It is very difficult to make a living in Real Estate and even more difficult to make a great living.  I have heard at times that less then 5% of Realtors support a family with their business.  So the last thing Realtors need to be doing is wasting money on silly exercises that have little to no return.  The problem is we continue to make this mistake and no one seems to say STOP THE MADNESS!!  I will list and explain them below but it doesn’t mean anyone will ever listen because it is carved into our brains to do these things.  Enjoy, Share, Curse and Stop The Madness……

1.  Pay for an office-Nothing says I am a player like a big corner private office in a Real Estate brokerage.  But the real evil is paying to use a cubicle or shared space that you really can’t afford or need.  One place you are least likely to get a sales lead is in the presence of a bunch of other Realtors.  So think outside the cubicle……have meet ups.  There are so many cool coffee shops, public conference rooms and meeting spaces to handle your business you should use them.  It gives you a place to land but keeps you out in the public eye.  Change it up and ask referral partners to meet you there.  They will be impressed with your process and it will make you stand out.

2.  Random flyers and print ads-People do not buy or sell with strangers really anymore.  Unless you are targeting and consistently blasting the same group, you are just giving your money away.  If you must mail stuff or buy ads, do so in a very smart way.  Come up with a target audience and stick to them.  Brand yourself to them and keep at it.  Don’t expect immediate results but over time, if you put a plan into place and work it, they will come.  But just mailing to introduce yourself and hoping the listings come in is a joke.  We have to build the relationships before we ask for the business.

3.  Specializing in everything-Many agents list every little town in the  state as their market area and it just doesn’t work that way. You can make just as much money or more focussing on a market that is close by and save money doing so.  Taking a listing 40 minutes away to take the listing is such a waste of money.  By the time you drive there to list, fix the lockbox, show it twice, inspections, replace the sign, staging advice meeting, fresh photos or any of that stuff, you can’t make any money.  You could have met 30 neighbors and impressed on them your mad Realtor skills in that amount of time.  Make good Realtor friends in other areas and refer them business.  It will come back many times over…

Bonus-Knowing the value of your hour can save you from failure.  I understand that no one cares how much you think you are worth but they also don’t typically pay you in advance.  Working for a commission is hard work and being willing to tell someone that your business model doesn’t fit with their needs is ok.  Overpricing a home or not making necessary updates to sell are a waste of a Realtors time.  I learned early on not to chase just any listing unless it had ancillary benefits.  If your house is probably not going to sell then a Realtor can’t make any money off it, so that is not worth your time.  Put a number on your hour and try to stick to it best you can.  You will thank yourself later.