Real Estate Advice 28 March 2021

Why Most Realtors Don’t Succeed

Have you ever wondered Why Most Realtors Don’t Succeed?

In the era of American Idol, The Voice, and X Factor, one thing has become abundantly clear! There are a ton of incredible singers out there!  Why is it then, that only a handful of them ever become famous, and ultimately pay their bills with their talent?  

As I draw a parallel between singing and being a real estate agent, I hope you’ll see how success in these 2 industries have a lot of similarities.  In this article I detail 5 Reasons Why Realtors Don’t Succeed! My story of becoming a Top Producing Realtor and eventually transitioning into operating a Successful Real Estate Brokerage is a testament to this.


1. Poor Interpersonal Skills

Nobody Is Born A Singer! But Most People Can Sing!  I recently started learning to play the guitar. Naturally when you’re strumming along to a song you know, you want to sing with it too. My family makes it very clear to me that while I’m getting good at playing, that I’m lacking in the vocal department. So perhaps I’ll never become a world renowned musician, but could I become a decent singer? IMHO, I think so. What’s it going to take? Likely a good vocal coach.

Having strong interpersonal skills is essential to becoming a great real estate professional.  Some people may be naturally gifted with interpersonal skills, while others may need a little practice. Perhaps some people have earned qualities while growing up or from a previous profession. Maybe it was a good parent, or an effective teacher.

Some key interpersonal skills of a real estate agent: Communication (both verbal and non-verbal), Listening Skills, Negotiation Skills, Problem-Solving, Decision-Making and Assertiveness.

I just Googled Interpersonal Skills and these words were on the list! Lol. But dang, it’s spot on!

When you look at the list above, you may find yourself struggling in some of these areas. Realistically though, are there areas above that you are 100% sure that you could never get good at? If you say ‘YES’ to this question, then you my friend may have an unredeemable singing voice!

In my career I have met a lot of Realtors with poor interpersonal skills. I’ve usually only met them once or twice.  

2. They Lack Education, Training & Ethics

Even Professionals Have A Vocal CoachAlthough I would rank Education and Training as a ‘cherry on top’ for agent success. I think that poorly trained / educated Realtors ultimately fail. Notice how I say ultimately.

One comparison would be like the ‘One Hit Wonders’ of our time. So they stumbled across a good beat and the world loved it. In the same way, a new Realtor could literally fluke out and get a fantastic listing, .. it could lead to several more! In the end, if a Realtor doesn’t have strong qualities centred around improving their knowledge and expertise, and I’ll throw ethics into this mix, eventually they’ll acquire a bad reputation and their pipeline will run dry.

The same goes for seasoned Realtors though. A good saying that my friend would say is ‘if you’re not growing, you’re dying’. As technology and systems evolve, and rules change, it’s important that Realtors stay up to date.

Unfortunately the ‘Smartest’ Realtor usually isn’t always going to land on top. Keep on reading, because with the right tools and strategies, they can certainly become the best!

3. They’re Perceived Poorly

A Great Singer + A Defective Mic = A Really Bad Outcome!  I hope this analogy turns a switch on for you! It certainly does for me. I often see Realtors with defective mics! It’s not just mics. A great musical performance requires a great mic, good speakers and a good sound board (and someone to operate it). Even the room is specifically designed for acoustics.

What’s a defective mic in real estate? Really any tool you’re using to broadcast yourself to the public! Specifically I’m referring to your marketing material. From websites to listing presentations to flyers used for farming and soliciting.

Why Most Realtors Don’t Succeed - Poorly Perceived

A Poorly Perceived Realtor will always struggle to attract new business.

When I recruit agents I often use the analogy of 2 new real estate agents. These two agents both recognize the importance of a website:

Bob – a very hard worker, gets to work. He starts off by calling his brother. His brother Chris has a roofing company and Chris recently built his own website. Bob calls Chris who tells him with confidence that Bob can build his own site ‘No Problemo!’. Bob spends the next 2 weeks building the worst website known to man. Little does he know, his website will never show up on search engines, and when someone does land on his site, he’ll likely lose them as a client!

Charlotte – knows what she doesn’t know, and websites are just that! Similar to Bob, Charlotte has a good friend in marketing that points her to a good web designer. Within a week Charlotte has a stunning, lightning fast website, rich in SEO and that portrays experience and confidence.

Who worked harder, Bob or Charlotte?
Who worked smarter, Bob or Charlotte?
How does having a great website have anything to do with being a Great Realtor?


Well! All these were rhetorical questions, but in the event that #3 caught you off guard, let me tell you. A great website doesn’t have anything to do with being a Great Realtor. But similar to a Mic, a website is a tool used to convey to the public that you ARE a great Realtor. And that’s the point!

The ‘Room’ could also be an image and reputation of your brokerage.  Not caring, or being oblivious on how they’re perceived is a major ready Why Most Realtors Don’t Succeed.


4. They’re Not Super Heros

Every Singer Has A Management Team.  An amazing singer may be a horrendous salesman, be a terrible negotiator, have zero organizational skills. Heck, they may not even be able to drive themselves to their own gigs. They may be an amazing singer, but without filling in the other blanks, they are most certainly going to fail.

When I started in real estate, one of the first things I noticed is that I carried some of the skills required to get me in front of people. Although I wasn’t quite a ‘Great Realtor’ YET, I carried around a trendy microphone that made my voice sound awesome! Lol. You know what they say, ‘fake it, till you make it’.

As a real estate photographer, with video, graphic design and web design experience I was able to start to put myself out there in front of the masses and to make a great first impression.

As I started to get busy, I began to realize that to be successful in real estate was so much more than any single job description. From balancing a family/work life, to building and installing signs, farming neighbourhoods, and building an effective CRM strategy, there was so much to do!

When I started getting really busy, a lot of the basic principles that I used to get me to the point of success began to fall by the wayside and my growth was stunted. This basic truth is single handedly the biggest hangup of most Realtors. There’s just too much to do, and not enough time to do it!

Top producing Realtors are always surrounded by a team that supports them in the areas that are secondary.  Failing to surround themselves with a great support base is a major reason why most Realtors don’t succeed!

A great singer, especially at the peak of their career, shouldn’t have to do anything other than sing, sing and sing!!!


5. They Picked The Wrong Brand

In Music There Are Labels – In Vehicles There Are Makes – In Sports There Are Teams – In Real Estate There Are Brands.  In real estate the ‘Brand’ represents consumer confidence. It’s a noble thing to try to create a Brand,.. It’s also an incredibly steep hill that most people fall and die on. A slow and painful death that I have seen over and over.

Would you ever open up an independent coffee shop beside a Tim Hortons, or a mom and pop burger joint beside a McDonalds? To my naive friends who say heck ya, I salute you. Lol. The reality is, you would be crazy to do so.

Why Most Realtors Don’t Succeed - Real Estate Education

A Realtor who selects a great brand increases their odds of succeeding.

Franchise and Corporate tend to have a bad name in society as though they are some monster without a soul.   Most of these companies started off without two pennies to rub together and developed a successful system from scratch. These iconic brands and systems pave the way for wannabe entrepreneurs like you and me to jump aboard and sail with them.


Final Thoughts: At the end of the day the real estate industry is a very difficult industry to navigate. Finding a great brokerage with a proven track record of supporting their Realtors is one of the most important decisions an agent can make. In the Grey & Bruce, after through research, there is only one brokerage that meets all of the requirements. To find out which brokerage that is Click Here

What are your reasons why most Realtors don’t succeed?  Let me know in the comment section!

Written by:  Mike Seiler, Broker Of Record