10 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Fail

Rita Akekelwa | October 3, 2022 | Content For Agents

Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Fail

You may think that being a real estate agent is easy, but not all real estate agents are successful. It takes a lot of drive and training to make it in the business of property.

Let’s look at ten tips that can differentiate between make or break for real estate agents.

1. No Action Plan or Goals

Imagine being dropped in the middle of a new territory without a map. You don’t know where you are or where to head to. This can lead to loss and confusion. Well, business is the same. You need to know how to reach your destination and have clear goals and a direct action plan.

Solutions & Tips:

Let’s look at what an action plan for real estate is. This list of duties can be carried out by setting a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule that you or the rest of your team can use. This helps you to improve your prospects, boost click-to-customer conversions and strive toward your highest commission targets.

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To reach those targets, you need to define your goals clearly.

To ensure you gain a focused outline for your real estate action plan, you can make use of this checklist:


  • Make sure you have a definite schedule to book time for each task on your action plan.
  • Differentiate between once-off and ongoing duties.
  • Be sure that you diarize and plan for ongoing duties daily, weekly, monthly, or even quarterly.
  • Include the desired result. This will keep the goal in your mind and help to keep you focused on your plan.

The action plan is designed to serve as an anchor, to help you stay on course with no
matter what comes your way.

2. Lack of Training & Mentorship

Have you ever been thrown in at the deep end of something? Sink or swim? It’s not a good feeling, is it?

Solutions & Tips:


Nobody jumps into a career knowing what they’re doing. We all need someone to teach us the ropes when we start. Studying is essential, but that gives you only theoretical knowledge. In-service training is a fantastic way of finding out how things are done. But good old mentoring is not to be overlooked.

Having a senior agent who has been in the business for a while to mentor you is a good way of learning how things work. Mentors offer a wealth of knowledge that you’ll never match with just training.

A mentor gives you the following benefits:

  • They help you set and reach targets
  • They encourage you to ask questions
  • Allows you to plan your moves
  • They help you gain confidence
  • They empower you to learn from your mistakes

Choose a senior agent you admire, respect, and get along with to mentor you.


Real estate is a cut-throat business. On top of that, you’re working with people, and many variables are involved. The textbook doesn’t always hold the answers.

Here are a few tips you can make use of:

  • Before signing on with a real estate company, check to see if they offer any training classes.
  • In-service training while studying online is unbeatable.
  • Take a notebook with you while learning the ropes.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions during class.
  • Take your training as seriously as your studies.

The benefit of training is that you are learning while in the field and gaining hands-on experience in the process.

3. Ineffective marketing

Have you ever had to show a house where nobody pitches up to look? It’s such a depressing feeling. What a waste of a day!

Believe it or not, this can happen if you don’t market your product effectively.

Solutions & Tips:

Here are a few great marketing ideas:

Quick General Tips

  • Put up signs and placards in the area.
  • Put up a notice at the public places of interest in the area.
  • Use direct mail to inform real estate investors of opportunities.
  • Advertising is essential to effective marketing.
  • Ensure you leave ample time before the show date to give people time to rearrange their diaries.
  • Be consistent in your marketing and advertising.

Quick Online Tips

  • Your real estate website should be mobile-friendly
  • Create brand awareness by being ultra-visible online
  • Ensure that you have covered all the social media platforms you are linked to, and join as many as possible
  • Make sure you have good brand coverage by hosting online workshops and seminars relevant to real estate
  • Post interesting real estate content.

More detailed tips

  • Identify your target audience and ensure that you use the right social media platform as your primary platform.Ultimately, you want your marketing to produce a dialogue between yourself and your prospects, giving you more chances of turning them into good leads.
  • Make sure you have interesting and accurate real estate content. It’s a good idea to link your primary social media platform to your website or your blog.You need to offer titillating information that draws the prospect in to click on the convenient links to your blog, website, and other social media platforms.This opens up communication channels and gives you a much better chance of turning your prospect into a proper lead.
  • Don’t underestimate word-of-mouth, either. Give clients a good experience with your company, and they will recommend you to their friends.Referrals are worth their weight in gold.

Marketing is key to success in the real estate world. The more marketing, the more money at the end of the day.

4. Prospecting

Have you ever wondered how you’ll make a sale without decent leads? Leads come from prospecting, and prospecting is hard work.

If you thought real estate was an accessible business, you’ve got another thing coming. Real estate is hard work!

Prospecting and generating leads are crucial to being a successful real estate agent. You can’t make sales if you don’t have buyers and sellers. You need to know how to prospect to maximum effect.

Solutions & Tips

  • Don’t expect the prospect to come to you – use social media, direct mail, phone calls, and emails to get your prospect’s attention.
  • Engage in cold calling – take a walk around and knock on doors. Don’t be shy to put yourself out there; someone else might get there before you do.
  • Spend time – the more you put in, the more you’ll get out. This is particularly true of real estate lead lists. The agent with the most prospects and leads is usually the most successful.
  • Don’t give up easily – you’ll get the phone put down in your ear countless times. Some people will be rude, and others will be downright aggressive. You need to persevere and not let the negative calls get you down. Keep going. It pays off in the end.
  • Follow-up smoothly – ensure you follow up but don’t irritate your client by being too pushy.
  • Marketing – good marketing can bring prospects in. If you advertise on social media, upload the best quality pictures. Ensure that you show the property off in the best way you can, like taking pictures that are in excellent form.

Some realtors employ a staff member just to canvas properties. She does all the phoning and emailing for prospects, giving the realtor a list.

The agent then takes that list and tries to convert the prospects to promising leads.

If you work for a company that does this, try and generate a few of your prospects and leads anyway. After all, the more, the better, right?

5. Client Follow-up

Following up on a prospect can be nerve-wracking, even if you’ve been doing it for years.

You don’t want to leave it too long, but you don’t want to come across as too pushy.

One prospect might take a week to think things over; another might take a month.

The thing is, you just never know because people are different.

Solutions & Tips

  • Create appeal – is there a way you give the client value from your follow-up? Put a link to your blog content in your follow-up email.
  • Be personal – you’ve seen Mr. Smith’s property and know how much he loves his garden. Send him a snail mail to ask if you can come and photograph his beautiful flowers. Try and increase the sense of connection with your prospect.
  • Be helpful – take an interest in your client’s needs. Even if they’re not ready to sell, perhaps they have questions about real estate. Answer their questions even if they aren’t related to the property you’re interested in. At a later date, when they decide to sell, they’ll remember the most helpful agent.
  • Provide a solution – perhaps your prospect is thinking about buying but is undecided. Maybe the wife is pregnant, and they’ll need a larger home. Identify their problem and provide them with a solution. Then step back and let them think about it.
  • Flow into follow-up – let your meeting or conversation incorporate getting the client’s details. If you are showing a house, list a contact list for viewers. This way, even if they don’t buy, you have their number to follow up with other similar properties.
  • Zach Zaleski has an 8 x 8 theory. He says that if someone lands on your prospect list for follow-up, contact them no less than eight times in eight consecutive weeks. He says this “patient persistence” generates more leads.
  • Don’t forget old clients – follow up with old clients. After you make a sale, keep in contact with your clients to ensure they are happy. Call them a year later to see if there have been any further developments.

These are tricks you won’t learn from the textbooks. Go ahead and implement them on your way to success.

6. Short on cash

Imagine buying a property to renovate and resell and having the bank foreclose on you for non-payment of your mortgage. You haven’t completed the rehab and have to sell or lose the property at a loss.

Solutions & Tips

  • Have a rainy day fund – ensure you have enough funds in reserve to carry you through a couple of bad months. You need to protect your investment, and when it’s something as significant as property, you need spare cash.
  • Have a strategy that works – stick to a plan that works. You won’t get anywhere if you keep jumping from strategy to strategy.
  • Stay on top of things – don’t neglect to check on your properties. You can’t assume that tenants will care for your building or that your empty house will stand safe. Hire a security company to keep an eye on your empty place and regularly make the rounds of your rental properties.
  • Stick to the lease – don’t let tenants soft-talk you into making allowances. If you allow a tenant to pay part of the rent at the beginning of the month and part of the rent later if they don’t pay, you could be liable for learned behavior.
  • Don’t miss an opportunity – don’t be too scared to buy. When it comes to the crunch, this is a risky business. There are no guarantees. Look at the facts, make your decision and act on it. Don’t spend too much time thinking about a deal, or you may lose out.
  • Don’t give up too soon – it can take a while before the property market shows a profit. Don’t be in too hurry to call in success or failure. Time will tell. Give things a fair chance before you close the door on them.
  • Be organized – ensure your notes are organized, and details are easy to locate. You need to keep records of expenses and clients’ details.

7. Unproductive Lead Generation

Have you ever been desperate to make a sale, but you have no good leads? Or do you have buyers but no suitable property or sellers and no buyers on your list? Not a good position to be in.

Solutions & Tips

  • Use direct mail marketing – direct mail marketing is underrated and a fantastic way of reaching out to prospects. Instead of a call where you could phone at a bad time, sending a letter or postcard is highly effective. This way, the prospect can read through at leisure and at a convenient time.
  • Be persistent – don’t be too quick to write off a no-reply call. You might call for a week and get no reply, and that doesn’t mean you won’t. And if you don’t get a response to your emails, perhaps they’re going to spam. Try another way.
  • Hire a canvasser – if you don’t have time to prospect or generate leads, hire someone solely to do that job. You could offer a commission on any sales that occur from their leads.
  • Don’t be too pushy – prospects generally don’t like being pushed into anything. You can lose a prospect much more quickly than you can gain a lead. Being over effusive and pushy can cost you a client. Instead, drop hints, identify problems, and point out solutions to help the deal.
  • Use lead generation tools – make sure you are using the right lead generation tool. Some lead generation tools offer leads that are a little better than prospects, and you want a tool that generates viable lead lists.

8. Short on personal funds

Another reason the real estate business is challenging is that it’s a commission-based earning system.

So, you don’t receive a salary or wages and usually don’t receive any income until you make a sale. Your commission can take up to three months to be paid out to you.

Life can be challenging if you don’t have enough money to live off until you make a sale.

Solutions & Tips

  • Savings fund – when you start in the real estate business, you should ensure that you have made provisions for the months up until your first sale.
  • Time management – use your time for things that will help you receive an income. Marketing is imperative, as is advertising. The more you put yourself out there, the more chance you have of making a sale.
  • Promote your website – make sure that you are using the correct social media platforms to reach the right target audience or using search engine optimization. If you’re aiming at the wrong market, you will not be successful.

This is probably one of the biggest hurdles in the real estate business, but following the above tips will go a long way toward helping you reach your goals.

9. Working Part Time

The problem with working full-time in the real estate business is that there is no way for you to try and generate an income in any other way. This can be tough when you work on a commission-only basis.

Solutions & Tips

  • Get your real estate agent license – make a point of getting your license so that you can work independently and don’t need a principal agent to work under.
  • Decide on your schedule – working for yourself takes a lot of self-discipline. Decide on a schedule and make sure you stick to it. Treat your hours as if you had to report to work for a boss.
  • Get a second job – it’s a good idea to supplement your income. If you can get a second job to take the pressure off your real estate work, you will become more confident with your clients. There won’t be that sense of desperation.
  • Have a business plan – you need to estimate your expenses and predict your income. Having a six-month plan is an excellent way to start. Note your goals and your obstacles. Look for solutions.
  • Lead generation – is essential to your business because, without leads, you can’t make sales.
  • Marketing – Marketing yourself is essential if you want your name to become known. The more out there you are, the more chance you have of making a sale.

If you are going this route, remember not to give up too soon. It takes a while to make a mark in this industry.

10. Don’t be a Bad Agent

There are good estate agents and lousy estate agents. Have you got one on your team? Someone who always arrives late for an open house or is rude to clients?

Solutions & Tips

Delayed response time – if someone leaves you a message, call them back promptly. Don’t delay follow-ups either. Communication is one of the real estate business’s arts, and you must ensure that you make your clients feel valued and special.

Inexperienced and untrained – ensure you have a mentor to show you the ropes. You must respond promptly and correctly if a client asks you a question. If you don’t know the ropes, it will make your client feel very insecure.

Pushy –pushy agents are not well-received. Prospects that might have turned into leads can run a mile if you become too intrusive. Never make someone feel pressured; you can lose an excellent prospective lead.

Uninformed – you need to know the property market and communicate with your client. Your client wants to feel confident that they’ve got an agent who knows what he is talking about. You can never know too much about the real estate business.

Know your contract – you should know your contract like the back of your hand before your client starts the paperwork. Ensure that you can answer all questions effectively and that you have all the information necessary close at hand.

Dishonesty – there’s nothing worse than a dishonest agent. You might make one sale, but word-of-mouth will run you on social media if you’ve tried to make a sale under false pretenses.

Overeagerness – this can be just as off-putting as someone who is too pushy. This kind of behavior displays desperation and does not inspire a client’s confidence.


This article tells you how to be a successful estate agent. With these solutions and tips, you can pave your road to success in the real estate industry.

It is a cut-throat business, and agents need all the help they can get. Study these handy and helpful hints to ensure you make it to the top. You can also Sign up for a free trial with Home Value Leads and start generating real estate leads for your business!

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Rita Akekelwa

Rita is a professional real estate and finance writer who has built up a multi-disciplinary portfolio over the years. She has over ten years of writing experience, focusing on the U.S and Australian markets. Her topics have ranged from credit scores to home loans, mortgage redraws, and refinancing. She has a natural ability to dig deep into her subjects, crafting the highest quality informative texts.