Choosing real estate as a career can be incredibly rewarding, but it also requires hard work and long hours. Just like any high-pressure occupation, there are a number of mistakes that real estate agents can make in their day-to-day routines, as well as their long-term careers. Here are seven of the most common...
1. Not Planning for the FutureIn recent years, the Australian property market has been booming, and properties around the country have been selling quickly. Most sales have been the result of multiple buyers lining up for one property, and many willing to pay more than the asking price. The reality of the situation is that markets move in cycles, albeit property markets tend to experience a slower cycle in comparison to other markets, it is cyclical in nature nonetheless. Generally, a booming market is followed by a period where growth is flat, or even negative in some cases. This leads to investors pulling back and overall, less buyer demand. While a property might sell easily now amid the booming market, in order to stay ahead of competitors and remain successful, you must look ahead and plan for the future whether it be booming or otherwise. Start by looking at ways you can differentiate yourself as an agent, such as innovative ways to sell properties, as well as taking different marketing approaches. While this may not seem necessary in the current market, it will help set you apart from competition which will not only provide some security for an uncertain future, but also benefit yourself and your current clientele now.
2. Spreading Yourself Too ThinlyIn the current market, we are seeing plenty of interest from buyers, but low levels of stock. For agents, that means it can be tough to get a listing. While it might be tempting to start looking further afield for properties to sell, for the most part, you're best to always keeping building your focus in one area. Markets change rapidly, and when they do, agents who have made the mistake of spreading themselves a little thinnly might be left behind. Your goal should always be about becoming an expert in your area and building your brand locally. Becoming the expert in one area or locality is a major benefit, as it provides an opportunity to become the 'go-to' person for the job.
3. Forgetting to Build RelationshipsWe all know that real estate is all about building relationships. However, in the fast-paced market we currently find ourselves in, it can be difficult to cultivate new relationships and even maintain the ones we already have. In real estate, relationships are a major component of lead generation, and it's important that you are always looking to reach out and build new contacts, even when things are going well. Remember, long term success is about looking towards the future and planning for both flourishing and falling markets. You never know where your next listing will come from and equally you never know what one new contact could mean to your business. Clients always remember when a salesperson looks after them, especially when it is a major purchase like a property. A positive experience from a client means they are more likely to recommend you to family or friends. Likewise, a negative review can circulate quickly and be potentially detrimental to your business. Therefore, building relationships and looking after your clients is an incredibly important aspect of real estate.
4. Not Sticking to Your ValuesIn life and business, you will ultimately be judged by your values. Some sales agents fall into the trap of blurring the lines on those values. Some examples of this are stretching the truth with a potential buyer, taking on a vendor that doesn't uphold your values, drifting outside of your area of expertise, or even lowering your commission to the point that it isn't worth your time, just to win a listing. As the saying goes, reputation is everything. The small decisions you make along the way will ultimately be the things that cement your reputation in real estate. Each person you meet has the potential to become a client, and by holding yourself and your business to the highest standards and truest values, you will lift yourself above the competition throughout the test of time.
5. Reading Into Hype or NegativityWhen markets are rising, it is great time to be a sales agent. There are often multiple bidders on each property, from which you can expect to see prices that exceed expectations on a regular basis. As a sales agent, you are in a powerful position to understand what the market is doing. You see first-hand the buyers that are coming to open homes, as well as seeing how many offers are submitted on properties and how much interest there is ahead of any auction. That puts most sales agents on the pulse of the market. As a sales agent, your job is to not only get the best result for your vendor, but also to manage their expectations. Balancing these two forces is the essence of being a sales agent. In a rising market, it can be very easy to get caught up in the hype of a booming property market. It can seem as though the high demand will last forever and be easy to miss the signs of a turning market. As an agent, current and potential clients may look to you for market insights and predictions. After all, it is the job of a sales agent to understand their market better than anyone else. It’s important to avoid the trap of reading too far into hype or impending doom and then spreading that misinformation to others. Instead, stay on the pulse of the market, keeping a keen eye for indications of the market maintaining its strength, or early warning signs of a crashing market. Use your knowledge, connections, and intuition to get the best results for yourself and your clients.
6. Neglecting Your WebsiteIt is difficult to grow your business and personal brand without a top performing website. It can help you generate new leads, get listings and is also your resume, business card and portfolio of works. Make sure you keep up with the latest trends and technology and outsource if necessary to ensure your site is updated with timely and relevant content appropriate to your audience and buyer personas. Check out our Ultimate Real Estate Website Guide here to learn more.
7. Failing to Keep Up with The Latest TechnologyWe have seen a increase in the use of proptech, digital channels and cutting-edge technology to generate real estate leads and conversions, and market and sell properties, especially during the pandemic. Examples include aerial drones, social media marketing, virtual open homes and virtual auctions. New technology is changing the way that each property is listed and sold, and also how real estate agencies manage their business operations. Make sure you invest in the technology that is well suited to your business, which is scalable and can support your future growth. Even the best performing real estate agents and agencies make mistakes. It is how we analyse and learn from them that makes all the difference!