AgentIndustry VoicesReal Estate

Defying new agent burnout by teaching product of life cycles

The only thing worse than starting a new gig is not knowing what to expect. And for
those agents who decided to join the industry in the last year, it can be a “deer in the
headlights moment.” It is time for new agents to get the tools that will help them succeed as the industry shifts toward a more traditional, skills-focused business.

Managing expectations

Think of the last time you were at the doctor’s office. It’s a whole new world where folks
use language you don’t know and you run in a current they control. It’s impossible to
manage anything when you are in that insecure state. When you apply that same logic to entry level agents, there are several to implement to avoid the meltdown of new real estate agents.

Regional and seasonal ebbs and flows

I read a national article recently that cited the summer season as the best time
to sell a home. The article said, “deals” could be found in the fall and winter for buyers.

Nothing could be farther from the truth in my area of the country. August is notoriously a slow month compared to September. Variables like climate, daylight hours, community interest, common vacation months and buyer habits can swing that pendulum big time in any town.

For example, January is a hot time to sell a house in Naples, Florida, yet in the Pacific Northwest there isn’t enough daylight to attract the biggest group of buyers in that month. Understanding the cycle of your local market is critical — sometimes it really isn’t you, it’s just the weather. The market is like a river by design and it’s meant to have current shifts and changes.

To the new agent psyche, it will be a huge relief to know that much of their slow business may be seasonal, not exclusively due to interest rates or inventory, or even their approach. If they stay consistent, then hard work now will pay dividends later, as it does for every agent who does the work. These new agents can make plans and take rests to avoid inevitable burnout.

The dividends in understanding product life cycles

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported in their 2022 Member Report, “15% of REALTORS® had a previous career in management, business or finance, and 14% in sales or retail.”

So, this next concept — while now glaringly obvious to veteran agents — is new to others. Broadly speaking, consumers sell homes every 5-7 years. You can say that to a new agent, but you’ll likely need to explain why they should care.

When a new agent is asked where they intend to attract business, this is the perfect time to introduce the typical cycle of a buyer and seller. After all, we are asking them for a calculated strategy in a field they have yet to understand. Had I known, while dropping some of my best one liners at an open house or reaching out to friends and family members, that
the average person moves up or downsizes every 5-7 years, it would have helped me
better identify warmer leads. Like any agent, time and money are resources that can’t
be spared when you’re trying to build a book of business.

Teaching an agent to pour the foundation of their business into the long game, will get them thinking like a business and producing faster. Have your agent pull reports for you so they can practice looking at market trends. Make it a weekly exercise so they can start to see for themselves what you already know.

The most important concept to teach a new agent about negotiating is that nothing is
ever personal. Getting success for your client is a delicate dance of needs versus
wants. Their main job as real estate agents is to get the client everything that
they want, but never leave the table without what they need.

Knowing the market cycle is imperative to assess what kind of pressure you can put on the other side. If you’re headed into a strong selling season, you can apply more pressure knowing if it falls apart there will be another party waiting. When entering a traditional, soft time the agent should be advised to work with what they have. Our job is to get the best price with the best terms. To do that, knowing the cycle of a region is imperative to success.

If we really want our entry-level agents to raise the bar, equipping them with basic
market strategy knowledge and structure is the first step to having them consider
themselves a community business owner. This mindset starts at the top!