Navigating Challenges: 12 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Quit & How to Overcome Them

Navigating Challenges: 12 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Quit & How to Overcome Them

Published by Kartik Subramaniam

Reading Time : 6 minutes

Real estate agent fail

The Tough Reality: Unveiling the 12 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Quit and Fail in the Industry

So you're thinking about the real estate business, huh? It sounds pretty cool, right? You get to make good money, choose when you want to work, and help people find their dream homes. But wait a minute! Did you know a lot of new real estate agents quit within just a few years? Yep, it's true. Even though it looks pretty exciting, a lot of folks find it tough to stick around. So let's dive into twelve reasons why so many people decide to hang up their real estate agent hat early.

I want to be clear about one thing - I’m not in the business of telling people why they can’t make it in real estate. I really wanted to write this article as a word of caution to ensure that our students have the greatest chance of success once they get out into the field.

Reason 1:

Most folks think that to be a successful real estate agent, all you need is to pass the real estate exam and get a license. Easy-peasy, right? Well, not so fast. The real world of real estate is like a huge puzzle. Without spending enough time learning all the pieces and how they fit together, things can get pretty confusing. And because of that, many agents find themselves saying, "This is too tough!" and decide to quit early.

For a newbie real estate agent, closing a deal may seem as simple as showing a house, finding a buyer who loves it, and then handing over the keys. But the truth is, it's more complicated than that.

First, they have to understand the local real estate market: what types of homes are selling, what prices are reasonable, and who the potential buyers are.

Then, they have to learn about home inspections and appraisals. They need to understand what problems might come up during an inspection, how to negotiate repairs, and how an appraisal can affect the selling price.

And lastly, they have to manage the closing process. This includes understanding all the legal documents involved, coordinating between lenders and other agents, and ensuring all the necessary steps are completed on time.

If a new real estate agent doesn't take the time to learn each of these pieces and how they fit together, they can easily become overwhelmed. This could lead to mistakes, missed opportunities, and ultimately, failure.

Reason 2:

Expecting Too Much: Sometimes, real estate school makes everything seem a lot easier than it really is. But being a successful real estate agent is hard work - not unlike studying for a tough test or training for a big game. It needs grit, lots of work, and a ton of patience. If new agents think they're going to close a bunch of deals super quick and it doesn't happen, they can get really disappointed and might decide to quit.

Reason 3:

Money Matters: Now let's talk about money. Because real estate agents earn commissions (that means we get paid when we sell a house), we need to plan our money carefully and control our costs. Think about expenses like licensing fees, the cost of advertising, and even just paying for everyday stuff like food, housing and utilities until you’re selling enough houses to make steady money. If you don't plan well, it’s possible to run out of cash before your career really gets started.


Reason 4:

Inadequate Marketing Skills: We live in an era where digital marketing is king. Thus, a real estate agent's ability to effectively market their listings and personal brand is crucial to their success. Agents who need help to adapt to digital trends or establish a substantial online presence might find themselves unable to stay afloat in this competitive arena.

Reason 5:

Mentorship Importance: Having a mentor when starting in real estate can help. This is because they can show you how to handle the complexities of our business. Mentors provide guidance, share valuable insights and experiences, and help navigate the industry's complexities. With a mentor, individuals might take advantage of learning opportunities and make avoidable mistakes. Additionally, mentors often challenge their mentees, pushing them to strive for more, which aids in career advancement. Career progression might be slower and more challenging without such support and stimulation.

A good mentor is going to stop newbies from making beginner mistakes, lessen their stress, and make them feel more confident.

Reason 6:

Poor Time Management: Despite the seemingly flexible work hours, the real estate industry demands exceptional time management skills. Promptly responding to clients, effectively coordinating open houses, diligently managing paperwork - all these tasks are integral to an agent's role. Failure to efficiently manage these responsibilities can result in missed opportunities and potential career failure.

Reason 7:

Not Building a Client Base: Just as a solid foundation is important in the construction of a building, having a strong client network is vital for a real estate agent. Even during real estate license school, agents learn the importance of effective networking and creating good relationships with clients. Those who struggle with these skills often need help getting clients. This can lead to fewer deals, not enough income, and could eventually lead them to give up on their real estate career.

Reason 8:

Over-reliance on Brokerage: While your brokerage can and should provide valuable resources and initial support, relying only on them can impede an agent's growth. Real estate agents must realize that their triumph hinges mainly on their initiative, independent decision-making abilities, and capacity to cultivate relationships and close deals.

Reason 9:

Inability to Handle Rejection: Rejection is integral to the real estate business. Deals will fall apart, and potential buyers will turn down offers. Agents incapable of handling rejection may quickly lose morale, leading them to reconsider their career choice.


Rejections and deals falling through are part of the process, but remember that these setbacks do not define your capabilities or worth as a real estate agent. Here's a different perspective to help cheer you up:

Firstly, every successful real estate agent has gone through what you're going through right now. Each rejection is not a failure but rather a learning opportunity. It's all about gaining valuable experience to help you improve at your job.

Secondly, remember that rejection isn't personal. Clients have numerous reasons for rejecting offers or pulling out of deals, most of which have nothing to do with you. They might have financial issues, change their mind about moving, or find a different property that suits their needs better.

Thirdly, consider that each "no" you hear is one step closer to the next "yes." It's a numbers game. Every rejection brings you closer to a successful deal. Persistence is key in this industry.

Lastly, it's important to maintain a positive attitude and take care of your mental health. Take time to do things you enjoy and relax when you're not working. The real estate business can be stressful, so it's essential to have a good work-life balance.

Reason 10:

Lack of Continuing Education: The dynamic real estate market continually evolves, requiring agents to stay updated with current trends and regulations. Those who neglect continuing education risk lagging behind more informed competitors. This deficiency can lead to fewer closed deals and career failure.

Reason 11:

Ignoring Customer Service: An agent's reputation is crucial for success. Those who fail to prioritize customer service face a tarnished reputation, which can result in fewer referrals, a shrinking client base, and an exit from the industry.

Reason 12:

Poor Negotiation Skills: Being a real estate agent demands being an adept negotiator. Agents need to ensure the best possible deal for their clients. With refined negotiation skills, agents may be able to finalize deals effectively, leading to dissatisfied clients and a subsequent exit from the industry.

Real estate transactions can be complex and stressful, with many potential conflicts. Good negotiation skills can help manage and resolve these conflicts, keeping the process moving smoothly.

When clients see their agent successfully negotiating on their behalf, this will increase their satisfaction and trust in their agent, leading to more referrals and repeat business, which is crucial for an agent's success.

I hope it’s apparent that the journey to a successful career in real estate extends far beyond passing a real estate exam and obtaining a real estate license. It requires an intricate blend of hard work, lifelong learning, stellar customer service, and sharp business skills. By comprehending these potential pitfalls, novice agents can equip themselves better for the challenges that lie ahead, significantly improving their chances of success and ensuring they become more than just another number in the high attrition rate of the real estate industry.

As always, if you are interested in getting your real estate license visit or call us at 888-768-5285.



Kartik Subramaniam

Founder, Adhi Schools

Kartik Subramaniam is the Founder and CEO of ADHI Real Estate Schools, a leader in real estate education throughout California. Holding a degree from Cal Poly University, Subramaniam brings a wealth of experience in real estate sales, property management, and investment transactions. He is the author of nine books on real estate and countless real estate articles. With a track record of successfully completing hundreds of real estate transactions, he has equipped countless professionals to thrive in the industry.

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