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Moving through the darkness: The Journey of a New Agent

New Leaders 2017 photographed by Shayan Asgharnia in Los Angeles on October 4-5, 2017

In an industry that is 100% commission based, new real estate agents are thrown into a position where expertise is required and the learning curve is high. 

“You’re going into a cave without a flashlight. There’s stuff going on all around you, but you can’t see it yet,” explains Ryan Casey, an agent at One + Company at William Raveis Real Estate

As he nears the end of the new agent training program, Ryan sat down with me to share what he has learned and how his mistakes have led to success. 

New and experienced agents alike can relate to the pitfalls and the advice that Ryan gives on episode 19 of The Byron Lazine Podcast. 

Top Mistakes of New Agents

Mistakes are part of the process and teach the most significant lessons. “A mentor can teach you as much as you want, but it’s all about the experience,” Ryan said. He touched on his biggest fails in his first years as an agent; things that many of us have experienced at some point in our careers.

1. Focusing on a Few

When first starting in real estate, many agents start working on 4-5 people they consider leads. Day after day, they focus their attention on just those people. Because so much time has been put into these leads, it becomes overwhelming to think about adding in more prospecting. And when you realize nothing is happening with the few people you are in contact with, frustration and feelings of failure creep in. 

“Now I know you always need more,” Ryan shared. More calls, more leads, more people in the pipeline. Real estate is a numbers game. There will be losses along the way, so focusing on adding in more people to your sphere will generate more clients, rather than heavily focusing on a few. 

2. No Follow Up

As you build your pipeline and gain leads, you cannot let anything slip. Ryan shared how he dropped the ball on Zillow buyer leads due to lack of follow up. He recently reached back out to some old Zillow leads to learn that two people bought homes in Connecticut – for close to $1M  in lost sales commission. It only takes one experience like this to learn how valuable follow up is in the real estate industry.

3. No Pre-qualification

Over a year ago, Ryan was excited to set a listing appointment. 

With a homeless man (to his surprise). 

When you realize the value you can bring to buyers and sellers, you become more purposeful with your time. Pre-qualifying leads saves everybody time, and allows you to be available for the people who really need your services. (For the full story on the listing appointment with a homeless man, watch episode 19!). 

Advice for New Agents

There is no better way than learning from your own experience, but you can make the path a little smoother by surrounding yourself with people who will support you. Here are three pieces of advice for new agents:

1. Find Someone to Hold You Accountable

“If I didn’t have the team, I’d be doing something else right now,” stated Ryan.

Accountability is a big factor in success. Join a team that holds you accountable for your numbers, get a coach, and surround yourself with like-minded people who will call you out when you start to slack off. 

2. Join a team that forces you to do the things you don’t want to do

The sales industry is full of uncomfortable moments: cold calling, door knocking, relaying bad news, and negotiating are the basics in this business. These are also the things that make most people walk away from the industry. Find a team that is committed to strengthening the skills of each individual agent. 

“If your team leader is pushing you to do stuff that you hate, then you are in the right position….In order to get better, you have to do stuff you hate.”

3. Trust the Work will Pay Off

When you first begin in real estate, it can feel like you are getting nowhere. Many homeowners want an agent with experience, and a lack of confidence can creep in when you make calls or go door knocking. “It can feel like, ‘Oh my god what do I have to do before I get a listing?’” Ryan shares. 

By surrounding yourself with successful people, you see what the results look like, and begin to trust that the work you are putting in will eventually pay off. 

“You can easily lose confidence. Just keep going.”

Watch the full conversation with Ryan below.