By George E. Zanette

Recently I interviewed a number of managers and salespeople, asking them what are the most common reasons real estate salespeople fail. Here are the most common responses:

1. Lack of cash flow.

This seems to be the most common reason for failure, since the highs and lows of commission-based income are a real challenge. Most salespeople do not plan for this and do not save enough when times are good. What makes things worse is that most salespeople are inconsistent with their lead generation strategies and applications. There is no magic bullet and no easier, softer way. The daily commitment to build a business requires perseverance, consistency and competence.

2. Lack of good coaching and training.

Many salespeople fail to see that the greatest investment they can make is their own training and coaching. There seems to be great reluctance to pay for good training and worse, a lack of engagement when their brokerage offers speakers and sessions about specific topics.

3. Lack of consistent prospecting.

This is the No. 1 difference between successful and unsuccessful sales reps. You don’t have to be the smartest or the best looking, or drive the nicest car! However it is essential to have a system that you work every day to add new prospects to your database. Many people ask me what’s the best system……the one you use, Charlie Brown!

4. Fear of rejection.

Get over it, or go get another job is what my first broker told me! I had experience with this previously when I was in the life insurance industry in my early career. Once I got through my friends and family, I was stumped and the phone weighed 10,000 lbs. If you believe you have something of value to offer, what’s the fear?

5. Not understanding they are a business.

It still amazes me how many new salespeople show up at my first class and don’t have any form of a business plan. If they were going into any other business they would have to have one to convince a lender to fund their new venture. Starting your own real estate business is no different. You may not be in business by yourself but definitely for yourself.

6. Lack of implementation.

So you go to a seminar or training program, buy the book and the CDs, get all excited and then do exactly what you were doing before. I have a whole wall of books, tapes and CDs from past seminars and coaches, but over the years I did put it all together in a system that works for me.

7. Lack of commitment.

There is a big difference between being around the business and being in the business. I received some great advice in my early career. Get up, dress up, show up and talk more to the public than other salespeople. Choose wisely when talking to other real estate sales reps. Stay away from negative Nellys. You will find the busy ones won’t have time to chat!

8. Lack of time management.

Most people love the flexibility of being their own boss, but nothing is more of a problem for a new salesperson. No one is telling you when you have to work or come to the office. The best way to deal with this is to set up a plan of your ideal day and ideal week, focusing on the highest priority activities; prospecting, follow-up, listing appointments and showings.

9. Lack of clear goals and plan.

Even if you have a business plan, many people do not drill down to the hourly and daily activities required to successfully meet their goals. The most insightful advice I ever heard about this is to focus on the right activities, not the results. The results will take care of themselves if you are consistent. Right Action = Right Results.

10. Lack of support from the brokerage.

When I’m in a recruiting appointment with a new salesperson, I just love when their first question is, “How much are your fees?” It’s the same as the listing appointment question, when the client asks what your commission will be before they even ask what you offer. The industry has changed a great deal and with the race to the bottom, many brokerages just don’t have the time or money to invest a great deal in training their salespeople. A new sales rep especially should always ask, “How can you help me succeed?” as their first question.