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I hope you enjoy reading this blog article.
My team and I can do your marketing for you.

6 Reasons Real Estate Agents Fail within the First Five Years

Blog / 6 Reasons Real Estate Agents Fail within the First Five Years

photo of a real estate agent ready to quit being an agent

The real estate industry is known for its high attrition rate, with a staggering 87% of real estate agents failing within the first five years of their careers. This alarming statistic raises important questions about what factors contribute to such a high failure rate. Understanding these reasons is crucial for aspiring agents who want to beat the odds and build successful, long-lasting careers in real estate.

Real estate, at first glance, may seem like a glamorous profession with the potential for big paychecks and flexible schedules. However, the reality is far more complex and demanding. Without a deep understanding of the challenges and pitfalls that lie ahead, many hopeful agents find themselves ill-prepared and unable to navigate the competitive landscape of the industry.

By delving into the six primary reasons why real estate agents fail within their first five years, we can shed light on the critical areas that demand attention and improvement. Each of these reasons reveals an essential aspect that aspiring agents must grasp to increase their chances of success.

So, if you’re considering a career in real estate or have recently embarked on this journey, it’s vital to familiarize yourself with these reasons. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the challenges, make informed decisions, and cultivate the skills necessary to thrive in this ever-evolving industry.

In the following sections, we will explore each of the five reasons in detail, unveiling the misconceptions, mindsets, skills, and external factors that contribute to the high failure rate among real estate agents. By understanding these factors, you can proactively address them and position yourself for success in your real estate career.

6 Reasons 87% of Real Estate Agents Fail within the First Five Years

  1. Getting into Real Estate for the Wrong Reasons
  2. Maintaining an Employee Mindset
  3. Insufficient Marketing Skills
  4. Lack of Leads & Clients
  5. Lack of Training & Resources
  6. Choosing the Wrong Brokerage
  7. Learn More About Our Brokerage

Getting into Real Estate for the Wrong Reasons, Wrong Expectations

One of the primary reasons why a significant number of real estate agents fail within the first five years is because they enter the industry without a clear understanding of what it truly entails. Many individuals are drawn to real estate due to misconceptions and unrealistic expectations that can ultimately lead to disappointment and failure.

Here are some common misconceptions about becoming an agent.

Real Estate is quick & easy money.
Some individuals are lured by the allure of high commissions and believe that real estate is a fast track to financial success. However, the reality is far different. Real estate is a competitive field where success is not guaranteed. It requires hard work, perseverance, and a long-term approach to building a sustainable business.

Assumption that real estate is a part-time job.
Many people see it as a flexible career option that can be pursued on the side while maintaining other commitments. While it’s true that real estate offers some flexibility in terms of working hours, it is far from a part-time endeavor. Successful agents invest a significant amount of time, energy, and resources into their businesses, often working evenings, weekends, and holidays to meet client needs.

To succeed in real estate, aspiring agents need to enter the industry with the right mindset and realistic expectations. Passion and dedication are essential. A genuine interest in the real estate market and helping clients achieve their goals can fuel the motivation needed to overcome challenges. It’s important to understand that real estate is a relationship-driven industry, and building trust with clients takes time and effort.

Having a realistic understanding of the challenges involved is equally crucial. Real estate agents face market fluctuations, intense competition, and the need to constantly adapt to evolving trends and technologies. It requires a willingness to continuously learn, improve skills, and stay informed about local market conditions.

By approaching real estate with a clear understanding of the commitment, dedication, and hard work it requires, aspiring agents can set themselves up for success. It’s important to assess personal motivations, align them with the realities of the industry, and be prepared to invest the necessary time and effort to build a thriving real estate business.

photo of a real estate agent with a business owner mindset

Maintaining an Employee Mindset instead of Thinking like a Business Owner

Transitioning from an employee to a real estate agent requires a significant shift in mindset. Many individuals who enter the real estate industry struggle because they fail to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and instead maintain an employee mentality.

As an employee, one typically operates within the structure and guidance of a larger organization. There is a sense of security and a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities. However, in the realm of real estate, agents are essentially running their own businesses. They must take charge of their success, make strategic decisions, and take calculated risks.

Treating real estate as a business is of utmost importance. Real estate agents need to think like entrepreneurs, considering the long-term growth and sustainability of their enterprises. This involves developing a vision, setting goals, and creating a solid business plan. It also requires a willingness to invest in marketing, branding, and professional development to stand out in a competitive market.

Self-discipline is a key trait that real estate agents must cultivate. Without a supervisor or manager providing structure, agents must have the discipline to set their own schedules, prioritize tasks, and stay focused on their goals. Procrastination and lack of accountability can quickly derail progress and hinder success. Agents must hold themselves accountable for their actions and outcomes.

Effective time management is essential in a career where every minute counts. Real estate agents juggle multiple responsibilities, from prospecting and lead generation to client meetings, negotiations, and administrative tasks. Prioritization, delegation when possible, and leveraging technology tools can help agents make the most of their time and maximize productivity.

Handling uncertainty is another crucial aspect of thinking like a business owner in real estate. Market conditions fluctuate, client needs vary, and unexpected challenges can arise at any time. Agents must be adaptable, resilient, and comfortable with ambiguity. A positive mindset, the ability to problem-solve, and a willingness to embrace change are essential for navigating the uncertainties of the industry.

By embracing the shift from an employee mindset to a business owner mindset, real estate agents can take control of their success and build thriving careers. It requires a proactive approach, a willingness to take risks, and a commitment to continuous learning and growth. Thinking like a business owner empowers agents to make strategic decisions, build strong client relationships, and create a sustainable business that withstands the test of time.

photo of real estate agents struggling with no training

Insufficient Marketing Skills

In a highly competitive industry like real estate, having strong marketing skills is crucial for real estate agents to stand out from the crowd and attract clients. Unfortunately, many agents fail within the first five years due to insufficient marketing skills. Let’s explore the key aspects agents need to focus on to improve their marketing game and suggest resources and training programs to help them enhance their skills.

The Significance of Marketing Skills in Real Estate
In the cutthroat world of real estate, effective marketing plays a vital role in an agent’s success. It allows agents to differentiate themselves, build a strong brand, generate leads, and ultimately secure more clients. Without a well-developed marketing strategy, agents may struggle to gain visibility in a crowded marketplace, resulting in missed opportunities and limited business growth.

  • Branding: Developing a strong brand identity helps agents create a positive perception in the minds of potential clients. It involves defining a unique value proposition, clearly communicating it through consistent messaging and visual elements, and aligning all marketing efforts with the brand’s core values. A strong brand establishes credibility and fosters trust, making it easier for agents to attract and retain clients.
  • Lead Generation: Effective lead generation involves actively seeking out potential clients and nurturing relationships to convert leads into actual sales. Agents can leverage a mix of online and offline strategies, such as social media platforms, professional websites, networking with local businesses and organizations, and hosting events or seminars. Implementing a systematic lead generation process ensures a steady stream of potential clients.
  • Communication Strategies: Effective communication is vital in real estate marketing. Agents must be able to clearly articulate their value proposition, understand their clients’ needs, and tailor their messages accordingly. They should excel in active listening, responding promptly to inquiries, and maintaining open lines of communication throughout the buying or selling process. Effective communication builds trust and fosters positive client relationships.

This is why when agents join my real estate group, we provide them will the training and marketing resources they will need to build a strong and successful real estate business. Marketing training and resources include: social media content with karuvi, social media training, kvCORE & CRM training, paid ads training, and more.

photo of real estate agent helping a client buy a home

Lack of Leads & Clients

One of the primary reasons why real estate agents fail is the lack of leads and clients. Generating a consistent stream of leads is crucial for success in the industry, as it directly affects an agent’s ability to close deals and earn income. Unfortunately, many new agents face challenges in building a network and establishing relationships with potential buyers and sellers.

Here are a few reasons why they have a lack of leads and clients.

  • Limited network: New agents often start with a limited network, which can make it challenging to find potential clients. Without an established database of contacts, agents must proactively seek out opportunities to expand their network and connect with potential leads.
  • Ineffective prospecting: Prospecting is the process of actively seeking out potential clients. Ineffective prospecting strategies or a lack of knowledge on how to effectively reach and engage with prospects can hinder an agent’s ability to generate leads. Agents need to explore various prospecting methods, such as cold calling, door knocking, social media marketing, and networking events, to find what works best for them.
  • Insufficient marketing efforts: Marketing plays a crucial role in attracting and capturing leads. Agents who fail to invest in marketing efforts or lack the necessary skills to create compelling campaigns may struggle to generate interest from potential clients. It is essential for agents to develop marketing skills or leverage resources within their brokerage or professional networks to enhance their marketing strategies.
  • Lack of online presence: In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is vital for attracting leads. Agents who neglect to establish a professional website, optimize their social media profiles, or leverage online platforms miss out on valuable opportunities to connect with potential clients. Building an online presence through content creation, regular engagement, and showcasing expertise can help agents attract leads and establish credibility.

To overcome the challenge of a lack of leads and clients, agents should invest in lead generation, develop a robust marketing strategy, leverage technology and automation, and continuously expand their professional network.

Additionally, joining a brokerage or a real estate group that provides all the necessary resources and support can significantly help agents in generating quality leads and converting them into clients.

Join my real estate group and get access to comprehensive lead generation tools, marketing training, technology platforms, and social media training that will allow you to grow your real estate business successfully. Get all of this with no extra cost or split.

photo of a real estate office with a lack of marketing resources

Lack of Training & Resources

Agents entering the real estate industry often face limited training and resources, which can hinder their chances of success. This section will address the challenges associated with inadequate support and highlight the importance of ongoing education, professional development, and mentorship programs. Here are key points to consider:

  • Limited training from brokerages: Some brokerages provide minimal training, leaving agents to navigate the intricacies of the industry on their own.
  • Limited staff and support: Some brokerages also are limited to the amount of broker support and assistance they can provide each agent. This also limits the agent on the quality of support provide, especially if the broker is not experienced in that area.
  • Outdated training programs: In some cases, brokerages offer training conducted by agents who haven’t been actively involved in deals for over a decade, leading to a gap between industry practices and what agents are taught.
  • Struggles with lead generation: Many brokerages only offer training once agents have secured leads, which can be a significant hurdle for new agents who are still developing their networks and prospecting skills.
  • Importance of ongoing education: The real estate landscape is dynamic, with evolving market trends, technology advancements, and changing regulations. Agents must commit to continuous learning to stay informed and adapt to the industry’s shifts.
  • Professional development opportunities: Agents should actively seek out professional development resources, such as industry conferences, specialized courses, certifications, and webinars, to enhance their skills and expand their knowledge.
  • Mentorship programs: Engaging in mentorship programs provides new agents with valuable guidance from experienced professionals. Mentors can share insights, offer support, and help mentees navigate challenges, accelerating their learning curve.
  • Evaluating brokerages: Before joining a brokerage, agents should carefully evaluate the training and support they offer. Inquire about the availability of resources, mentorship opportunities, and the track record of their training programs.
  • Investing in personal growth: Agents must take responsibility for their own growth and success. By investing time, effort, and resources into their professional development, agents can stay competitive and provide better service to their clients.

By recognizing the importance of ongoing education, seeking mentorship, and aligning with brokerages that prioritize agent development, real estate agents can overcome the lack of training and resources. Proactive measures, such as participating in reputable training programs and staying up to date with industry trends, empower agents to build successful and sustainable real estate careers.

This is why agents who join my group at eXp Realty get access to multiple state brokers and over 900 employees in the cloud and can get support in matter of minutes. These employees are dedicated specialties such as accounting, tech support, transaction support, and more.

Click here to learn more.

real estate agent using his phone to research different brokerages

Choosing the Wrong Real Estate Brokerage

The choice of brokerage plays a significant role in an agent’s success in the real estate industry. Being with the wrong brokerage can have a detrimental impact on an agent’s career trajectory and overall satisfaction. This section will delve into the implications of selecting the wrong brokerage, emphasize the importance of aligning with a supportive brokerage, and highlight the significance of researching and selecting a brokerage that aligns with an agent’s goals and values.

Choosing the wrong brokerage can hinder an agent’s success in several ways. Here are some key considerations:

  • Lack of support and resources: A brokerage that does not provide adequate support and resources can leave agents feeling isolated and ill-equipped to handle the challenges of the industry. Without proper guidance, mentorship, and access to technology tools, agents may struggle to develop their skills, generate leads, and close deals efficiently.
  • Limited training opportunities: Training is crucial, especially for new agents who require a solid foundation to thrive in the real estate market. If a brokerage does not offer comprehensive training programs or ongoing educational resources, agents may face difficulties in staying updated on industry trends, best practices, and legal requirements.
  • Negative work environment: A toxic work environment can dampen an agent’s enthusiasm and hinder their professional growth. If a brokerage lacks a positive and supportive culture, agents may find it challenging to collaborate with colleagues, seek advice, or build relationships that foster learning and professional development.
  • Misalignment with goals and values: Agents should align themselves with a brokerage that shares their professional goals, values, and vision. Being with a brokerage that contradicts their objectives or operates in a manner contrary to their ethical standards can create internal conflicts and hinder long-term success and satisfaction.
  • Outdated brokerage model: Traditional brokerages that have not adapted to the changing landscape of real estate, including the rise of cloud-based brokerages, can hinder an agent’s ability to leverage modern technology and innovative solutions.
  • Lack of technological advancements: Outdated brokerages may lack the necessary technology infrastructure and tools to streamline processes, automate tasks, and enhance efficiency, putting agents at a disadvantage in terms of productivity and competitiveness.
  • Inflexible commission structures: Some outdated brokerages may have rigid commission structures that do not align with the changing dynamics of the real estate market. This can limit an agent’s earning potential and discourage motivation and growth.


In conclusion, the choice of brokerage is a critical decision that can significantly impact an agent’s success in the real estate industry. It is essential to conduct thorough research and carefully consider the different models available to find the one that aligns with your goals, values, and vision for your career.

As you embark on your journey in real estate, take the time to explore innovative brokerages like eXp Realty and the opportunities they offer. Our group within eXp Realty provides top-notch social media training, extensive marketing resources, 80+ hours of live training each week, kvCORE CRM and training, and multiple streams of income.

With our unique model, agents have the potential to make and keep more money while doing the same work they would at any other brokerage.

We invite you to schedule a no-pressure, one-on-one call to learn more about joining our group within eXp Realty. Discover how our resources, support, and entrepreneurial environment can help you thrive in the real estate industry. Don’t miss out on the chance to take your career to new heights.

Take the first step towards a successful real estate journey by scheduling your call today. Together, let’s unlock your full potential and build a thriving and fulfilling career in real estate.

Get access to the most elite-level training & resources to help you skyrocket production in any market condition.

Learn more about how to become a Modern Agent that drives more leads and closes more deals, and what my group is doing differently to empower agents that no one else is doing here at eXp Realty. Learn how to keep more of your money all while building a solid real estate business.

Based on 15 years of experience & client reviews