What makes an average or “good real estate agent” a “great 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 you might already have and some skills you might need to learn.
Today, we’ll 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. Learn From Failure
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 can fall and pick themselves back up, often repeatedly.
2. Build An Incredible Network
Real estate agents tend to have a different relationship with their community than others. They have hundreds upon hundreds of acquaintances. They have connections throughout their community.
And what’s notable about those connections?
They 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. The Drive To Succeed
You need the drive to succeed from when you get your real estate license to when you become a full-time sales agent.
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 with.
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 quickly fall behind.
No one can motivate you but yourself.
4. Tech & Social Media Savvy
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. With 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 will find the bulk of your clients online.
You don’t need to be an expert on the internet right now. But you’ll have to be willing to learn to become an accomplished real estate professional and a truly great real estate agent.
5. 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 deal with an essential and delicate part of people’s lives. Prospective buyers are looking for their dream homes. 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.
Your honesty and transparency will become part of your reputation in the real estate business. 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. Passion And Knowledge
It’s not enough to be a great salesperson. A successful agent must have a genuine interest and curiosity in the real estate industry.
The real estate industry changes very fast. It will have changed again when you’re out of your last real estate class.
An agent must be interested in the local real estate market to update and improve their market knowledge continuously. The real estate industry is being disrupted at all ends. If you don’t have a passion for the industry, keeping up with will get exhausting.
7. Ability To Support & Work With People
As an agent, you must work with a broker 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 a dual agency; there will be another agent on the other side of the deal. Being able to work smoothly with another agent to benefit your clients is very important.
Selling houses isn’t like selling used cars. Real estate agents gain far more from cooperation than they 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 And Creativeness
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 neglects to tell you there’s a current tenant. You visit a seller’s listing, and the seller forgets to tell you they have eighteen cats. You’re about to finish a deal… and your buyer’s financing falls through.
The right real estate agent knows how to find solutions to these problems. A good real estate agent can quickly determine the tenancy agreement’s length and write in the appropriate provisions. They can direct sellers to appropriate upholstery cleaning and carpet removal resources. 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
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 real estate career and lead generation. You need to court prospective buyers and sellers.
You are a business even if you don’t have any employees beyond yourself. To be a good real estate agent, you must 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 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.
10. Negotiation Skills
Let’s be honest. What is it that you provide for your client?
As a listing agent, you know your client could post their home for sale on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You know that your client could sell their house to Zillow.
But you also know that your client doesn’t know how much their house is 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, your value is due to 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. Personality And Identity
What makes you stand out among other real estate professionals?
You need to know what makes you special in the real estate business. What makes you who you are?
What first thing should a potential home buyer know about you? What would a past client say about you if they could only say a few words?
A real estate agent or 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 values; it tells customers what they can expect and why they should engage.
So, what would you want a potential buyer or seller to think of first when they see you? From there, you should curate your brand and image, from your social media accounts to the clothes you wear.
12. Time Management, Productivity, And Project Management
As an agent, every client is their separate project. And sometimes, you may have dozens in the works.
Not only should you be familiar 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 needed to do them today. And each of those showings had different levels of availability.
How would you manage it?
You must brush up on your organizational skills if your answer is less than confident. Part of being an agent is being reliable; part of being reliable is being well-organized.
13. Doing 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.
You’ll be frequently called upon to do things outside your realm of expertise. And if you want to do the job right, you will have to get it done.
No “someone else will do it when you own your own business.” You can’t delegate when you’re the only employee. And sometimes your clients will come to you with problems you must solve.
A good real estate agent can either help their clients themselves or find the resources they 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. Marketing And Sales
You’re an agent. Or a broker. But you’re still a salesperson.
Even though a realtor needs many varied skills (that extend far beyond marketing and sales), you still need to be well-versed in marketing and salesmanship.
That includes having the perfect elevator pitch, understanding your mission statement, and understanding 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 solid communication skills, integrity, and the ability to negotiate on their client’s behalf. They also need extensive problem-solving skills and an understanding of modern technology. They must be willing to both learn and 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 be at representing their clients and closing their deals.
Would You Like To Partner With Me?
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!