Get behind the wheel with any prosperous prospector and you’ll discover one common characteristic steering their success: control. Agents who control their careers can predict the road ahead and avoid (or overcome) oncoming obstacles. Agents who aren’t in control collide with risky habits and practices that push them off course and ultimately crash their careers.
Keep reading to discover nine career killers agents face today and how you can put your commissions on cruise control down a more predictable (and profitable) path.
Career Killer #1: False Expectations
The #1 reason real estate agents stop prospecting is because they underestimate the challenge in front of them and start without support. If you’ve been prospecting for a long time, you know it takes planning, practice, and patience to turn calls into commissions.
Top prospectors make as many as 150 calls to close one deal, and some deals aren’t driven home until 90-180 days after their first conversation. What keeps them going? They trust the process and are willing to work (and wait) for the results.
The pros didn’t get to the top by accident. So if you’re going to prospect like one, control your expectations and know prospecting takes discipline, experience, and resiliency. Soon enough you’ll find your pipeline packed with possibilities.
Career Killer #2: Abandon Your Routine
If you’re an agent who sticks to a daily routine, then you’ll know it’s essential to your success. Routines get the “what to do” and “when to do it” out of the way so you can focus on how it gets done. This leads to cleaner calls, improved conversations, and better results.
Top prospectors block out most hours of their work days. Each routine is a little different, but they’re all structured similar to this:
• Wake Up: Exercise, eat, get to the office by 8am.
• Warm Up: Clear your mind, review your scripts, roleplay some calls – stay positive!
• Prospect: Optimize your lead stack based on your unique market and skill level.
• REPEAT: Follow your routine every day for 45 days to make it stick.
This last point is the most important. If you abandon your routine too early, your focus will fizzle. Stay consistent and committed for 45 days and your prospecting routine will work for you.
Career Killer #3: Poor Prospecting Space
If you’ve ever worked in a “shared ” work space, you know about all the distractions that prevent you from prospecting. Whether it’s desk clutter, Facebook, or just the people around you, distractions are easy to come by and WILL slow you down. But with a separate “PROSPECTING-ONLY” space, you can drive away distractions and train your mind to know when it’s time to prospect.
Only fill your dedicated space with tools that will assist and empower you while you prospect. Have your scripts, a phone, and a notepad on your desk. Keep a vision board or list of goals in your line of sight, and clear everything from your computer screen except for your leads.
With your separate space set, you won’t have to “get ready to get ready” for your calls. You can just show up and go. No distractions. No excuses. Only prospecting. You’ll thank yourself later.
Career Killer #4: No Script Practice
Why do so many agents swear by the scripts they use? Because without them, the fear of saying something “stupid” or “wrong” becomes inevitable while increasing self criticism on every call.
Scripts eliminate the risk of “not knowing what to say.” They let you control the conversation, leaving your inner-critic speechless as you skillfully navigate through tough objections and build confidence through repetition.
Use your scripts again and again to downgrade your perception of fear and upgrade the quality of your calls.
Find scripts that work for you, practice them often, and kiss saying something “stupid” or “wrong” goodbye.
Career Killer #5: Isolation From Accountability
As technology works its way deeper into the industry, many “traditional” prospecting tools are going “virtual.” These improved tools undoubtedly benefit prospectors, but relying on them too much can force you into an isolated “tech bubble.” Removing people from your practice can result in a mental pothole that damages the habits you’ve worked so hard to build.
You can avoid these career-killing “isolation crashes” with accountability partners. Create a “prospecting support tribe” to build calling camaraderie with other agents. This tribe offers an opportunity to practice scripts, share trials (and victories), and prevent burnouts by holding each other accountable.
Connection with other agents is fuel for your prospecting journey. The ideas you share with other agents will challenge, inspire, and motivate you on your road to success.
Career Killer #6: No Prospecting Platform
If your goal is to make 50 contacts a day, 5 days a week, you’re looking at thousands of calls every month. That’s a lot of dialing! How do you plan to keep track of your calls, appointments, and follow-ups? Some agents use spreadsheets, old rolodex card organizers, or stacks of sticky notes.
Sure, these “tools” are better than no organization at all, but they can be difficult to decipher.
A good prospecting platform lets you manage your leads, past clients, and sphere of influence all from one place. You can leave notes on every contact, organize them into your lead stack, then put your focus exactly where you need. Best of all? You never have to sift through old notes or files wondering who to call next. Spend your time prospecting instead of preparing!
Career Killer #7: Invisible Vision
Have you ever tried to stay motivated without a goal or vision? It’s like trying to stay afloat without knowing how to swim. People perish without a vision, and so will your career if you fail to mind your motivations while you prospect. Whatever it looks like, make a visible version of your vision and keep it in your line of sight while you prospect.
The best way to do this is with a vision board. Fill your board with inspirational images, quotes, and goals as constant reminders of what you’re working toward. Or, if you’re motivated by mistakes, put up pictures of negative situations you’ve overcome for inspiration to keep moving forward.
Keeping both “things I want” and “things I don’t want” on your board is also an effective way to gauge which direction you’re headed in. No matter what reminders look like, a visible vision will give you the motivation and control you need to keep your career afloat.
Career Killer #8: Bad Mindset
Everyone has bad days. Even if they’re rare, bad days can still infect you with negative thoughts and emotions that affect your prospecting and ultimately, your income. The right tools and a clear vision can keep you on your feet, but at the end of the day negativity can be hard to control.
The next time you’re feeling sluggish, depressed, or anxious about your day, don’t listen to the negative voice in your head. Notice what’s happening, immerse yourself in something positive, then choose to change for the better.
Start by committing to “daily keystone habits” so you can have a positive foundation to build the rest of your day on. Practice gratitude and happiness every morning and throughout your day. Remember who (or what) brings you joy in life and send a mental “thank you” their way. Habits like this are not only fulfilling, but they build over time and bring continued satisfaction and happiness to your daily routine.
Like your routine, express gratitude every day for 45 days and you’ll notice your bad days grow fewer and that every day can be turned into a great one.
Career Killer #9: Wrong Lead Type(s)
Choosing the right lead type can be difficult, but choosing the wrong lead type is deadly for your career. Agents fail when they eagerly sign up for new leads then quit after their first negative encounter. Know that new lead types take a lot of practice. Confidence (and success) will come with experience as long as you’re patient with the journey.
Start by researching your market and consider which of your skills are a good match for each lead type. If you’re good at handling objections, call Expireds. If you’re a door-knocker, try GeoLeads™. If you’re interested in multiple listings from a single lead, check out FRBOs (For-Rent-By-Owners). There are lots of options, which means unlimited possibilities!
Call each new lead type for 2-3 months before you decide if it’s not for you. Give yourself the time to test new skills, adapt to your market, and learn something unexpected. It’s up to you to take ownership over your leads, but once you do, the results will be well worth it.
Cruise, Don’t Crash
Controlling your calls is like controlling a car. You’ve got to stay alert, aware, and be ready to react to danger on the road ahead. It’s scary at first, but becomes second nature the longer you drive it.
So as you steer your career down the road to success, remember: if you ignore these nine career killers, the market will ignore you. If you “map out” your prospecting with the right principles, your career will thank you.