Like politics, it is said that all real estate is local. If you have managed to establish your reputation as an expert and a fair dealing professional in your local community, congratulate yourself. You have just built a huge advantage over your competition.
However, if you're just a beginner with no connections you may be in for a tough time. As you have realized few people would want to do business with a nobody. This is because they want to deal only with trustworthy experts and not waste their time with a newbie. It might sound unfair but that's the way it is. Why would you entrust your hard earned money / property to an amateur when you know a lot of pros?