level biz operation stuff is tempting, but dig in on the lead gen and actually do the job before worrying about the details.
  • Once you get a deal in escrow, you take the foot off the gas and lose all your momentum.
  • Not asking for help. Thinking, “This is easy, I’ll just handle it myself the best I know how.” Also, to be quite honest, in my 46 years in real estate, experienced people are capable of making the same mistake.
  • Locking yourself out of a property, not bringing the right keys to a showing, and setting off alarms!
  • Showing houses without a signed contract is a big rookie mistake.
  • Not enough prospecting and meeting new people. Assuming leads and clients would fall into my lap.
  • Not joining the right brokerage from the start — too many times new agents are “wowed” by an interviewer’s sales pitch and begin their real estate careers with no training, education, coaching, support and decent commission splits. They assume all brokerages are the same and neglect to ask the questions whose answers can determine their success and prevent the mistakes in the first place.

What did we miss? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: These responses were given anonymously and, therefore, are not attributed to anyone specifically. Responses were also edited for grammar and clarity. Inman doesn’t endorse any specific method and regulations may vary from state to state.

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