Real estate

Thinking of quitting real estate? Hold that thought . . .

Have you ever wondered about those who spend all that time in real estate school, all that money to obtain a license and join a brokerage, only to eventually quit?

The real estate industry’s agent attrition rate is notoriously high. Last year, a Redfin study found that it’s increasing as well, with an average 1.7 percent increase per year from 2016.

Some call it the “agent failure rate,” which is not only inaccurate, but unfair. Not all who leave an industry failed. There are many reasons a real estate agent decides to move on.

Since we hope you’ll stick around, we want to share with you some common reasons agents consider quitting real estate and how to avoid being among them.

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Some harbor unrealistic expectations

“What do you mean I need $1,200 to $2,000 to get started?”

Many new agents enter real estate under the misconception that all they need to do is find a broker under which to hang a license and then they can hit the ground running and the money will start pouring in.

They enter the business thinking that it’s a zero-outlay way to start a new career and are blindsided when they learn the economic reality.

The fees needed to join the local, state and national associations, to join the local MLS, pay for lockboxes, signs and a multitude of other outlays come as a shock to many.

“Well, this isn’t working out the way I expected it to,” is a common thought among new agents who can’t seem to shake the employee mentality.

Finding out that they don’t have a boss, that they need to generate their own business, that it may be some time before they see their first commission check – it can all be a bit much for people who didn’t research the industry and what being a real estate agent entails. That leads to some agents quitting real estate altogether.

These are the agents who then burn “through their family members and social contacts without developing a viable client base,” according to the editorial staff at First Tuesday Journal.

Not approaching their business as a business

That employee mentality is a clinger and too many new agents find it difficult to dump, which can lead to quitting real estate.

Unless and until they realize and accept that nobody is going to save them, nobody is going to advise them, nobody is tasked with teaching them, they will be among those who leave the industry.

When you become a real estate agent, unless you pay someone to help you, you are on your own. You are a business owner and the more you bone up on how to run a business and how to market your business, the less likely you’ll want to run from it.

Not mining every transaction for all they’re worth

“You work so hard to get a client, to get a listing and it could be a big listing. You’ll get it, you’ll market it, you’ll sell it and then it’s done,” laments Dallas agent Chastin J. Miles at

Yes, that particular transaction is “done,” but it should (and does for smart agents) be generating future business for you. Learn more about how that process works here.

Instead, agents who don’t use current business to generate future sales feel let down because, as Miles puts it, “there’s nothing that automatically comes in, there is no transaction that’s just waiting on you … that’s the cycle of your day-to-day job.”

Mining each transaction for future business starts with the current client. The more and better service you offer, the more memorable you become. From start to finish, continuously ask yourself what you can do to provide a positive experience for this particular client.

Quitting real estate before the miracle happens

A popular saying in recovery programs is an admonition to not quit – your “miracle” might be right around the next corner.

It goes hand in hand with taking things one day at a time, one moment at a time. Do what is put in front of you.

Learn the minutiae of running a small business, bone up on the latest marketing techniques, try them on for size.

Tag along with a successful agent with the intent to watch and learn and to later apply the techniques in your own business.

At some point, you’ll understand what it takes to succeed in the business and that is your miracle.

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Be sure to check out these useful tips on how to stay productive during the COVID-19 pandemic

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