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Homes & Land Blog > 15 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Fail


15 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Fail

The real estate profession can be incredibly gratifying. With the real estate market booming, there are ample opportunities for realtors to make a good living. Other benefits of becoming a realtor include job flexibility, interacting with people, and unlimited potential to make money. Unfortunately, each year, a significant number of realtors fail and quit. The majority of these failures occur within the first five years of entering the profession. 

A real estate agent duo showing a listing to a couple of potential home buyers

Why Do Real Estate Agents Fail?

While the exact number of real estate agents who fail are not known, the figures are not insignificant. Some estimates put the number in the 80% range. The big question that is often asked is, ‘Why Do Most Real Estate Agents Fail To Succeed In Real Estate?’ There is no one particular reason for the failure, but in most cases, there are several contributing factors, including the following:

  1. Unrealistic expectations

    A great many new real estate agents enter the profession thinking that they are going to make a ton of money right away. Except for a few good luck stories, the majority of new agents will find that there is significant competition for listings and it can take at least several years to get going. To make a lot of money can take time as it requires hard work, skill, reputation, and building a clientele list.
  2. Poor work ethic

    A common reason why new real estate agents fail is because of their work ethic. Even though the profession permits flexible hours, the working hours are long. Also, one may have to work many nights, weekends, and holidays. For those starting, there is no substitute for hard work. Building a clientele list is an arduous affair that requires time, patience, being available 24/7, replying promptly to client calls, and persistence. For those who enter the real estate profession thinking they are going to make a living working office hours, this is a recipe for failure. 
  3. Chose to go it alone

    New real estate agents often feel that they can breakthrough on their own and rarely ask other experienced realtors for advice. While this approach may work a small portion of the time, traditionally the profession requires teamwork and asking senior members for advice, especially when getting started.
  4. Entered the profession for the wrong reason

    The real estate profession is not for everyone and a fair number of agents fail because they entered for the wrong reason. A great many new realtors feel that there is tons of money to be made right away - this is far from the truth. Only the top 5% of realtors make a killing in the real estate market, the rest of the agents make anywhere from $40-$60K a year.
  5. Cannot differentiate real from fake

    A great many real estate agents fail because they get seduced by the big mansions, meeting high-profile clientele, and dining in exotic places. Unfortunately, there is much more to real estate than just showing people multimillion-dollar homes and drinking coffee at Starbucks. It is very unlikely that a wealthy individual with a multimillion-dollar home will work with a novice realtor.
  6. Guilty of overspending

    Like any profession, to be successful in real estate one needs to invest in the business and make it grow. Increasing the sphere of influence is a costly affair, and hiring people is also a major expense. Many novice realtors sell one home and within a few weeks have spent their commission. These individuals are forever broke and have no money left for any type of investment or building their business. The key to success in real estate is to start saving early because there is no guarantee that the market will always be booming. Reinvestment is a keen long-term strategy for growing a thriving real estate business.
  7. Only work part-time

    A great many realtors who fail in the business work part-time. This type of time investment usually does not help build listings. Like any profession, success pays off for individuals who invest their time. One needs to be available all the time to the customer in order to sell a home. Plus, after selling a home, it is vital to follow up with the client. If this is not done, then the client is unlikely to recommend the realtor to anyone else.
  8. Lack honesty

    Sadly the real estate profession has been tarnished by a few unscrupulous realtors who have been dishonest with customers about a variety of matters. There is growing sentiment in the country that all real estate agents are only in the profession to make money, and the customer is not the major concern. In reality, a great many realtors have invested a lifetime’s work in this profession because they sincerely want to help the public. Being dishonest is the fastest way to lose clients and tarnish their reputation. Thus, one key to making the profession successful is being honest with clients. Once the reputation has been tarnished it can take a very long time to change public opinion.
  9. No goals

    Another key reason why real estate agents fail in real estate is the lack of structured goals. One should constantly be analyzing their progress and setting new goals, both quarterly and yearly. Goal setting offers a road map for future success and helps prepare any future problems. 
  10. No idea how to generate leads

    To become successful as a realtor one should know how to generate leads. Many new realtors assume that they will spontaneously get calls from people to sell their homes- this is a false notion. The realtor should be constantly thinking of ways to generate leads-otherwise he or she will have no homes for sale. Remaining glued to the mobile phone is not a great way to generate leads.
    20 Strategies of Top Real Estate Teams: FREE Guide
  11. Fail to market themselves

    Real estate is a dynamic profession that continually needs to be marketed. Even though the internet is a useful resource for marketing, one should know where and how to market. Making a webpage alone is not sufficient, and one needs to be active on social media, interact with real estate forums, and offer all sorts of advice to consumers. This should be an ongoing thing. Just posting a blog on Facebook once a month will not cut it.
  12. Mythological beliefs

    Sadly many new realtors enter the profession because they think that it is easy to sell homes and make big money. In reality, only the elite real estate agents make the most money; for the rest, it is hard work and being patient. Selling a home is quite difficult because the owner has thousands of agents to choose from; to be successful requires dedication, time, patience, and developing a solid reputation.
  13. Not easy to work with

    There are many types of personalities and some are very difficult to work with. The business of real estate deals with customers all the time and if one is difficult to work with, this can lead to a quick demise in the profession. The realtor should always remember that the customer has a choice of hundreds of other easy-to-work-with agents, and any rudeness, abruptness or unfriendliness will lead to loss of the client.
  14. Have little idea how to overcome adversity

    The real estate market is fraught with hassles and disappointments, but one should know how to overcome these issues. Not every lead will be positive, and not every phone call will result in a sell. Real estate agents need to know how to make it through lean periods when lead generation stalls. Many realtors just give up if they have not sold a home in 2 months. The key to success is to continually build a reliable referral network, enhance the reputation, and be consistently available. Successful agents work twice as hard when faced with difficult times.
  15. Don’t use all the tools at their disposal

     While they need to be innovative and responsive, real estate professionals don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are many great resources out there - including the Homes & Land marketing platform - that can help you grow your business. 

A realtor giving a couple a tour of a home for sale

The real estate market is huge, and there is room for most people to succeed, but this also requires hard work. Lots of it. Besides, the competition for listings is stiff, but for those who remain dedicated, success will come sooner or later. The key is to be persistent, be highly visible online and off, and continually market themselves in innovative ways.

Start by visiting Homes & Land and seeing how we can help you succeed in a competitive industry.

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