Getting started in real estate is exciting, and you’re bound to learn a lot during your first year on the job. Chances are, you’ll also make a few missteps along the way. Unfortunately, some blunders can have more significant consequences than others, which is why it’s so important to make informed decisions when you’re laying the foundation for your career.

If you’re starting out in real estate, here are five mistakes you should avoid at all costs…

1) Having no business plan

One of the keys to real estate success is setting specific goals—and deciding on the steps you’ll take to meet them. That’s where putting together a business plan comes into play.

During the process, you’ll think carefully about the value you’ll provide, the demographics you’ll target, the potential obstacles you’ll encounter, and more. From there, you can create a document that lays out what (exactly) you’re hoping to achieve, and the path you’ll take to get there. Remember that when it comes to making decisions with confidence, an imperfect roadmap is better than none at all.

2) Being financially unprepared

Many new agents treat real estate like a hobby or side project. The truth is, starting on the right foot in this industry requires dedication, perseverance, and (yes) adequate funds.

Ideally, you should have at least three months’ worth of living and business expenses saved up when you begin your career. With this safety net securely in place, you’ll be well-positioned to carry out your business plan—and tackle any new (and potentially costly) challenges that arise. While having this money set aside is especially important when you’re starting out, it’s not a bad idea to maintain a comparably-sized fund throughout your career in case of emergencies.

3) Failing to learn new things

The real estate business is constantly changing, and the most successful agents tend to be those who are adaptable. In other words, it’s a mistake to believe you don’t have anything left to learn.

On top of knowing your fundamentals, you should strive to build on your existing knowledge. It’s about finding more efficient ways of doing business while maintaining the highest level of service for your clients. Start by staying on top of emerging strategies, time-saving technologies, and market trends. From the training seminars offered by your brokerage to the conferences attended by industry leaders, take advantage of learning opportunities as they pop up.

4) Marketing without a strategy

Marketing is crucial to attracting new leads. While most agents are aware of this fact, many neglect to create a solid plan before jumping into the process.

From your website to your print marketing to your social media presence, every piece of communication you put out into the world should be part of a larger strategy. Knowing your audience, where to reach them, and how to speak their language is non-negotiable. Your marketing materials are only useful if your potential clients see and appreciate them! Make sure you also measure the right metrics so that you can track your progress and improve your strategy accordingly.

5) Choosing the wrong brokerage

The decision to work for a particular brokerage is a big one. If you have the wrong criteria in mind when you choose your extended team, it could lead to insufficient support, guidance, and resources.

To help ensure your longevity as an agent, think beyond commission splits. Compensation matters, but you want to ensure that the team you choose meets your needs overall—and allows you to do your best work. To help you make the right decision, put together a list of things you’d like to ask any brokerage you’re considering. From what your fees will cover to the level of expertise of the leadership team in question, make sure every area that matters to you is covered.

Ready to work with a team that has your best interests at heart? Contact us to learn more about the advantages of joining RE/MAX Professionals.