We’d all like to imagine we were perfect real estate operators and the type of agent who creates raving fans.
The reality is even great agents make mistakes, and some of them can be costly when it comes to your future pipeline of listings and sales.
Most of these errors are also easily avoided with a little discipline, some good time management, and the constant awareness that the actions you undertake now have a direct impact on your bottom line in the months ahead.
Here are the seven biggest mistakes agents make (and how you can avoid them).
1. Not having an effective client care program
Real estate is a people business where agents’ reputations are built through trust and familiarity.
That’s where an effective client care program is imperative, and it’s something that is too often overlooked.
I’d argue client care should actually be called “client-agent tethering” where you consistently ask yourself how you can stay tethered to and of value to the client.
There’s a fine art to client care, where it’s all about remaining top of mind without being annoying, and this involves offering consistent and real value to your client.
The client should always be presented with short, sharp, useful information that suits their stage of the buying or selling journey.
They should also be provided with subliminal messages that continually show the agent successfully selling homes.
Agents often assume they will always be memorable.
That’s not the case, and it pays to think of yourself a little like Coca-Cola, Nike, or even Apple. Although they are all famous brands, they still advertise and connect with their customers to stay top of mind.
2. Maintaining and populating a quality CRM system
A well-maintained CRM is pure gold for any agent worth their salt. But as much as we all know that, maintaining and populating that CRM is a classic historical challenge for many agents.
This mistake comes down to discipline, and it impacts every element of your pipeline. When you do not tend to your CRM or use it effectively, client follow-up becomes ad hoc and often impersonal.
And because agents don’t have a follow-up strategy, this gives rise to the industry’s poor reputation for not returning calls or responding to inquiries.
Not only is it important to regularly maintain your CRM and update the data within it, it’s also critical you understand your CRM and the tools available in it.
The reality is, most agents have a CRM, but the majority only use about 20 per cent of its functionality.
3. Not hiring a support team
It can be a challenge to recognise when an agent should take on a support team, but one of the key mistakes agents make is not doing it soon enough.
The best time to start building your team is before you are too busy to onboard an assistant and give them the training they need.
In other words, it’s important to be ahead of the curve. And, while hiring staff or building a team is an outlay, it is an investment that can really pay off.
Why? Because as I’ve said time and again, you cannot shrink yourself to greatness.
4. Not setting a budget for personal promotion
Great agents know that sellers need to spend money and advertise in order to attract the largest pool of potential buyers for their homes.
Ironically, these same agents often don’t appreciate the importance of advertising themselves in order to attract a large pool of potential clients.
Ideally, a minimum of 5 per cent of your annual GCI should be dedicated to personal promotion.
5. Failing to embrace perpetual learning
No matter how experienced or skilled an agent is, there is always room for learning and personal growth.
After all, real estate constantly changes, as do the expectations of your customer.
Training and ongoing education allow you to “sharpen the saw”, and, as the old saying goes, “the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle”.
6. Not knowing your numbers
Numbers are not vanity metrics. They offer a whole host of clues into your past and future success.
If you do not use key performance indicators or do not intimately know your own numbers, you cannot identify the areas for improvement that lead to better results.
As a minimum, every great agent should be able to instantly recall:
⁃ Their average sale price and selling fees
⁃ Their appraisal to list ratio
⁃ How many homes sell in their marketplace
⁃ The value of their database
⁃ Their best lead source for listings
7. Not having an effective prospecting plan
Successful prospecting is all about patience, consistency, and discipline. You need to keep at it, understand what works, and commit to regularly undertaking that activity.
If you do not create an effective and results-driven prospecting plan that taps into this consistency, you cannot expect to achieve consistent results.
Too often, agents try something and expect an instant result, or they look to the latest shiny tech toy that promises to deliver leads.
That’s not how prospecting works. You can’t expect to send out one direct email campaign and enjoy a flood of listing inquiries the following day, or for there to be a quick-fix tech tool that replaces good old-fashioned leg work.
Instead, it’s about using multiple channels to reach out to prospective clients, including phone, SMS, email, direct mail, door knocking, and social media, and then being regular and consistent in your approach.
Chances are some of these mistakes sound familiar to you, and they’re errors even great agents can inadvertently make, especially in a busy market.
However, if you can identify them and fix them, you will quickly enjoy the results.
Manos Findikakis is chief executive and co-founder of the Eview Group.