Being a real estate agent in the smallest state is no simple task. With such a tense real estate market, the competition is fierce and listings really are numbered. To truly thrive and be successful there simply isn’t much room for mistakes. This is particularly true for those just starting out.
With every industry comes common mistakes. While you’re sure to make a mistake here and there (we’re all human) the true sign of a good business person is to study the common mistakes and do your best to avoid them, and learn from your mistakes as they’re made so you can work towards continuous improvement. As a little head start, here are 5 things to avoid if you’re a real estate agent from Little Rhody or beyond.
1. Not investing in your marketing enough
The worst thing any new business owner or entrepreneur can do is be so scared of wasting money that they refuse to spend it where they need it. In such a fast-moving digital world, having excellent online presence and marketing is simply essential to survive. If you find a company you trust that you know produces good results in your area, don’t be afraid to invest in their services that can benefit you. Examples could include website design, graphic design, and social media help.
Keep in mind that an investment in marketing materials is an investment in you! Spend the money where it counts and at the very least make sure you have a stellar logo with professional business cards. You might not enjoy cutting that check when your startup costs are hurting you, but if you don’t build your professional brand correctly you might as well not build it at all.
2. Saying yes too much
If you chose real estate as a profession, chances are you have more than just a love for beautiful homes. You are probably somewhat of a people person. It can be so tempting for all of us to want to please those around us, especially our clients. Make sure you study your business deals before walking into a negotiation so you understand your goal, as well as your bottom line. Set your boundaries internally before you walk in. When something is asked of you that you already told yourself you simply wouldn’t budge on or accommodate, politely draw your line in the sand and simply say that the arrangement won’t work for you. Be sure to have a followup offer in mind and give it your best shot.
Rember that the best negotiations end in an agreement where both sides benefit and we all deserve to treat ourselves with respect and dignity. Saying no from time to time is simply respecting ourselves. Clients that can’t understand that need to do their own soul-searching elsewhere.
3. Not communicating effectively
If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a licensed real estate agent, or very close to being licensed. This means you are an expert. You know the lingo, the regulations, and the local housing market trends. You are so clear on the process for home ownership and sales that you could draw it out on paper. While this is super impressive, keep in mind that your knowledge is not common. Part of being good at your job is having the ability to explain your knowledge to clients who are insecure about the process of buying or selling their home and are likely terrified of being taken advantage of. Taking the time to communicate effectively through breaking down complicated real estate jargon, and having a human moment where you reassure them is not doing extra work. It is doing what is essential for your success and referrals.
4. Not having a business plan
From architecture to zoo keeping, we all have our passions and desired work environments. Something we might not learn while studying Rhode Island property tax codes is how to do things like grow our personal brand into a company with additional agents and assistants. While we might be able to get started by relying on our knowledge and passion in any field, this is isn’t all that sustainable. Take the time to develop a business plan. Seek advice from a financial adviser, or someone you know that’s thriving in the industry that you think would be willing to get coffee with you to talk shop. Remember that this is just as important as closing on that newly listed ranch house projected to sell quickly in Cranston.
5. Failing to find your niche
Do you find that 75% of your referrals are first time home buyers in their thirties? Perhaps you’ve found that you close homes faster in Kent County than Providence County. Maybe multi-family unit listings have become the bane of your existence. Perhaps one, or two of these things were true, but you only just realized it while reading this! Failing to recognize and capitalize on your trends is an opportunity lost. If you find that your referrals are first timers, awesome! This can turn into such a fantastic social media campaign targetting young couples who need facts and support and a charming and skilled agent like you to help them through their first purchase.
You might be able to think of a handful of additional mistakes you’ve seen friends in the industry make that weren’t listed here. Take some time to jot those down and create a plan for how to avoid each one. Risk mitigation is such a great way to avoid unnecessary expenses and keep your progress on a steady climb.
At J&R Marketing we offer numerous marketing services to Real Estate Agents in Rhode Island.