Each year, thousands of agents join the industry, each looking to take a slice of the tasty commission pie and carve out a successful career. However, with more agents than there are decent properties to sell, what is it that’s separating the future agency owners from the dropouts?
From a survey of current successful agents, we’ve found a list of the 8 top characteristics any agent worth their salt should possess. Read on to find out more.
1) Show Empathy
It should be obvious, but empathy is a key trait of any agent looking to build a long-term successful career. The truth is, many vendors find themselves in sensitive positions frequently, whether it be because of death, debt or divorce. If you’re able to empathise with these people, you’ll build your credibility and ensure your clients feel respected and validated.
2) Be Creative
This quality is often underrated, but it definitely shouldn’t be, as it’s one that separates the good from the distinctly average and paves the road to a profitable career.
Being able to think outside the box will lend a new perspective to your clients’ situations, helping you to solve their problems and continue to add value. For example, if you’ve got a client with a large backyard who’s looking to add value to their property, you might suggest building a swimming pool or adding a granny flat. You’re the expert in these situations, and creativity will help you to position yourself accordingly.
3) You Need to Find Your Passion
A real estate career requires you to throw in long hours, spend time on your networking, and market yourself effectively as a brand that can be trusted. In real estate, it’s down to you to handle all of this, as you’re essentially running a small business within your agency. It falls on your plate to get stuff done, and without passion, you’re going to fall flat before you’ve made any progress.
Passionate agents are the ones willing to go the extra mile to get the sale, and more often than not, they’re the ones who succeed in the long-term.
4) Hone Your Discipline
Being disciplined with what you do is the key to keeping clients happy and staying on top of your workload simultaneously. Real estate is one career where consistency is key, as prospecting, replying to emails and staying on top of social media are all jobs that’ll regularly fall on your plate.
If you can focus on the little things and apply discipline to your day-to-day, those little things will build up to big accomplishments. For example, if you commit to 20 calls a day, it might not sound like a lot, but that’s 100 calls a week. With a decent conversion rate, you’ll be bringing in some serious business, all from being thorough and sticking to what you’ve set out to do.
5) Nail Your Persistence
When there are more agents than homes to sell, how are you going to fight your way to the top of the pile? All of the other traits on this list place a significant role, but persistence is absolutely key to beating the competition.
Real estate isn’t all about the nice cars and fancy suits. The first couple of years are a grind, and to make it out the other end successfully, you’re going to need a decent dose of persistence.
Remember – real estate is a long game. If you can’t focus on that, you’re not going to get very far. Too many agents play for the short win and, although that might bring in some quick sales, their success is temporary and won’t stand the test of time. If you expect real estate to be a 9-5 job, you’re in for a bad surprise. Real estate needs to become a lifestyle for you. Once you’ve built your client base, then you can start to dictate your own hours.
6) Boost Your Confidence
This one shouldn’t be confused with arrogance, as there’s a difference between believing in yourself and thinking you’re the best at everything. Being quietly confident is a big trait for attracting clients, as you need to sell them the feeling that you’re going to get the job done.
They need to believe in what you can do, and if you can’t believe in it yourself, that’s never going to happen.
As an agent, you’re likely going to meet dozens of people every day. As a result, you need to be able to talk to them comfortably and confidently about what you do, regardless of their situation or background.
In addition to this, you need to be outgoing. If you’re afraid of approaching a prospect and having a conversation about what you do, you’re not going to get very far.
7) Be Sustainable
Finding the right balance between work life and home life can be tricky as a real estate agent, especially within the first few years. Although we mentioned above that the start of your career shouldn’t be a 9-5, you do still need to find that combination to keep you going.
If you eat, sleep and breathe real estate, you can be the most passionate individual in the game but without time to yourself, you’re going to burn out.
And that’s not good for business. If you’re planning on making real estate a long-term career move, it needs to be something you can sustain. Book your holidays early on, schedule late nights in advance, and be ruthless with where you spend your time. If you don’t dictate your diary, it’ll dictate you.
8) Focus on Flexibility
The industry is in a constant state of flux, and that means you’ve got to stay on top of changes. Any great agent is always aware of what’s going on, even if they’re not necessarily the first to hear about it. Having your finger on the pulse and getting the lowdown on market movements, however, is key not only to doing your job well, but also adding value to what you offer clients.
If you can go to a meeting with an individual looking to sell in Melbourne knowing that stats have just landed predicting a price drop, you’ll have an advantage over the other agents fighting for that business.
You could be 15 years into your career, but if you’re not willing to adapt to change and go with the flow of the industry, you won’t do well. Stay flexible, set yourself key goals, and learn to be reactive to what goes on around you.