Why do real estate agents fail?

While most successful real estate agents will point to any number of reasons why others fail, the truth is that the reason the overwhelming majority of unsuccessful real estate agents are unsuccessful lies in their psychology. Dr. Dolf de Roos once said, "The most expensive piece of real estate is the six inches between your right and left ear. It's what you create in that area that determines your wealth." What he meant by that is that people will find ways to be unsuccessful if they do not believe that they can succeed and that they are worthy of doing so. Self-doubt is the primary reason that all people — not just real estate agents — fail.

That said, that self-doubt manifests itself in several ways. When agents convince themselves that they cannot succeed, they stop taking the actions that are necessary for them to become successful. The most common thing that the agents stop doing is prospecting. Most people hate talking on the phone anyway, and that's especially true when they are making cold calls. This task seems gargantuan to those who don't believe that the calls will ultimately result in their success. The failure to prospect is the equivalent to failure to bring in business and, in turn, make money.

The next manifestation of a failure to believe in the chance of success is related to prospecting, but it is not quite the same. One of the axioms of business is that the fortune is in the follow-up. Especially when it comes to purchasing something as important as a home or building for a business, it is extremely important for buyers to build a level of trust with the person doing the selling. That means following up faithfully. Real estate agents who don't follow up consistently lose business to those who do.

Another problem is that many real estate agents don't take the time necessary to make their listings look as appealing as possible. Not only must the information be presented accurately, which it often is not, but things such as photos and descriptions should also be high quality, and this quality helps to sell homes. Real estate agents who "just want to get something up" will often see their listings on the market much longer than the ones who put in the time and effort necessary to make the homes that they are selling look as appealing as possible.

Most real estate agents fail in their first year, in large part because they simply don't believe that they can succeed. This lack of belief, and the high attrition rate that they see that reinforces it, leads them to stop doing the things they need to do to be successful. Repeated direct action in the three areas discussed above is the best way for a real estate agent to ensure success.