8 Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make and How to Avoid Them

8 Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make and How to Avoid Them

Published by Kartik Subramaniam

Reading Time : 7 minutes

Embrace the sales nature

Picture this: you've just passed your real estate exam, your license is now in hand, and your heart races with anticipation and nerves. You're ready to conquer the world, but the path seems uncertain. Don't worry, you're not alone. New real estate agents often walk a familiar road and by learning from your own missteps and those of others, you'll gain the knowledge and resilience to thrive in this dynamic field.

After over 20 years in the real estate industry, I’ve put together a list of common mistakes that newer real estate agents make after completing real estate license school and some potential solutions to these problems.

Mistake 1: Not Understanding Real Estate is a Direct Sales Job

Description: Some people new to selling houses don't realize that their job is really about direct sales, like selling a product directly to customers. This misunderstanding can make them less successful because they're not prepared for what the job actually involves. Real estate agents don't just sell houses; they're selling their own skills and trustworthiness to help people through the big deal of buying or selling a home. If they fail to recognize their job as centered on sales, they may avoid seeking new clients or improving their sales skills, both of which are crucial for success in their role.

Solution: Embrace the sales nature of real estate by developing strong sales and negotiation skills. This includes learning how to effectively communicate your value proposition, understanding the needs and wants of your clients, and mastering the arts of prospecting and closing. Building a strong personal brand and marketing yourself effectively are also key components of successful sales strategies in real estate. Networking, both online and in-person, is essential for generating leads and getting referrals. Understanding that real estate is fundamentally a direct sales job is the first step towards aligning your efforts with the demands of the industry and setting the stage for a thriving career.

Mistake 2: Failing to Set a Business Plan

Description: One of the most common pitfalls for new realtors is the need for a concrete business plan. Diving into the real estate industry without a clear strategy is like having a sailboat with no sail - the ship goes adrift. A well-thought-out business plan sets a clear direction for your real estate career and helps you establish achievable goals and strategies for reaching them. It should outline your market analysis, target audience, marketing strategies, financial planning, and growth objectives, providing a roadmap to success and a mechanism to measure progress.

Solution: Creating a robust business plan is your first step towards a successful career in real estate. Begin by defining your mission statement and unique value proposition—what sets you apart from the competition. Next, conduct a thorough market analysis to understand your local real estate market's needs, trends, and gaps. Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals to give your efforts direction and focus. Outline your marketing strategies: how do you plan to reach your target audience? Is this through digital marketing, networking events, or other channels? Lastly, draft a financial plan that includes your budget, expected income, and expenditure. This plan will guide you through the ups and downs of your real estate journey, enabling you to make informed decisions and adjust your strategies as the market evolves. The broker you work with should help chart this out.

Mistake 3: Neglecting Networking Opportunities

Problem: New real estate agents can easily get caught up in the immediate tasks of listing properties and chasing leads. However, overlooking the power of networking is a significant missed opportunity. Building relationships with other real estate professionals, industry professionals, and potential clients is crucial for generating referrals and expanding your knowledge base. Consider out-of-area networking also as you are less likely to get a referral from another agent in your area.


  • Attend Industry Events: Make an effort to attend local real estate association meetings, open houses hosted by other agents, and community events related to homeownership. These provide platforms to meet new people and introduce yourself.
  • Join Online Communities: Leverage social media groups and online real estate forums to engage with other professionals, ask questions, share insights, and build a network of connections that extends beyond your geographical area. Referral fees are common in the real estate industry and the bigger your network is, the more money you can expect to make.

  • Focus on Relationship Building: Networking isn't just about collecting business cards. Prioritize genuine connections, offer help without expecting immediate returns, and position yourself as a valuable resource within the community.

Mistake 4: Not Fully Understanding the Local Market

Description: A deep understanding of the local real estate market is crucial for any real estate agent, yet it's an area where many newer licensees find themselves playing catch-up. Without a thorough understanding of the local marketplace you're essentially operating in the dark, unable to provide accurate advice to clients or make informed pricing, marketing, and negotiation decisions. This lack of insight can lead to overpriced listings that languish on the market or missed opportunities in emerging neighborhoods.

Solution: To avoid this pitfall, commit to becoming an expert in your local market. Start by analyzing your area's current listings, recent sales, and historical trends. Attend local real estate meetings, seminars, and workshops to network with other professionals and stay abreast of new developments. Utilize tools and platforms that provide real-time data and analytics on your market. Regularly reviewing the Multiple Listing Service can provide insights into property values. Most importantly, engage with your community. The more you understand the people and the unique characteristics of different neighborhoods, the better equipped you'll be to serve your client's needs and become a trusted local expert.


Mistake 5: Overlooking the Power of Online Marketing

Problem: A solid online presence is essential for Realtors in today's digital landscape. Failing to utilize online marketing tools effectively means missing out on countless leads and severely limiting your visibility as an agent. Potential clients almost always begin their home search online and if you're not there, you're invisible.


  • Build a Professional Website: Your website should be your digital storefront. It should highlight your expertise, listings, and client testimonials and provide easy ways for potential clients to contact you.
  • Embrace Social Media: Actively engage on platforms where your target audience spends time (e.g., Facebook, Instagram). Share listings, provide market insights, and showcase your personality to build a loyal following.
  • Invest in SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Optimizing your website and content will help you rank higher in search results, driving more organic traffic and leads your way.

Mistake 6: Ignoring the Need for Continuing Education

Description: The real estate industry constantly moves with new laws, evolving market trends, changing marketing strategies, and technological advancements. Failing to keep up with these changes can lead to stagnation. New real estate agents must pay attention to ongoing training even after passing their initial licensing exams. Failure to do so will put them at a significant disadvantage in an increasingly competitive market. Continuous learning is not merely about fulfilling licensing requirements—it's about staying competitive, informed, and at the forefront of the industry.


  1. 1.Adopt a philosophy of lifelong learning to ensure you remain relevant and practical in your profession.
  2. Pursue additional qualifications, certifications, and courses that cover a wide range of topics, from digital marketing to real estate law.
  3. Participate in workshops, attend conferences, and join webinars to get acquainted with industry trends and practices.
  4. Check your local Association of Realtors and see what training they have available in addition to company provided training.

Mistake 7: Poor Time Management

Description: The flexible nature of a real estate career can be a double-edged sword. A lack of effective time management can lead to missed appointments, neglected leads, and a constant feeling of being overwhelmed. As a result, promising opportunities slip away, and your business growth suffers.


  • Time Blocking: Dedicate specific blocks of time to different tasks - lead generation, client meetings, administrative work, etc. This helps prevent reactive work patterns and maintains focus. Your schedule is your boss in real estate.
  • Prioritize High-Value Activities: Analyze and prioritize which tasks generate the most income. Delegate or outsource other tasks when feasible.
  • Embrace Technology: Use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to track client interactions, set reminders, and automate follow-ups, streamlining your workflow.
  • Schedule Breaks and Recharge: Real estate can be demanding. Intentionally schedule breaks and time for self-care to prevent burnout and maintain productivity.

Mistake 8: Not Setting Aside Savings for Slow Periods

Description: Real estate is an industry characterized by its cyclical nature, with highs and lows that can significantly impact income. A common oversight is failing to prepare for inevitable fluctuations. This lack of financial preparation can lead to stress and instability during slower periods when sales are fewer and far between. Understanding and planning for these fluctuations is essential for maintaining financial stability and ensuring longevity in the industry.

Solution: An essential strategy for managing this aspect of your real estate career is diligent financial planning, which includes setting aside a portion of your earnings during busier times to cover expenses during slower periods. A general recommendation is to save at least 20-30% of each commission check. Additionally, diversifying your income sources, such as rental income or other investments, can provide a steadier cash flow. Creating a detailed budget that accounts for personal and professional expenses will help you understand your financial needs and better prepare for the future.

Additional Tips:

  • Find a Mentor: A seasoned agent as a mentor can provide invaluable guidance, share their experiences, and accelerate your learning curve.
  • Embrace Technology: Stay ahead by incorporating the latest technologies and tools to optimize your processes and reach a greater audience.
  • Never Stop Learning: The real estate industry is constantly evolving. Commit to continuing education to stay informed and remain a trusted advisor for your clients.

With the right approach, the challenges of starting your real estate career can become your most significant growth opportunities!



Enjoy what you read?

Sign up for our newsletter and get weekly updates on our latest articles