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5 Mistakes New Agents Make

By Buffini & Company

5 Mistakes New Agents Make

The first year in real estate is the toughest. Figuring out what to do each day and implementing an effective real estate business plan is no easy task! Here are a few of the most common mistakes new agents face when starting out.

1. They Have No System for Their Business
No one tells you what to do when you first get into real estate! It can be hard to build a business without a system for real estate lead generation. Agents should implement a proven system that helps them understand exactly what they must do each day to create a pipeline of quality leads. It’s also important to set goals and track progress along the way!

2. They Are Transaction-Oriented
Most people can’t even remember their real estate agent’s name a year or two after a sale! That’s because many agents are hyper-focused on the transaction; they fail to stay in touch with clients and, as a result, lose out on referral opportunities. Instead, new agents should commit to keeping in touch through mailings, calls and even small appreciation gifts. Be there for clients before, during and after a transaction, and become their go-to real estate agent for friends and family.

3. They Are Available 24/7
As a new agent, you want to be there for your clients whenever you can, even if it isn’t convenient for you. However, over time, this approach will lower productivity and lead to burnout and fatigue. New agents must implement a strong real estate time management plan at the start to get the most out of each day, while maintaining an essential work-life balance.

4. They Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck
Getting your first commission check is exciting! It’s tempting to spend it all right away, but before you splurge on a new car or shopping spree, you have to make sure you have all your financial bases covered. Because real estate agents do not receive a set paycheck, agents must learn how to keep business and personal expenses separate, and how to divide each commission check to pay themselves first while also covering business expenses, taxes and other costs.

5. They Look Online for Leads
When building a database from scratch, buying online leads seems like an easy way to get clients quickly. However, online leads are more like soft inquiries, and the chances of them becoming lifelong clients are very low. Instead, new agents should cultivate a database through their current sphere of influence—not strangers on the internet—to build relationships and generate top-quality leads.

If you’re a new agent (or even someone who’s been in the business for years) and you find yourself making a few of these mistakes, it’s easy to get on the right track! The Pathway to Mastery®—Essentials is a real estate training program from Buffini & Company that teaches agents at all stages in their career how to build a successful business that will thrive for years to come. Register to take this course online today!


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Below are five tips for new agents to get them on the right track, but if you’re not already doing them, they’ll make excellent New Year’s resolutions.

1. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it — so practice

Delivery of information, and the tone in which it’s delivered, can send your transaction down the right road to closing or the long, windy back road to termination. Think before you speak, and listen before you talk.

Take time to practice a delivery that will garner engagement and resolution as opposed to jumping on the bull for a long bucking ride.

2. Check your curb appeal

First impressions are important to our clients and business partners. Do you look and sound like you just rolled out of bed? I sure hope not.

I’ve come across many agents at showings, closings, inspections and open houses who literally look fresh from a long leisurely nap or a good hearty work out at the gym. Please, please, please know your audience, and dress accordingly.

3. Master your handshake

This might seem like a no-brainer, but your handshake says a lot about you. Is it a dead fish or the bone crusher? Practice handshaking.

I raised my children to know how to make eye contact and shake hands. We still practice. I am launching them into the world one at a time, and interpersonal skills remain important across all social settings.

I have a habit of paying close attention to the way clients shake hands — it gives me an almost immediate read into their personality, and I adjust myself to navigate.

4. Respond promptly to emails, text messages and telephone calls

I check messages all day — at red lights, standing in lines, waiting at the drive thru. Acknowledgement and follow-up are essential to being a professional. Four day’s response time to an email, phone call or text is not acceptable or productive.

5. Perfect a system that works for you and your clients, and stick to it

Losing track of rogue clients, deadlines and closings will not bring you new business or a great reputation — it will bring you lawyers and the unwanted attention of the real estate commission.

With all of the apps, widgets, systems and programs we have to choose from, you’d think we’d all be at the top of our game. I say TMI. Pick a lane, pick a process — and own it. Revisit and re-evaluate quarterly to see where improvements can be made with your marketing, communication, calendaring, etc.

This might seem pretty elementary, but I wouldn’t be writing this article if it didn’t need to be mentioned. With the new year approaching and resolutions to be made, let’s all do our part to make this industry great again.

We can’t control inventory, sales or interest rates, but we sure can discipline ourselves to maintain a professional standard that we can be proud of.

Lauren Klein is a multi-million dollar producer with Coldwell Banker, owner of Pittsburgh Property Diva and real estate branding expert. 

Article image credited to Dane Deaner on Unsplash

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3 additional must-have skills for new agents to succeed in real estate

Agents who pay attention to detail, understand their markets and know the MLS are far more successful!


When you’re new to the real estate industry, there’s a lot of noise, and it can be tough figuring out exactly where to get started.

As a real estate broker in the greater San Francisco, and Benicia, California, area, there are three things I look for in a new agent, well, in any agent really. Below are three skills that new agents should master quickly to be successful in real estate.

1. Learn your local area on a personal level

Yes, it’s incredibly important for the person selling a home to have recent sales experience and success at selling homes in the area.

Someone new in town or who has never sold a home in a particular part of town is, in many ways, a beginner.

Sellers have a right to pick a winner, so start things out right by making sure you’re the best man or woman for the job.

2. Pay attention to details

You need to know that the devil is in the details. A real estate agent who is organized and likes to work with attention to detail is the one that is most likely to sell a home. This is especially true in a hard-to-sell market.

Great agents know the tiniest changes sellers can make to improve the sale-ability of their home.

They are creative with their MLS listings, and they take the best photographs of each home. They return client calls promptly and make every appointment on time.

3. Network like a boss

Successful agents know that networking is the best marketing you can buy, but you don’t have to buy it.

The top agents come to a home with a prospective buyers list. They also are working with a well-known realty agency. They know other real estate agents in the area too, and they are willing to work with others if it sells the home faster. 

In closing, if you slack, don’t know the MLS and you refuse to live or at least really spend time in the market you sell, you will not succeed. Agents who pay attention to detail, understand and know their markets, as well as the MLS, are far more successful than anyone else.


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