Frequently Asked Questions> Real Estate Agent

Can You Get Fired as a Real Estate Agent

Your stomach drops to your feet as you feel the ground shift beneath you. Sleepless nights, sweat, and tears invested in a career that seemed to be coming to a halt.

Shivers travel down your spine as you contemplate the possibility of yieldless effort. Could this be your reality? Can you get fired as a real estate agent? Real estate agents cannot be fired in the ordinary sense. However, they can have their agreements terminated.

Brokers cannot fire agents because they are not their employees. As independent contractors, agents are self-employed.

Real estate agents also work for their clients. This doesn’t make them employees of their clients. However, it does put clients in a position to terminate the relationship should they feel the need.

Get ready as I reveal the truth behind real estate agent terminations. In this article, we uncover the missteps that can cost you your career, and what to do going forward. Your livelihood may depend on it.

Reasons Real Estate Agents Get Fired by Clients

Clients can fire their real estate agents for various reasons. So, what could possibly lead to such a drastic outcome? Let’s dive into the top reasons real estate agents get the boot from their clients.

Bad Communication

Communication is the lifeblood of any successful real estate transaction. Regardless of the stage in the transaction, always keep in touch with your client. You may have closed over a handful of transactions in your career, but for your clients, the transaction is one of the most expensive and important deals of their lifetime.

Lack of communication opens the door for misunderstandings and can make a client feel like you’re not fully invested in their success. Not to mention unclear communication is the breeding ground for confusion and can lower your credibility as an agent.

My advice? Keep clients involved in every step of the process and be ready to answer any questions they may have. If you want to understand typical clients’ questions better and learn how to answer them effectively, check out my article, Common Questions for Real Estate Agents.

Go a step further and stay in constant contact with other professionals involved in the deal, such as mortgagors and appraisers, to ensure everyone is doing their job and the process is running smoothly. 

Unethical Behavior

Unethical behavior is a surefire way to get fired as a real estate agent. This includes receiving kickbacks, operating as a dual agent, which is illegal in most states, or even purposefully misrepresenting information about a house.

Not only can this lead to you getting fired, but it’s also one of the reasons agents can lose their licenses. Remember, as a real estate agent, you’re held to a high standard of professionalism and must adhere to this standard at all times.

Conflict of Interest

If clients think you’re not fully committed to representing their interests, they can give you the boot faster than you can say “commission.” Always be open about your position in every transaction. If the client doesn’t ask, tell them. Make sure your standing is crystal clear.

If you’re a dually licensed agent, stick to one profession per transaction. For example, if you’re licensed as both a real estate agent and home inspector and a client hires you as a real estate agent, don’t inspect the same house.

Never act dually, even if your client asks, begs, and pleads. It’s a recipe for disaster and a one-way ticket to getting fired.

The only exception may apply to real estate agents who are also interior designers. Interior designers are not a mandated part of the buying/selling process. Unlike an appraiser, who could easily inflate a house price to increase their commission, a designer’s work doesn’t directly help determine the price.

But, be sure to communicate your concerns with your state’s licensing body.

Bad Negotiation Skills

As a real estate agent, it’s your duty to protect your client’s interests and ensure they get the best deals possible. Failure to do this can make clients feel like you don’t have their back.

Use the best negotiation techniques  like pushing and pulling to ensure your client walks away with the best possible deal.

Reasons Real Estate Agents Get Fired by Brokers

You’re a real estate agent, hustling day in and day out to close deals and make your mark in the industry. But suddenly, the unthinkable happens—your broker calls you into their office and utters those dreaded words, “We need to let you go.”

It’s a gut-wrenching experience that no agent wants to face. So, what could lead to such a devastating outcome? Let’s explore the top reasons real estate agents get the boot from their brokers.

Low Sales Volume

In the fast-paced world of real estate, numbers speak louder than words. If your sales volume is consistently low and you’re not showing the initiative to improve, your broker may start to question your value to the team.

It’s not just about the quantity of sales, but also the quality of your effort. If you’re not putting in the work to generate leads, follow up with clients, and close deals, your broker may decide it’s time to part ways.

Breach of Contract

When you join a brokerage, you’re not just signing up for a job, you’re entering into a legal agreement. If you breach your contract with your broker, you could find yourself out on the street faster.

Examples of contract breaches include violating the Code of Ethics, such as showing up to work under the influence or failing to fulfill your duties as outlined in your agreement. It’s crucial to read and understand your contract thoroughly to avoid any missteps that could cost you your career.

Legal Trouble

Your reputation is everything as a real estate agent. If you find yourself in legal trouble, especially if it’s related to the industry, your broker may have no choice but to let you go. Even if the charges are ultimately dropped or you’re found not guilty, the mere association with legal trouble can be enough to tarnish your reputation.

If you’re worried that a criminal record could hold you back from success in real estate, be sure to check out my article Can You Become a Real Estate Agent with a Criminal Record? It’s a must-read for anyone with a past who’s hoping to build a future in this exciting industry.

How Real Estate Agents Are Fired

If you’re being fired by your broker, the process is relatively straightforward. It’s a lot like making your real estate license inactiveYour broker can simply log into their real estate commission website and remove your license from their account. It’s like a digital pink slip, and just like that, you’re out. The conversation is usually in person, so be prepared for an awkward face-to-face meeting.

On the other hand, if a client is firing you, the process can be a bit more complicated. They’ll likely call you, send an email, or set up a meeting to break the news. And trust me, it’s not going to be a fun conversation. They may want to talk to your broker as well, just to make sure everything is handled properly.

But here’s where things can get a bit tricky. Sometimes, clients may be willing to work with a different agent from your firm. It’s like a real estate version of “it’s not you, it’s me.” If they choose this route, it means they won’t need to terminate their contractual agreement with your brokerage. It’s a small silver lining in an otherwise unpleasant situation.

However, if the client decides to leave the brokerage entirely, they may also request that listings be deleted if they were the seller or that the search cease if they were the buyer. It’s like hitting the reset button on the whole process.

What to Do Next?

You’re a real estate agent who’s just been fired. Here you are, parked outside your now-former brokerage, wondering what just happened. Your mind is racing, and your first instinct is to grab your phone and start calling every other broker in town, desperate to find a new place to hang your license.

But hold on a minute. Before you start speed-dialing like a contestant on a game show, take a deep breath and reflect on what went wrong. Why did your broker or client decide to terminate the relationship? Was it something you did (or didn’t do)? Was there a communication breakdown somewhere along the line?

Instead of jumping right back into the fray, take some time to really think about what you can do better going forward. Maybe you need to work on your negotiation skills or brush up on your local market knowledge. Maybe you need to improve your responsiveness to client inquiries or be more proactive in your marketing efforts. Or perhaps all you need is to learn how to communicate effectively.

Whatever the case may be, don’t be afraid to seek out help and guidance. Find a mentor who’s been in the business longer than you have, someone who can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and develop a plan to improve. Attend workshops and seminars, read industry blogs and publications, and network with other agents who can share their own experiences and insights.

And most importantly, don’t let this setback define you. Yes, getting fired is a tough pill to swallow, but it’s not the end of the world. Dust yourself off, take a deep breath, and get back on that horse. Use this experience as a learning opportunity, a chance to grow and evolve as a real estate professional.

As you move forward, make sure to implement the lessons you’ve learned. If you’ve identified areas where you need to improve, put in the work to make those changes. If you’ve discovered new strategies or techniques that can help you better serve your clients, put them into practice.

A Second Chance

Success in real estate (and in life) is all about resilience. It’s about being able to take a punch, learn from it, and come back stronger than ever. So don’t let this setback keep you down. Embrace the challenge, and use it as fuel to propel you to even greater heights in your career.

Next Steps:

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being fired as a real estate agent, don’t panic. Take these action steps to get back on track:

1. Review: Reflect on the reasons behind the termination and identify areas for improvement.

2. Educate: Seek out a mentor or additional training to address any weaknesses or knowledge gaps.

3. Develop: Create a plan to implement the lessons learned and make positive changes in your career.

4. Don’t back down: Stay resilient and maintain a positive attitude as you move forward.

We want to hear from you! Have you ever experienced a termination as a real estate agent? How did you handle it, and what lessons did you learn? Share your stories and insights below.

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