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Let’s face it, if you’re a newly-licensed real estate agent, you still have a lot to learn about the business. Before you hit the ground running, it’s important to know how to avoid common rookie mistakes. That’s why we asked national real estate coach Sherri Johnson for her thoughts on the top mistakes new agents make. Click this link to watch this insightful interview.

Don’t have time to watch the video? Here are a few key takeaways so that you can get the gist (although you will get the most information and value from watching the full interview).

1. Relying too much on your sphere of influence.
“Your sphere of influence is great, and it will pan out,” says Sherri, “but it takes time.” While it’s important to have a sphere of influence list of 250-500 people, keep in mind that only a small percentage of people on that list are going to be in the market for a home at any given time. Furthermore, some of those people may not want to work with you because they know you’re new to the business.

The solution, she says, is to work with people you don’t know. Do a lot of open houses. Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can do virtual open houses. You can also call expired listings and For-Sale-By-Owners (FSBOs). “Open houses, expired listings, and For-Sale-By-Owners are all people that have no idea whether you’ve had your license for five years or five minutes.”

2. Not focusing on setting appointments.
Another common mistake agents make, Sherri says, is focusing on things that aren’t bringing in income. For example, if you’re spending three weeks preparing a listing presentation or doing busywork instead of going on face-to-face (or virtual) appointments, you’re not generating any income.

“The minute you’re licensed, you’ve got to go on appointments,” she says. Appointments are what make sales and income happen. She recommends setting a goal and going after a certain number of appointments and a certain number of showings per week.

3. Not having a big enough pipeline.
Most new real estate agents “make the mistake of only having four to maybe six or seven people in your pipeline at any given time.” If you’re counting on those to come to fruition, and they don’t, then you’ll be left with zero income for the month, Sherri warns.

The solution, she says, is to “cast a wider, stronger, bigger net.” If you have 25-30 people you’re talking to instead of just four to six, then two of three of those opportunities are going to pan out every month. They’re going to shake out into listings, sales, closings and income. So make sure your strategy is to be talking to a lot more people so that you have a large enough pipeline to generate a reliable stream of income.

Real Estate Express is the nation’s premier online real estate school, providing pre- and post-licensing courses, continuing education courses, and professional development to hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country. RealEstateExpress along with its sister schools McKissock Learning, Superior School of Real Estate, Allied Schools, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing and Hondros Education Group, helps real estate professionals achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their real estate career.