If you’ve been in the real estate world for over two years, you’ve probably seen a lot of high hopes come and go. Each year, every agent in your office has exuberant expectations about the commissions the new year will bring their way.
And then the work comes…
Many get into real estate because they think it’s an “easy” job with lots of “time freedom”. But when they realize what all it takes to earn a check, and how much work it really is, they give up on their dreams.
I’ve never met a single real estate agent who didn’t get into the industry to make high six figures a year plus. I’ve only met about 1,000 who are actually doing it. One thousand may seem like a lot, but in a world of over one million NAR members, 1,000 is a measly 1%.
That’s right, roughly 1% of all agents earn 6 figures or more. Why? Because they don’t show up to do the work. Nothing is ever as easy as it seems and real estate is no exception.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the top goals of 2015 and the excuses your competitors will use to NOT complete them this year. Meanwhile, if any of these are on your goal list, when you feel one of these excuses creeping up on you, you can be aware of it and avoid falling into the excuse trap.
1. I’m not driving buyers around this year
It’s every Realtor’s dream to ONLY work with listings. Buyers can take up your time after hours and on the weekends. They can burn your gas and put miles on that fancy benz you leased with your first commission check, which you’re 1,000 miles over and one payment behind on.
The thing no one considers, though, is the cost of listings. Buyers are free other than gas and time. Sellers, on the other hand, require lockboxes, signs, ad money, broker opens and more. If you keep any kind of listing inventory you’ll be forced to invest heavily in supplies to open and sell them.
When agents realize the cost, they immediately say, “Well, I can’t afford that right now, so I’ll just stick to what I know – buyers.”
2. I’m hiring an assistant
The commission check roller coaster of real estate can be frustrating. Once you get a deal working, your time goes towards completing that deal, and not towards marketing for new deals. You get caught up and by the time the deal is done, you realize you wasted all your time closing one deal instead of prospecting for more.
There comes a point in an agent’s life when they get close multiple deals in a month and they want to hire an assistant to help them get off the roller coaster. The problem is, when you hire someone you have to train them. While you are training them you have to pay them. While they are training they can’t make you any kind of real money.
When the work and money show up agents say, “I don’t have time to teach someone else.”
3. I’m going to spend more money on marketing
If you plan on listing homes, attracting buyers and closing transactions, you’re gonna need to invest heavily in marketing. After all, how can anyone even know you exist, or that your listing is on the market, if you’re not putting your brand in front of them?
Many real estate agents underestimate the time and cost it takes to market themselves properly. In this day and age a pro knows to invest in seo, sem, ppc, fb ads, group posts, videos and direct mail. You have to reach the audience on every platform possible. That’s how you create a brand.
When agents realize that branding takes a while and most marketing does not generate a commission check overnight, they say, “I work with referrals from my network.”
4. I’m going to quit selling trailer homes
You probably read this and laughed. You may have thought “nobody sells trailers”, but I use the word metaphorically. I consider any home $100k and under a trailer. Every agent dreams of the day they score a million dollar listing, while at the same time, taking every BS deal they can, trying to pay bills.
We all know you want to move up in property values and sell from the nicer neighborhood, yet for some reason you can’t seem to tap into the market. Know why? Because you’re not farming and branding yourself in the neighborhood.
Whether it’s creating Facebook groups or door knocking, when most agents see what work it takes to actually farm a luxury neighborhood effectively, they say, “There’s more homes for sale under $xxx than there are in the million dollar range. It’s just how the market works here.”
5. I’m going to move into the luxury market
Like I stated above, every real estate agent wants to move into the luxury market. The problem is luxury buyers and sellers have money — often times more money than the agent working for them.
This can be intimidating… not knowing the lifestyle, decor, terminology, etc. — the artsy stuff rich folk are into. Agents get comfortable selling from their income level to their income level. It costs a lot of money to market expensive property, too. Most times you have to find buyers from other parts of the country.
When the obstacles show up, the excuses will follow. Most agents will say, “I don’t like working with those rich, fancy, folks. I’d rather work with people who are down to earth.”
6. I’m going to be top producer in my office
It’s every agents dream. The reason you got in the business. It’s more than the money. It’s the recognition and respect it earns you. What is it? TOP PRODUCER status! Everyone wants to be like you.
However, it’s a problem when it’s February and you realize you’re already 10 homes down from the current producer (and you have no firm plan or budget to get you caught up). You see the producer working night and day, always on the phone and always distracted. You realize it takes more than just a goal to get where he/she is.
When agents realize “top producer” status is only earned by those who hustle, they say, “I just wanna earn a comfortable living and not have to work 24/7.”
7. I’m not working with builders anymore
Chances are, if you’ve been in the business for any amount of time, you’ve been ripped off or duped out of a check by a builder. You may have shown some clients without a buyers rep (your bad), and the builder called them behind your back. Bye bye commission check.
You swear you will never send another builder another client… ever! Until another agent hacks you off. Then, on top of that, you realize the builder is paying a $10,000 bonus plus 5% to agents on homes in that new development down the street.
When they dangle that big bonus incentive in front of them, agents say, “I needed the money. It’s a nice neighborhood. I love that builder.”
The bottom line…
I make jokes about these excuses, but chances are, you found while reading this that you’ve made some of these excuses before as well. When hard work shows up, it’s usually carrying coveralls and a shovel.
If you’re going to make this next year better than you last, you can’t expect the market to yield you better results simply because it’s improving. This will only mean more competition throwing their hats in the ring. If you want more, you’re going to have to do more. End of story.
More marketing. More overcoming excuses. More work.
The list could go on forever. This year, when you say you want to be “Top Producer”, make it happen. Spend your spare time learning from someone who can help you. Watch videos, take courses and most of all, implement the stuff you learn.
It’s up to you whether you have the best year of your career, or whether you use one of the above lame excuses for not getting the job done. Go get ’em Tiger, you got this!