The Mistakes I've Made in Real Estate

Over the course of 15 years of selling real estate, I've made some mistakes.  It's easy to do when you don't have a "How-To' manual or a Mentor to guide you.  I thought I'd share a few of my blunders... just in case there's a newbie out there who could benefit.

1.  Branding your email.  The first brokerage I worked for was Windermere.  I picked a cute name for my email address:  Big mistake!  Three years later, I left Windermere and moved to RE/MAX.  An agent at Windermere quickly snatched my old email address and benefited from my SEO.  I learned my lesson and started branding my 'virtual' email to my personal url (

2.  Discovering your success.  When I moved to Southern Oregon, I didn't know a soul.  I got my real estate license and hit the ground running.  My Principal Broker asked, "How will you get business?"  I'm going to buy a website, I replied.  He said, "that will never work."  He told me I needed to knock on doors, so I listened.  I canvassed a neighborhood, passing out chocolates and business cards.  After 8 hours of sweating, and lots of melted chocolate, I got zero leads!  After that, I bought a website (  Within weeks, my phone started to ring ;-) 

3.  The art of persuasion.  There have only been a handful of times in my life when I didn't trust my gut.  As a newbie Realtor, I was offered a position as a Buyer's agent for a successful Broker.  She was stylish, fast-talking and very convincing.  I was new to the area, and her fear-based persuasion told me I needed her.  Five months later, and numerous arm-wrestling matches in between, we parted ways.  I knew we were ill-suited from day one, but I allowed fear to guide me.  From then on, I followed my heart!

4.  Assuming too much.  I learned pretty quickly that buyers are like wild ponies.  After expending much time and energy, not to mention several tanks of gas, a few of them galloped out (without me) and bought a FSBO.  Oops!  I assumed they knew I could help them with FSBO's too.  However, I made a huge mistake in not communicating that to them.  After a couple of lost deals, I created a fact sheet describing my services which I began providing to my clients at the first point of contact.  I haven't lost a buyer to a FSBO after that.  Never assume your clients can read your mind!

5.  Saving for a rainy day.  It's easy to spend big when you're making big.  2005' was my best year in real estate, grossing over $450K.  If I knew I was going to lose my skirt in the coming years, I would have set aside more of my earnings for a rainy day (more like a 7-year storm).  Business is cyclic and down times are inevitable.  Saving is a smart thing to do no matter what your profession.  I'm happy to say that I'm getting smarter in my 'wiser' years ;-)


Melinda Peterson - Real Estate Cafe LLC




Melinda Peterson ~ Principal Broker

The Naked Blogger

Curator of Happy Endings


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Comment balloon 122 commentsMelinda (Mel) Peterson • July 16 2014 07:31AM
The Mistakes I've Made in Real Estate
Over the course of 15 years of selling real estate, I've made some mistakes. It's easy to do when you don't have a "How-To' manual or a Mentor to guide you. I thought I'd share a few of my blunders… just in case there's a newbie out there… more