June 8, 2016

Keys to Becoming a Successful Real Estate Agent

BY John Paul Narowski IN Sales and Marketing 2 Comments


It’s no secret that 20% of agents pull in 80% of the revenue. Being a realtor isn’t a hobby, it’s a business, and requires focus, determination, and strategy. By developing a good plan and committing to its execution, you’ll put yourself ahead of the fly-by-their-pants pack of realtors who treat real estate sales like a hobby, not a business.

Read on if you’re looking for ways to take your real estate business to the next level.

Get organized

Becoming a top performer is unlike any other profession; you’re selling a product, but you’re also selling yourself, your skills, and your abilities. You are your own product, right along with the houses you sell. So, think of yourself as a product – smart business people know they need to put the best product on the market that they can.

In your case, being the best at your job means making an divestment in yourself, your processes, and your network. Getting organized is just the kind of investment that will grow as you do, helping you to achieve your goals even as your business expands. Once you have your leads flowing properly and a good system for nurturing your network, you can focus on scaling that and increasing the reach of your sphere.

Be committed

The first step to being successful in any self-driven profession is to commit to success. Real estate is a business, and you are in a profession where you are dealing with the purchase and sale of what is, for most people, their single biggest financial asset. So take it seriously: Set regular hours for yourself and practice good self-care routines. It all starts with you. Taking the profession seriously is one of your most important steps toward getting serious results.

Hire tools to help

Turning leads into a sold sign in the yard is no easy feat. It means having a good system in place for managing all the conversations and tasks you will be having with leads, prospects, past customers and other important people in your network.

The most efficient way to do this is by investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) system. The right CRM will be at the heart of your entire real estate operation, telling you who to contact, when, and why – and can help automate some of the more mundane tasks, like sending scheduled email. From follow-up to referral generation – a well-oiled CRM will help keep you organized, focused, and on top.

You can use CRM to help you with all of the following

  • Letting no leads slip through the cracks
  • Keeping on top of your follow-ups
  • Nurturing your network
  • Making introductions and adding value
  • Staying organized

Set measurable goals

Decide what your goals are, and then find a way to measure them. If your goal is to grow your network and referrals, a good measurable goal would be making 5 coffee appointments a week. Measuring the outcome of these coffee appointments will give you a clear understanding of how to grow your business and increase sales.

Grow your sphere of influence

Referrals are a real estate agent’s best friend. If you focus on adding value, being a connector, and forming partnerships, referrals will be a natural byproduct of this investment.

Be a giver

Position yourself at the center of your network,and always be thinking of how you can add value to the people you come into contact with. As you connect one person to another, you become the center of their discussion, and much more, in their hearts and minds.

Partner with other realtors

Real estate is a very broad profession; one of the most important keys to success is to focus on what you do well, and let others focus on what they do well. If you don’t sell 30-million-dollar homes or commercial real estate? No problem! Find other realtors who do, and send leads their way. It’s much better than trying to take something on that you can’t handle, and this way you can focus on what you do best. Typically you can work out a referral commision – and sometimes these arrangements can even lead to future opportunities when the person you referred to sends business that is a better fit for you, back your way.

The lesson? Have a large slice of the watermelon, instead of the whole grape.

Follow up!

Poor (or no) follow-up is the demise of many real estate agents. CRM can be a huge help in this department. Don’t rely on that so called “steel trap” of a mind to always remind you who to follow up with and when: use tools like CRM to create automatic reminders for follow-up.

Ponder for a second, how expensive it is to lose a sale by not following up … painful, isn’t it?


Follow-up isn’t just for active leads. You should be engaging your entire network, past clients, friends, and relatives regularly. You don’t need to just say “hey, checking in” – instead, you could share an article you know they’d like, or a quote that had an impact on you. Nurturing your network is certainly a full-time job, but will pay off greatly when you’re the first person they think of at the time they’re buying or selling a home!

Make it your business to “know”

Part of being able to add value to your network is having a robust and well-vetted group of companies and individuals at your fingertips. If someone asks you if you know someone who can help with (x), don’t say “I don’t know.” Instead, say “Sure, let me get back to you on that!”

Then, find a good person to recommend.

Every time you make an introduction, you’re adding tremendous value for both parties. You can bet they both won’t forget it. Just make sure the people you’re recommending are in fact, quality. Nothing sours things with your prospects quite like making an intro to a Shady-Steve plumbing operation.

Invest in yourself

Hire a real estate coach

Once you’ve mastered follow-up and network nurturing, you might consider hiring a Real Estate Coach to help push you to the next level. It’s not for everyone, but can be very helpful to have someone to hold you accountable, and push you to achieve more.

Always be studying

As a real estate agent, you must be a student of multiple disciplines. You have to be a negotiator, a salesman, a connector, and a friend. Spend time daily reading about sales, relationship-building, or housing trends to keep your tools sharp.

Take care of yourself

Running a real estate business takes a lot of energy, focus, and discipline. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it will be hard to rise to the top of the industry. Yet, one of the things that many people don’t realize about real estate is that it isn’t always easy to take care of yourself; clients often want to meet on weekends and in the evening, which can interfere with a fitness routine and lead to eating on the run. These factors can lead to unhealthy habits, so successful agents will need to actively find ways to keep in shape and stay balanced.

Unlike other jobs where a manager might be helping to keep you motivated to succeed and where you will receive support from an employer, most of the motivation for success in real estate comes from within you. You’ll need plenty of discipline and the ability to listen to your body in order to serve your clients without burning yourself out.

It will be up to you to make a place in your life for self-care, so that you can stay energized, disciplined, and focused. You might even try meditating before that next open house, to clear your mind and give you maximum composure and focus.

Additional reading & resources

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

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