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What it takes to succeed in real estate

Just 40 per cent of new real estate agents are confident they can have a long-term career in the profession, a new survey reveals.

Realtor.com, a US listing portal, recently polled more than 2000 new and experienced agents in its #ThrivePastFive study to ascertain and understand what separates new and experienced practitioners, as well as how big the gap is.

Having an amazing mentor, solid cash reserves, a positive attitude towards spending on marketing and dedicating at least full-time hours to real estate were deemed vital for new agents to build long-term success.

“In a shifting and ultra-competitive marketplace, with twice as many real estate agents than listings, having insights from experienced agents – 80 per cent of whom are confident about making it long-term as an agent – about what works best to power business growth has never been more valuable,” Realtor.com B2B Marketing Vice President Donna August said.

Lead generation 

Lead generation was a top pain point for all agents, particularly those new to the industry.

With listing volumes at near four-decade lows, 60 per cent of agents said finding new leads was a challenge, and this rose to 70 per cent for agents with less than two years of experience.

It’s well known that building a strong client network and database is one of the most effective ways to generate leads, but only one-quarter of new agents said they had a network of buyers and sellers they felt confident about.

Almost half (45 per cent) also said they battled to find a new client each week.

But it was the opposite for established agents – those with 11-plus years in real estate – with that cohort creating up to four new clients a week.

Other top lead generation challenges for all agents included converting leads to clients, poor lead quality and competition from other local agents.

New agents said they also struggled with non-serious buyers, while experienced agents battled with big listings sites that compete with them as brokers.

The knowledge gap

The knowledge gaps between inexperienced and experienced agents told a tale of the old versus the new.

New agents wished they knew more about lead generation, transaction processes and marketing, while established agents wished they had more knowledge on social media marketing, online ad campaigns and search engine optimisation.

New agents also put their lack of success down to limited training and startup cash, while experienced agents said newcomers underestimated the time and learning curve it took to create longevity.

New agent’s success

The survey also revealed that of those successful new agents, 90 per cent work full-time, while those working to establish themselves are three times more likely to work part-time compared to their more experienced counterparts.

Two-thirds of successful new agents also had a mentor and backup funds they could utilise.

Source: Realtor.com

Marketing spend

Sixty-four per cent of experienced agents spent $3000 or more each year, while 70 per cent of new agents spend less than that amount each year.

The survey also revealed new agents were more likely to receive marketing support from their agency than established agents.

In terms of internet leads, about one-third of new agents spend $50 or more per month on these, while experienced agents spend between $50 and $499 per month.

Source: Realtor.com

The right channels

It should come as no surprise that established agents with a network of past clients find online marketing success by reaching past clients with email.

But new agents fair better on social media, which is why 82 per cent of those agents rely on socials and lean into creating their own content.

Facebook is the platform of choice, with 63 per cent of all agents using it to generate leads, compared to Instagram at 28 per cent.

When it comes to offline marketing channels, 60 per cent of all agents favoured networking and word-of-mouth referrals.

Newer agents also ranked open homes (44 per cent) as a top channel.

Source: Realtor.com

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.