Top 7 Reasons Real Estate Agents Fail (And How to Avoid Them)

Real Estate Agent Failure

The first two years are crucial in determining if a new real estate agent sinks or swims. According to NAR, a whooping 87% of new real estate agents leave the industry after five years, leaving only a measly 13% agents staying for the long haul. How come the real estate industry is so tough to stay, and succeed, in? We’ve compiled the top seven reasons why real estate agents fail, and what you can do to not fall into these traps. 

Reason 1 Real Estate Agents Fail: Too-High Expectations

Reality TV shows where agents fly around on private jets, make buckets of cash, and locate and work leads without breaking a sweat can give a newbie, or hopeful agent, the wrong impression. The cold, hard truth is far from what’s being advertised on TV. Being an agent is certainly not for the faint of heart, and is certainly not an instantly lucrative profession. Expecting instant success (especially for minimal amounts of work) is a big reason why many realtors don’t make it. 

How to Avoid: Re-Adjust your expectations, and plan accordingly. 

Don’t worry— you don’t have to stop watching your favorite reality TV shows! Just remember that your life might not resemble their’s straight away (and that’s OK!).

Planning to avoid real estate agent failure

Instead, be realistic about your goals and about your future. Set budgets, make timelines, and think of achievable goals– both long term and short term. Money will be tight, so make sure that you have enough savings needed to jumpstart a real estate career before you take the plunge.

Real estate is a lot of hustle, but always keep in mind that you’re helping someone through a difficult transition. Your impact is always being felt! 

Reason 2 Real Estate Agents Fail: Lack of Leads

Leads are the life-blood of any real estate agent. Without anyone to sell or rent to, a real estate agent cannot conduct business, make commissions, and stay in the industry. Leads are especially difficult to get when you’re a newbie agent and don’t have the thick book of referrals seasoned agents can rely on… It’s a tough world out there and leads can be very difficult to generate, even for agents trying their hardest.  

How to Avoid: There’s no magic bullet… but, have a marketing plan in place that’ll work

Unfortunately, even the savviest real estate agents can struggle to come up fool-proof plans for lead generation, and lack of leads becomes one of the leading reasons why real estate agents fail. However, creating a marketing plan that utilizes diverse channels— from in person farming of your local area to posting routinely on your Instagram— can help you get the leads to succeed and stay in business. 

By the way, Rental Beast can help! Our listings are automatically syndicated to Facebook Marketplace and realtor.com. All interest in those listings goes automatically back to Rental Beast agents. If you see a listings you’d think your clients would love, our easy share options allow you to quickly share it to your social network. 

Reason 3 Real Estate Agents Fail: They Don’t Work their Leads 

Getting leads and closing deals is a big accomplishment, but many real estate agents make the mistake of letting their interactions drop off after the sale. And, as a result, they aren’t able to build up the book of referrals that seasoned agents have. 

How to Avoid: Have a CRM

real estate agent CRM

A CRM, or Customer Relationship Manager, is a tool that will help you stay on track, and in touch, with your client base. CRMs are able to works leads automatically, by sending them follow up emails and texts, holiday messages, and birthday cards. A CRM is especially important for agents who want to work with rentals. Renters are likely to become buyers, and are really likely to return to the agents that rented them their apartments. With CRM’s, like Rental Beast’s, you’ll be able to know when and how to reach out. 

Reason 4: No Way To Weather a DownCycle

The real estate market is highly-dynamic and ever-changing. One good month does not guarantee another good one (on the flip-side, one bad month doesn’t mean the next one will be crummy!) For newbie agents who come into the market in a slow season, or who keep hitting a down cycle, insuring cash flow stays consistent is a pressing challenge. 

How to Avoid:  Diversify Your Income

At Rental Beast, we’re big proponents of making rentals a core part of your business. Here’s one good reason why: Rentals take place quickly and at a high volume (check out more here). This means that you can weather down cycles of home sales and slow markets, and keep cash flow consistent. Like we discussed in Reason 1, it’s also important to make sure you start your real estate career on the right track. Ensure that you have saving set aside in case making money proves to be tough during the first couple of years. If you’re still strapped for cash, there’s nothing wrong with thinking of ways to get some more supplemental income to weather a down cycle.

Reason 5: Wrong Brokerage

The first step after getting your real estate license is signing on with a brokerage. There’s a whole lot of choices— boutique brokerages, national brokerages, and teams— but it’s easy to go wrong. Many agents find themselves with brokerages that don’t make them feel supported, or fail to make them feel educated. 

How to Avoid: Do your research

Before joining a brokerage, make sure that you know what you’re getting into. Evaluate factors such as commission split, potential to get a great mentor and continue your education, and how approachable management seems. Dedicate time to researching brokerages, talking to agents employed by them. Different brokerages will have their strengths and weaknesses; keep looking for the best fit. The more information you have the better!

Reason 6 Real Estate Agents Fail: Newbie Agents Don’t Know Where to Start

Your brokerage also plays a big part in making sure that you hit the ground running, but many agents don’t sign onto a brokerage that’s the correct fit, and pay the price. 

How to Avoid: Continue your education

Continuing education classes are already built into your real estate license, so make sure you use them. Discover an element that you need more help with. But, there’s plenty of ways to continue your education besides CE courses. Try other online seminars about an aspects of being a real estate agent that you don’t feel totally comfortable with yet, like digital marketing. Or try attending in-person seminars to meet other professionals and get excited about the industry again. 

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Sites like Rental Beast University can help you continue your education.

Reason 7: Brutal Burn Out

What starts as excitement can fizzle off into demotivation quickly, and unhappy agents are likely to churn out of the industry. 

We never like to hear this as one of the reasons why real estate agents fail, but being a real estate agent is tough work. It’s a 24/7-eight-days-a-week-exhausting-as-heck job. What starts as excitement can fizzle off into demotivation quickly, and unhappy agents are likely to churn out of the industry.

How to Avoid: Manage Your Motivation

Everyone feels a little unhappy at one point or another, but, because lack of motivation is one of the reasons why new agents fail, it’s important to try to keep motivation levels up. Here’s one tip the Rental Beast team likes— think of why

motivation for real estate agents

you’re doing what you do. Maybe you’re saving up to take a two week trip to Italy, or to help your daughter with her student loans; maybe you’re driven by helping people find a perfect home, or feeling accomplished. Also, maybe try planning your time, and writing down a list of everything you accomplished in a day, a week, the month, the past year. 

Rental Beast was started with the goal of simplifying the rental market and allowing real estate agents to make rentals a core part of their business and access first time homebuyers. There’s lots of reasons why real estate agents fail, but we want to make sure that we can help all agents— new and seasoned— stay in the industry and succeed. 

Ready to unleash the beast? To learn more about the Rental Beast platform or to request a no-obligation demo visit Rental Beast for Real Estate Agents.


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