how to be a successful real estate agent

The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Agents

In the wise words of Jim Rohn, “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”

Success is a funny thing. It’s self-measured. What one person considers success is not the same for everyone else.

However, there is one main common denominator: successful people have similar habits.

If you’ve ever read the book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” you know that there are certain factors that go into a better mindset and in turn, better performance.

From reading daily to exercise and eating well, success goes beyond how hard you work. It’s a way of life and all real estate agents can learn from the habits of their successful counterparts.

Let’s take a look at the top seven habits of highly successful agents, and how you can incorporate them into your life.

Have an agenda and sticking with it is an important part of time management and success for real estate agents.
Have a Routine and Stick With It

Setting a routine is one of the first steps to success. You don’t have to have every second of every day planned out, but there should be consistency in what you do and when.

For instance, setting a loose daily schedule of both your personal habits and your professional ones could help you stay on track.

Every real estate agent that wants to be successful should set aside time for activities and obligations like: exercise, checking email, scheduling social media posts, personal time, showings, etc. If you want to start reading every morning, put it in your schedule and stick with it.

The personal satisfaction that comes from setting goals and accomplishing them builds self-confidence, a key trait of successful people. Bad habits breed low self-esteem.

Pro Tip: Start small and work your way into it. That way, you can adjust to what’s working and what’s not. Routines take time to build! Don’t get discouraged if it takes a second to get into the swing of things.

Marketing is an important part of success in real estate.

Be a Technology Guru

Successful real estate agents are always looking for new and improved ways to improve their business strategy. In today’s world, that goes hand-in-hand with technology. According to the National Association of Realtors Center for Realtor Technology, agents and brokers spend an average of $848 and $1,410 per year on technology.

The key here is problem solving. Highly successful agents will utilize apps, websites or marketing tactics to help improve their functionality. Bonus points if it also saves time! Instead of saying, “I don’t know how to do that,” successful agents will look for technology or services that help them accomplish it.

For instance, Keeping Current Matters helps take a lot of the guessing out of realtor’s marketing strategy with branded content and done-for-you guides, videos and social media graphics. It’s a one-two punch.

“KCM is a super-easy and time-saving resource for real estate agents to use, even if they aren’t tech-savvy! They provide consumers with a good product of high quality that is very easy to work with, and they take care of all the hard parts of website creation.” – Lara Burnside, EXP Realty

In any industry, being successful is synonymous with being resourceful and a willingness to learn.

Pro tip: A blog is one of the best tools you can have for marketing. It gives you content to post on social media, is easily shareable with clients and helps increase traffic to your website. Don’t have time to write a blog? You don’t have to. A KCM membership gives you access to personalized posts and auto-blog. Learn more here.

To avoid burnout and maximize success, you must have your priorities aligned.
Prioritize Right

If you ever feel like you’re being pulled in every direction, you’re not alone. This goes hand-in-hand with being an entrepreneur. If you don’t have a manager setting up your tasks for you, it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day.

Highly successful agents have an uncanny ability to prioritize right. Because that’s what it’s about. The people who dominate their fields not only have a great work ethic, they know how to manage their time to maximize efficiency.

We all have priorities! It’s important to know exactly how much time you should be spending on everything you have to do.

As a good rule of thumb, this process from LiquidPlanner can help eliminate priority confusion:

· Label all tasks as urgent or important
· Outline estimated time commitment
· Plan for things to pop up
· Ditch when necessary

Pro tip: To test it out, create a list of everything you need to do for the next week and categorize the tasks. Then, label each with the time involved to complete the task.

Add this to your schedule, leaving space for those last-minute things that pop up. Finish it by labeling the tasks that you can ditch without it affecting your business and voila! You have a prioritized weekly planner.

Exercise and a healthy diet are known to improve mood, energy, and brain function.
Exercise and Eat Well

Although this is more of a lifestyle habit, any successful person will tell you that a healthy body = a healthy mind. The thing is, if our energy is low due to poor diet habits or lack of exercise, we aren’t able to accomplish everything we want to.

Think of it like this. If your brain is an expensive car and you’re using bargain fuel, it’s not going to run as well as it should.

I take the first 30 minutes of my morning to chug a full bottle of water, do a quick 5-10-minute workout to get my body going and then either a brief meditation or journal session. – Brigitte Pays – Triplemint

There’s been a sufficient amount of scientific studies that link daily exercise and nutrition-based diets with better mood, higher energy, better focus, less anxiety, and much more. Sound like a good recipe for success?

Here are some healthy habits to live by:

  • Eat carbs (they boost your mood!)
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes, 3x week.
  • Avoid processed, fried and fast foods

If you follow this system for a month, you should see an improvement in your energy levels. Hello, success.

Walks are not only great exercise, they give you a better view of your local market and help you notice things to help improve your business.
Master Your Market

Successful people have another trait in common: they put a big emphasis on learning and development. For real estate agents, this means becoming a market master.

If you aren’t keeping current on what’s happening in the market, it’s probably negatively impacting your business. In order to be a consistently great real estate agent, you have to be in the know of trends, predictions and local insights.

“Develop real relationships with clients and make connections: sponsor a local team, be seen in the community, go door to door introducing yourself and inviting them to an open house you have in the neighborhood. Because most agents don’t put in that effort, you will stand out!” – Chase Michels, Baird & Warner

In order to help you do this, we recommend doing any or all of these:

Set Aside Time to Read the News

Make this a part of your daily routine. While you’re drinking coffee or driving to showings, listen to KCM Monthly Market Report, news shows, or real estate podcasts, so you’re always up on the latest market news. Your clients will appreciate your knowledge and insight!

Become a Fixture in Your Community

Real estate agents are one of the most important people in a community. Wear that proud! To stand out from the competition, don’t just slap your face on a bus stop and call it a day.

A wise person named Anonymous once said, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Here are some great community opportunities.

  • Join online community Facebook/Nextdoor groups
  • Link up with local philanthropic opportunities
  • Shoutout local businesses on social media

By being friendly and making people-to-people connections, even if they are virtual, with people in your community, you can create a reputation that goes beyond traditional marketing efforts. And remember, emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied ones.

Go for Walks

Whether you’re walking with a purpose (exercise) or without one (taking the dog for a stroll), you get a more intimate look at your neighborhood.

You also have a tendency to notice things you probably wouldn’t while driving. For instance, maybe a longtime homeowner is fixing up their house exterior. They could be looking to sell and noticing this could mean being first in line to the listing.

However you spin it, being a local market expert is a key trait of highly successful real estate agents. If you position yourself as a leading specialist, your clients will remember. Any top agent will tell you that going above and beyond in your efforts will pay off-whether it’s gradual or instantly.

Flexible hours doesn't mean putting in 50%. Treating your real estate job like a 9-to-5 will contribute to better performance.
Treat Your Job Like a 9-to-5

One of the biggest perks of real estate is that you set your own schedule. This is not your typical 9-to-5 desk job, and the flexibility is often a big draw for many looking to join the profession. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still treat your job like a 9-to-5.

Just because you may not have anything to do until noon doesn’t mean you can’t find something to do. Having a set schedule and holding yourself accountable is one of the top traits of prosperous people.

There are a lot of minutes in a day. If you maximize your efficiency and take advantage of them, you can accomplish more. It’s just math, really.

Pro tip: When it comes to repetetive tasks, set aside time once or twice per month and get it out of the way. This could be scheduling social media posts, posting to your blog, etc. Doing this can help you gain a lot of time back. There are many different social media scheduling platforms like that handle all of it in one place, even Instagram! 

Sometimes more success means picking up the phone more for real estate agents.
Follow Up

According to the National Sales Executive Association, 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect.

Is your follow up game on point? Many highly successful agents are masters of the craft, finding creative yet productive ways to keep in touch with clients or leads. If you take your follow-up strategy seriously, you could greatly increase your client list.

However, there is definitely a method to the madness. As long as you’re providing value, your sales pitch should be seamless.

Because real estate is about establishing personal connections, your follow-up strategy is key to nurturing long-lasting relationships with your clients.

Want a little more motivation? Eighty percent of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact.

Agents struggle with phone calls, yet sales is a contact sport! We try email marketing, postcards, social media posts – everything except making a call. However, no contact with the buyer or seller equals no hope of closing a deal. The best habit for your business is daily phone calls. – Shelley Gallamore, Realty Executives Southeast

Pro Tip: Organize your clients and prospects into groups. Whether it’s by neighborhood, school district, competitor, relationship (friend, past client, lead, etc.), this can help immensely with your follow-up strategy. Check out our other tips with our post 5 Keys to Better Lead Nurture and Follow-Up. 

Bottom Line

These seven habits are a tried and true recipe for success in real estate. If you’re looking to be the leading agent in your market, there are some very simple practices you can implement into your daily routine to optimize your efficiency.

No matter their location, top agents have found success applying some if not all of these to their real estate sales strategy.

One invaluable way to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the housing market are our daily blog posts. 

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