Updated: Sep 5
As every real estate agent knows, success in this career is never an easy task.
It is paramount that you continuously put in your best effort and provide the top notch service to your clients.
Over the years, i have witnessed many successes and mistakes (and even made a few myself) and i can easily narrow it down to a few major points that are common.
To reach your fullest potential as a successful real estate agent, having the awareness of these common bad habits will help you cultivate behaviours that aid you in growing your real estate career quickest!
Enough said, let's jump in!
1. Not Managing Your Schedule Tightly
Having flexible working hours is one of the best things of being a real estate agent.
However, it can easily be one of the worst things too if you do not know how to take control of your own schedule and let your emotion or mood take over.
With this kind of freedom, some real estate agents get distracted easily and spend their time on things that are irrelevant to their work such as surfing social media sites, having long breaks and whiling time away on unproductive tasks.
Successful real estate agents usually have their schedule well-planned and focus on using every minute of their day productively. Even rests are penciled in.
They know beforehand what is to be done for the day and the tasks that they have to prioritise.
Plan your schedule properly and set a target for yourself on how many appointments you should fulfil on a weekly basis and crosscheck with your mentor or peers to discuss your progress.
Save distractions such as social media browsing (Unless you are doing marketing work) for after you have accomplished what you set out to do for the day.
Delayed gratification always requires self-control but sets aside the successful ones and the struggling ones.
2. Talking More Than Listening
This is one of the most common bad habits of real estate agents and some even believe that being a good real estate salesperson involves talking on and on.
While it is important to introduce the key features, advantages and benefits (F.A.B) of a property to clients, not actively listening and responding to their questions and concerns is a major turn off.
If you miss any vital information from your clients or fail to observe their body language well, it will impact their ability to trust that you are looking out for their best interests.
After all, your clients are the ones entrusting you with their business and they would want to feel heard and valued.
Make sure to pay attention to what your clients say and ensure you listen with both your heart and your mind.
The wisest and greatest sales person is one who asks the right questions, listens and observes intently and speaks only when needed.
3. Slowness In Responding To Clients
While you are not expected to respond to calls or texts within seconds, do your best to be prompt and responsive during working hours.
People today have access to information at their fingertips and any delays in replying means the client might end up enquiring with someone else.
Responsive sales people often answer their calls right away during their working hours as it is the best time to speak when a client is enquiring at their peak interest state.
This also helps them save time and effort as there is no need to call back later.
4. Missing Out On Regular Follow Ups
Following up is an absolute vital activity in the profession of selling which surprisingly many agents do not practise.
A real estate agent’s career is built on proactive and constant communication as it shows that you are interested in the client, thinking about them and conveys your hard working ethic.
As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. If you can't meet them often, at least touch base with them regularly.
Apart from following up with existing clients, you should also make the effort to follow up with those who crossed your path but did not transact with you.
The best referral is word-of-mouth.
Even if they have bought a property, they will still appreciate that you have them in mind and might provide you referrals or future business.
If keeping in touch is not your strength, set it in your schedule and make it a must to text or call your current and previous clients every Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the week.
Some topics that may be helpful for those who are at a loss what to say:
- How are they doing and have they found a home or buyer?
- What difficulties did they have in finding one?
- Are they looking for a property or need help with property related matters?
- A quick 60 seconds update on the market in the past 3 months.
As a real estate agent, we meet people from all walks of life and can provide vital connections to people who do not have such extensive networks.
One of the ways i add value to any client is to connect them with people who are likely to help them in their business/career or might be of interest to them.
People often appreciate your gesture and great serendipity can happen from there!
5. Acting Like A Know-it-all
When you do not have the answer to clients’ questions, it is alright to say, “That’s a great question. I don’t have an answer for you at the moment, but I’ll get back to you as soon as i find out the answer.”
This helps to establish you as a trustworthy and sincere real estate agent.
Never "smoke" clients as they will be able to sense when you are fabricating answers or beating around the bush with a nonsensical answer.
It portrays you as untrustworthy and prideful which hurts your reputation.
New agents are usually afraid to get asked questions that they do not have answers to which leads them to dread listing presentations.
If you have this fear, use it well to motivate you to read up more and prepare yourself thoroughly for all situations.
6. Delivering a Generic Presentation Without An Opinion
The objective of a sales presentation is to share why your client should buy/sell a property, their options if they wish to upgrade or invest or why they should engage you as their agent.
Unfortunately, very few real estate agents craft their presentations tailored to their clients individual needs.
Instead, they use the same pitch and same presentation slides regardless of the clients’ specific needs and situation.
If you are not engaging with your clients with a customised and tailored approach, you’ll give them little reason to do business with you.
If you are meeting a seller, devote time before your appointment to study their property trends, prices and do a SWOT analysis on it before you meet them.
Your well researched insights and opinion will engender trust and position you as a professional and help you attract clients to want to work with you.
If you are meeting a buyer, ensure that you prepare sufficient data, analysis and opinions about the projects or properties that you are recommending to them.
Ensure that you cover these key factors in your presentation:
1. Capital Upside Potential
2. Risk Analysis from a land cost, interest rates, rental yield and rentability perspective
3. Infrastructure and Growth Story in the surroundings
4. Neighbouring prices comparisons
Example: Property Wealth Planning Presentation Kits for NAVIS agents
7. Poor Grooming and Sloppy Appearance
If you turn up for appointments with cigarette breath, unkempt facial hair and crumpled shirts, there is a high possibility that you will never meet the client for the second time.
Maintaining a professional appearance helps you to create a positive first impression that is helpful for establishing credibility, trust and rapport.
A well groomed person portrays higher standards that is a good indicator of work ethics and personal habits.
8. Low Self-Confidence
A great real estate agent must be confident in their own capabilities.
If a real estate agent isn’t confident about the property he is representing, it can affect a buyer's response and even the offers that come in.
Confidence results in an energy that can be felt and if it is low, it can cause you to be perceived unfavorably even if clients sometimes don't even know why.
Often, low self confidence is self-inflicted either due to an agent's mindset or misbeliefs.
In our BRAVE programme, we help our agents discover their own misbeliefs and mindsets that limit their growth and success and instills greater courage in them to reach their fullest potential.
Also, thorough research on the properties you represent and keeping yourself updated on the latest trends, news and pulse on the market will ensure you are always ready to launch into a presentation when the situation calls for it.
The best cure for lack of self-confidence is hard work and preparation.
The more you practise your delivery, presentation and related skills, the better you will become and an increase in self-confidence sets in naturally over time.
All in all, these are some of the common habits that you would do well to avoid so as to have maximum probabilities of success in your career!
All the best!
Looking for great real estate career mentorship to shorten your learning curve?
Get a 1-time free 30 min career consultation. Schedule one right now.
Or drop me a WhatsApp if you would like to start your career with our team or attend our next Career Seminar!
Stuart Chng, Senior Associate Executive Director of OrangeTee & Tie, is a renowned leader and personality in the real estate industry.
He adores music and can play a few instruments decently without upsetting his neighbours. When not doing so, he enjoys pillow fighting with his son and coming up with silly puns which barely amuses his wife.
Professionally, he is a licensed real estate agent, investor, team leader, speaker and columnist for several property newsletters and blogs and is often quoted in media interviews on 938FM, Channel 8, PropertyReport, PropertyGuru and other publications.
Throughout his career, he has helped many clients grow their wealth through selecting great property investments and managing their portfolios actively. Read his clients' reviews here.
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