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  • Writer's pictureTrung Bien

Why do 85% of Realtors fail in their first five years?

Updated: Jan 26

Real estate agent stressed out
Trung Bien Real Estate Blog

Nope, it’s not from lack of effort

It may be hard to believe that 85% of Realtors quit within their first five years of business — a staggering statistic — but it’s true. 

Why is that?

While many successful agents say success boils down to sheer stamina and determination, I’m not sure hard work alone is the essential component that sets a successful career apart from the 85% of the rest. 

Of course, hard work matters. But as essential as it is, it isn’t the only thing you need to succeed and ultimately thrive long-term in real estate. What else do you need? 

Well, Let’s explore the idea a little further. 

Maybe it’s not the play, maybe it’s the playbook

An excellent way to think of real estate is like any new sport you might be eager to learn or play.  At first, the sheer fun of playing the game is enough to keep you running around the field for a while, even if you’re not scoring all the goals. 

Most Realtors come hot out of the gates of real estate school precisely like this, eager to make new connections, start their business and begin selling homes. 

Then reality sets in. Many agents need help finding new leads, managing overhead and marketing budgets, and finding time to spend on something other than real estate. 

Suddenly, the enthusiasm they started the game with wanes — and who can blame them?

Start the game with a game plan

Like any sport, if you really want to improve enough to take on the competition, you need more than just enthusiasm. 

You need to step back, learn the right skills, understand the nuances of the game, and devise a strategy that can help you tackle the ups and downs of any pursuit. 

I’m not talking about some lofty, head-in-the-clouds real estate theory. I’m talking about a game plan you’ll knuckle down and execute on. 

What’s your system for prospecting leads, building your database, managing your business overhead and expenses, and tracking your goals and progress?

If your answer to this question is “I don’t know, " then you haven’t yet tapped into why a business plan, model, and proper systems (essentially your game plan) are crucial to your long-term success.

Most real estate agents don’t fail because they lack the spirit for the game; they fail because they never had a proper game plan to begin with. 

I’m ready, put me in the coach

In addition to having a game plan, it’s hard to imagine any athlete finding long-term success without the help of a good coach. 

This is even more important in real estate because the things I’m talking about — like how to build your database, run your business, and manage overhead — just aren’t taught in real estate school. So you need to learn them from someone who has been there before. 

How do you know the right systems and the good coaches? 

Well, that’s pretty simple. In real estate, one thing you do have going for you at the outset is that you can reverse engineer your success by seeking out a coach who has a proven track record and is using game plans you can see working year over year.  

The box score 

When you’re getting started and spinning your heels, it’s easy to get distracted by shiny objects. And, in real estate, there’s a lot of them. 

Try not to be lured exclusively by successful agent’s personalities or pizazz. 

Ultimately, the vast majority of successful agents, regardless of how confident they may seem, are the ones who put their tenacity to work to master the little aspects of their business and execute a strategic game plan with dedication and consistency.

They also probably had a good coach or mentor (or two) along the way. 

Ready to start building your real estate game plan? 

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