There are so many misconceptions agents believe about this industry. But that’s exactly what’s stopping them from growing. So here are the untrue things you’ve probably heard about real estate — and why you should ignore them.

Perception is not always reality. This is especially true when it comes to myths many agents believe regarding their businesses. Belief affects the actions you take, and those actions — or lack thereof — are leading indicators for the health of your future business.

The following will debunk the myths many agents believe and clear the path to building the business of your dreams.

1. Past buyers will call you when they get ready to sell

Many agents assume their past buyers will call them when they get ready to list their home for sale. This assumption has merit since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports 90 percent of buyers say they would use their agent again at the time of closing.

But do they actually do so?

The problem with this myth is that the NAR also reports that only 26 percent of homes are listed with the agent that helped the homeowner buy the home they are listing. Why is this? Most agents believe the homeowners will remember them — but that’s simply not the case.

To stay top-of-mind, agents must have a follow-up plan of action that continues after the closing. This includes, but is not limited to, automated emails with properties like their home that come on the market, go under contract or sell, monthly email newsletters and past client events. It also includes engaging with them on social media and through quarterly or semi-annual check-in calls.

Listings never just happen. Turn your closings into relationships, and you can be assured your repeat business and referrals will grow.

2. Real estate marketing is an expense

Many agents view marketing as an expense, and nothing could be further from the truth. Done properly, marketing should have a trackable return on investment (ROI).

But how do you know the type of marketing that will have the highest ROI for you and your business? Should you invest in farming, online leads, a website, Facebook ads, predictive analytics or social media marketing? All of these strategies can have ROI for agents, but will they work for you?

The only way to know is to test the strategies you believe will work best for you and your business. Once you identify the three or four marketing strategies that have the highest ROI for you and your business, go all in.

Marketing is the fuel for business growth, and it is an investment in your business instead of an expense.

3. The higher your agent split, the better off you are

There is value and then there is price. Are there situations where the highest split possible is best for certain agents? Absolutely. Are there situations where a lower split, but more opportunities for growth and the opportunity to close more transactions is best for certain agents? Absolutely.

The question agents need to ask is which company will help them have a 1099 with the highest number possible at the end of the year. Splits should be in line with the value provided and value can be provided through tools, technology, training and opportunity.

Weigh the value you receive versus the split you have. Focus on your bottom line and you may realize the highest split possible at a company that provides no support isn’t the best deal for you after all.

4. As a real estate agent, you can sell in other markets

You can sell in other areas within the state you are licensed, but should you? Many agents, especially less experienced agents, will drive an hour away to show homes to a client in an area they know nothing about.

Ask yourself: Would my client be better served by me referring them to an expert in that other market? Is this something I’m just doing for this one client and anything I learn about this area will not help my business in the future?

If you are being honest, selling in markets outside the area you specialize in is not what is best for your client or your long-term success in real estate.

The figure of speech, “a jack of all trades and the master of none,” is not the path to success. Find a market you can dominate, learn everything about that market you possibly can, and add value in the market where you are becoming the expert.

Yes, you can sell in other areas, but the riches are in the niches.

5. There is too much competition in real estate

There are more agents now than there have been in the past. Here are a few noteworthy statistics from NAR in regard to agents:

  • The median number of homes sold for residential specialists for 2020 was nine.
  • Most Realtors worked just 35 hours per week in 2020.
  • The average real estate agent earned $43,330 in 2020.

If you are reading this article, then I’m guessing you are not an average agent. Odds are your goal is to sell way more than nine houses and make much more than $43,330 in the coming year. If you plan to only work 35 hours a week then yes, you can expect average results.

The opportunity in this business will always be available for professionals who hone their craft, work hard, and consistently add value to the home buying and selling public. I would argue there is not too much competition in real estate; there are too few highly motivated professionals.

6. The real estate market will be good forever

I get extremely nervous when someone says the current real estate market is the new normal. Markets move in cycles. To believe that the market will continue to be as good as it has been over the past nearly 10 years would be naïve. There will be a day the real estate market will shift. That is not the question. The question is will you be prepared?

Focus on building relationships now and when, not if, the market shifts, those relationships will help your business grow while others fail.

7. What got me here, will get me there

If you want to reach new levels of success, you will have to do new things. We live in a time when the world is changing at an ever-increasing speed and your ability to adapt to these changes will be critical for future growth. What are you doing to expand your business? What new marketing tools or strategies are you implementing this year?

By continuing to learn, you will continue to grow.

Most people just go with the flow. My objective with this article has been to challenge some of the myths you may have been believing. If you’re challenging the norms and consistently growing yourself, your business can’t help but grow.

Jimmy Burgess is the Chief Growth Officer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Facebook or Instagram.

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