14 Valuable Skills That Make A Good Real Estate Agent Great

What makes a good real estate agent a “good real estate agent”?

It’s a lot of things. Everyone has it in them to be a good real estate agent. But there are some skills that you might already have and some skills you might need to learn.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the 14 essential traits and skills for success in the real estate market. If you don’t have them, the time to start learning them is now.

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1. The ability to learn from failure — rather than getting discouraged by it.

Any sales professional will experience failure — usually a lot of it. Maybe a deal that you worked very hard on fell through. Maybe you haven’t been able to meet your goals or transition to being a full-time realtor.

Being a real estate agent is hard work. If you fail, it’s not anyone’s fault, least of all your own; it’s just part of the experience. A good agent is able to fall down and pick themselves back up, often repeatedly.

2. The ability to build an incredible network of connections, beyond just family and friends.

Real estate agents tend to have a different relationship with their community than other people. They have hundreds upon hundreds of acquaintances. They have connections throughout their community.

And what’s really notable about those connections?

They actually care about them. A successful real estate agent is someone with people skills. Someone who can empathize and connect with people and, often, see them as more than “just a potential client.”

You’ll often find a successful realtor being incredibly active within their community. They’ll be volunteering, doing favors, and receiving them. If this sounds like you, you’re already on your way.

3. A deep and unwavering drive to succeed — and the motivation to see it through.

From when you get your real estate license to when you become a full-time sales agent, you need to have the drive to succeed.

Many people want work to come to them. They want to be able to sit at a desk, have tasks assigned to them, and do the work they’re presented.

But a real estate agent has to go out on the hunt. And they have to be willing to do it every day. If you don’t have motivation, you’ll find yourself quickly falling behind.

At the end of the day, no one can motivate you but yourself.

social media apps

4. Technological savvy, as well as a deep understanding of social media.

A decade ago, you could get by without social media. You didn’t even need a website.

That’s not true today.

Modern agents need to understand the internet. Every passing day, that becomes more important.

Whether you’re a seller’s agent, a buyer’s agent, a commercial real estate agent, or a leasing agent, you’re going to be finding the bulk of your clients online.

You don’t need to be an expert on the internet right now. But to become an accomplished real estate professional, and a truly great real estate agent, you’ll have to be willing to learn.

female real estate agent using ipad

5. A strong sense of transparency, communication, and emotional intelligence.

How good would you say you are at communication?

Effective real estate agents don’t just forge strong relationships. They know how to talk to people.

As a real estate agent, you’re dealing with an important and delicate part of people’s lives. Prospective buyers are looking for their dream home. Potential sellers are often experiencing a major transition in their lives.

To fulfill your responsibilities to your clients, you need to be able to convey critical information to them at an emotional time. You need to be conscientious about what you tell them — you need to make sure they know everything they need to know to make the right decisions.

In the real estate business, your honesty and transparency will become part of your reputation. And each real estate transaction will be another opportunity to impress.

“To be successful in real estate, you must always and consistently put your clients’ best interests first. When you do, your personal needs will be realized beyond your greatest expectations.” — Anthony Hitt

6. A passion for and knowledge of the real estate industry.

It’s not enough to just be a great salesperson. A successful agent needs to have a genuine interest and curiosity in the real estate industry.

The real estate industry changes very fast. By the time you’re out of your last real estate class, it will have already changed again.

An agent needs to be interested in the local real estate market to continuously update and improve their market knowledge. The real estate industry is being disrupted at all ends. If you don’t have a passion for the industry, it will simply get exhausting to keep up with.

man and woman sitting on couch using macbook

7. The ability to work with, and support, other people.

As an agent, you need to work with a brokerage like Keller Williams or eXp Realty. You might even be working with a real estate team. A new agent has to be able to forge connections with their colleagues or they’ll never make it.

A great agent understands that all their transactions aren’t going to be dual agency; there will be another agent on the other side of the deal. Being able to work smoothly with another agent to the benefit of both your clients is very important.

Selling houses isn’t like selling used cars. Real estate agents gain far more from cooperation than they ever could through competition. Most agents specialize. Every connection you make in the real estate market is another prospective client that might be forwarded to you.

8. Resourcefulness, creativeness, and out-of-the-box thinking.

An experienced agent is a problem solver. And there are a lot of problems to be solved in real estate.

You go to show your buyers a listing and the selling agent neglected to tell you that there’s a current tenant. You go to visit a seller’s listing and the seller forgot to tell you that they had eighteen cats. You’re about to finish a deal… and your buyer’s financing falls completely through.

The right real estate agent knows how to find solutions to these problems. A good real estate agent can quickly find out how long the tenancy agreement is for and write in the appropriate provisions. They can direct their sellers to the appropriate resources for upholstery cleaning and carpet removal. They have a complete list of alternative lenders that their buyers can try.

Over time, a real estate agent will develop a knack for problem-solving within their industry. But the best real estate agents will already have a feel for out-of-the-box thinking.

“You must learn that selling is not selling; it is providing and the key to providing is knowing in advance what to provide.” — Todd Duncan

9. A sense of entrepreneurship and the willingness to run their own business.

As a real estate agent, you don’t work “for” a brokerage firm. You work with a brokerage firm. You’re your own business. You need to develop your own real estate career and lead generation. You need to court prospective buyers and sellers.

Even if you don’t have any employees beyond yourself, you are a business. In order to be a good real estate agent, you need to track income and expenses. You need to track your clients. You need to track your cash flow and your projections.

Many real estate agents fail because they aren’t interested in the “business” aspect. They don’t secure enough clients. They don’t brand themselves properly. Or they simply run out of cash.

You aren’t just a real estate agent. You are a business, even before you become a broker. If you want to be a good real estate agent, you need to be able to treat yourself as one — and the idea of owning a business must be appealing to you.

man and woman sitting on couch using macbook

10. Negotiation skills and a willingness to fight for their client.

Let’s be honest. What is it that you provide for your client?

As a listing agent, you know that your client could post their home for sale on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You know that your client could just sell their house to Zillow.

But you also know that your client doesn’t know how much their house is really worth. And your client may not be able to stand firm on their price.

Similarly, as a buyer’s agent, you know that your client could easily find an FSBO home. You know that your client could search online for properties on the MLS.

But you also know that your client may not know how much they should pay for a home. And your client may get stars in their eyes and try to bid way, way more than they possibly should.

In short, a lot of your value has to do with your ability and willingness to advocate for your client. A bad agent can introduce a client to a home. A good agent can help someone build a life.

“The more you know about your customers, the more you can provide to them information that is increasingly useful, relevant, and persuasive.” – Jay Baer

11. A strong personality and sense of identity.

What makes you stand out among other real estate professionals?

In the real estate business, you really need to know what makes you special. What makes you who you are?

What’s the first thing that a potential home buyer should know about you? What would a past client say about you, if they could only say a few words?

A real estate agent or real estate broker isn’t just a good people person, they’re also memorable.

You need to know what makes you special as a realtor and you need to be able to bill yourself as that person. Are you confident, capable, and trustworthy? Are you creative, eclectic, and exciting?

This forms the basis of your brand, and there’s a reason why companies spend millions of dollars every year creating a brand. A brand doesn’t just depict your mission and your values; a brand tells customers what they can expect and why they should engage.

So, ask yourself: What would you want a potential buyer or seller to think of first when they see you? From there, you should curate your own brand and image, from your social media accounts to the clothes that you wear.

calendar planner app

12. An excellent sense of time management, productivity, and project management.

As an agent, every client is their own separate project. And sometimes you may have dozens in the works.

Not only should you have some familiarity with systems such as Trello, Asana, and Todoist, but you should also be able to manage your time effectively.

Let’s say you had eight showings and you needed to do them today. And each of those showings had different levels of availability.

How would you manage it?

If your answer is less than confident, you need to brush up on your organizational skills. Part of being an agent is being reliable and part of being reliable is about being well-organized.

13. A willingness to do the job that needs to get done.

As a real estate agent, you will find yourself, at varying times, performing the work of a handyman, a home staging company, a photographer, a marketer, and an administrator.

Very frequently, you’ll be called upon to do things outside of your realm of expertise. And if you want to do the job right, you’re going to have to get it done.

When you own your own business, there’s no “someone else will do it.” You can’t delegate when you’re the only employee. And sometimes your clients will come to you with problems that you have to solve.

A good real estate agent will be able to either help their clients themselves or find the resources that their clients need — after all, you have to get past it if you’re going to finish a deal.

“To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Douglas Adams

14. A deep understanding of marketing and sales.

You’re an agent. Or a broker. But you’re still a salesperson.

Even though the skills that a realtor needs are many and varied (and extend far beyond marketing and sales), you still need to be well-versed on marketing and salesmanship.

That includes having the perfect elevator pitch, understanding your mission statement, and having a deeper understanding of how people engage with a brand.

It’s worth it, as a realtor, to attend marketing seminars and learn more about sales. You’re selling your listings. But you’re also selling yourself.


What are some valuable skills for an agent to have?

Real estate agents should be self-starters. Agents need to have solid communication skills, integrity, and the ability to negotiate on their clients’ behalf. They also need to have extensive problem-solving skills and an understanding of modern technology. They must be willing to both learn and to teach.

How can a real estate agent build their skills?

Real estate agents often build their skills through practice. Alternatively, they can attend webinars and seminars, work with their team, and engage in continued education. The more practice an agent has, the better they will genuinely be at representing their clients and closing their deals. 

Kyle Handy

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I’ve helped hundreds of real estate agents, team leaders, & brokers all over the country increase their sales, online presence, and create scalable systems. I would love the opportunity to work with you. Together, we can make this year your best yet!

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