Although it depends upon whom you ask, estimates vary about the average length of time a real estate agent stays in their career. Trainer Tom Ferry says that 87 percent wash out within five years and others say that the churn rate is around 95 percent.
If you’re a new agent who hopes to be in it for the long haul or an established one who is facing challenges, read on to understand some of the stumbling blocks you may face and how to overcome them.
Let complacency take hold
When that sense of security settles over you, when you decide that being average is good enough – wake up!
NAR’s member survey claims that fewer than one-fourth of real estate agents earn more than $100,000 annually. The median earnings, at least according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $44,090.
What’s interesting, is how the business behaviors of the lowest and highest earners differ. Rich agents, for instance, aren’t afraid to spend money. And, no, it isn’t because they have more of it to spend. Most claim that they started their careers with the mindset that “it takes money to make money.”
An Active Rain survey of these agents finds that they spend more of their incomes on tech upgrades and 10 times more on marketing than the poorer agents.
Refuse to spend money
Remember the NAR member survey we mentioned above? Ever wonder what separates the two groups of earners (aside from experience)?
Those who earn more aren’t afraid to spend the money necessary to set them apart from the rest of the agent-pack in their area.
The wealthier agents spend their money on their websites, their CRM, and email marketing. In fact, this group of agents spends 10 times more on marketing than the lower-earning agents.
Keep hanging on to every last nickel and you’ll fail. It’s as simple as that.
Don’t grasp “When you list, you last”
The holy grail in academia is to publish. It’s one of the few ways to promote yourself as an authority and, thus, further a career. In fact, the admonishment is “Publish or Perish.”
We have one of those in real estate: “When you list, you last.” When you consider that your listings will generate far more clients than your buyers will (if you work them properly), you understand the dictum.
Servicing a listing is also a lot less labor-intensive than working with a buyer. Focusing on listings “will allow you to get what you want a lot faster and allow you to have a life,” according to real estate trainer Knolly Williams.
In his book “Millionaire Real Estate Agent,” Gary Keller claims that listings are vital if you hope to build your business to its highest level, “with the lowest costs and highest net.”
Finally, Matt Williams at Realtor.org challenges agents to walk into any real estate broker’s office and ask to meet their most successful agent. The chances are pretty good, he says, that “you’ll soon be shaking the hand of someone whose income comes mostly from listing.”
How much is “mostly?” The experts recommend that 60 percent of your business should be listings.
Ignore past clients
One of the most amazing real estate statistics to come out of the NAR is that the majority of real estate consumers (85 percent, according to the latest survey) loved their agent so much that they promised to use them again in the future.
Yet, fewer than 25 percent actually do use the same agent
This is a direct result of a failure to follow up on the agent’s part. The most awesome closing gift ever given won’t make these people remember you five years down the line when it’s time to sell their home. Especially if another agent has been farming them or otherwise getting their name in front of them more often than you do yours.
Inconsistent or non-existent follow-up is like throwing money away and a surefire way to sabotage your business.
Consider this: a 5 percent increase in your client retention rate can bump your income as much as 95 percent, according to research by Harvard Business School.
Don’t neglect others in your sphere of influence, either. According to NAR, as much as 65 percent of your business can come from that pool if you consistently reach out to them.
Fail to plan for success
It’s difficult to remain focused on your goals if you lack a plan. Guessing or hoping that you meet your objectives isn’t smart. An assumption of where you stand at any given moment is about as accurate as a Zestimate of a property’s value.
Avoid the hit-or-miss chaos and make a business plan. Yes, it’s boring and yes, it’s time-consuming. There are lots of guides online to help you, but we’re rather partial to the Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan.
Don’t accept being an average agent, spend the money it takes to market your business, chase listings instead of buyers, send past clients lots of love, and create and follow a business plan.
THAT is how to ensure your success and tenure in real estate.
Send at least 100 Should I Stay or Should I Go postcard from the Get More Listings Series to an area where you want more listings.
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Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!
PLUS: When you have time…here are Free killer tools to help your success this year!
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