4 Misconceptions About Working as a Real Estate Agent
Did you know that there are two million active real estate licensees in the United States? Make no mistake, real estate is a competitive industry.
In order to be one of the most successful real estate agents, you have to be driven, self-motivated, and creative. It also helps to have a competitive streak, whether you’re competing against other agents or just trying to achieve a new personal best. In short, this is not the career to choose if you are the type of person to phone it in.
Let’s take a closer look at the top seven habits to cultivate if you’re just starting out as a real estate agent.
7 Habits of the Most Successful Real Estate Agents:
Of course, there’s no surefire formula for success, in real estate or in any other field. And there will always be exceptions to the rules. However, the following traits and actions are ones that you will commonly find in real estate agents.
1. ARE ORGANIZED, TYPE A PEOPLE
Real estate agents tend to be type A people, movers, and shakers who attack each day like a wartime general. They don’t just use calendars and to-do lists, they can’t live without them. Scrupulously organized, they keep the information they need at their fingertips, or otherwise easily accessible.
These are not the kind of folks who forget their spouse’s birthday or space out on plans to meet a friend for coffee. They’re much more likely to be the sort who schedules each moment of their vacation, or pencils in quality time with their kids. If it’s not in the calendar, it doesn’t happen.
2. COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY
“Good communication skills” means more to a real estate agent than simply active listening or asking the right kind of questions. Instead, being a good communicator comprises several habits.
First, it means returning calls, texts, messages, and emails quickly. Secondly, it means being available through all those channels. There is no best way to contact a real estate agent; they use every way. And no matter how they get in touch, they get to the point quickly.
Of course, good communication skills also involve the ability to synthesize information, to craft effective messages to different audiences, to read between the lines, and to persuade the listener.
3. DON’T SELL
Speaking of persuasion, it might surprise you to learn that the most effective real estate agents do not sell. That their skills are interchangeable with those of salespeople is a common misconception. There are some commonalities, of course, but it’s better for an agent to think of herself as a consultant than a salesperson.
Why? Because referrals and repeat clients don’t happen as a result of closing a sale, but from pairing up real people with ideal properties. They aren’t selling to. They are working with. This may seem like a subtle difference, but it means the difference between being a top performer and being a struggling straggler.
4. ARE TECH SAVVY
They’ve mastered the tech tools of their trade. Their Google-fu is unparalleled, the know the brokerage’s CMS inside and out, and they use the latest and greatest iterations of whatever tech platform they favor.
5. ARE SOCIAL
Social media acumen goes hand-in-hand with tech-savvy. Successful real estate agents know that as useful as lawn signs might be, they’re not sufficient. Today’s market demands interactive content disseminated via as many platforms as possible.
Video walk-throughs and 360-degree interactive tours used to be ground-breaking gimmicks. Now, they’re standard practice. Successful agents understand not just what to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and so on, but when to post it. They work the social landscape as effectively as they work a room — and reap plenty of rewards.
Maintaining a blog that’s regularly updated with valuable content, ensuring that listings are up-to-the-minute, and giving websites a design overhaul every few years to stay on trend — all of these are invaluable tools in a successful agent’s toolkit.
6. CONNECT AND NETWORK
Both on social media and in real life, every successful agent is an expert people person. They’re extroverted, engaging, confident and charismatic. They don’t take past clients for granted, and they regard almost everyone they meet as potential clients — or as potential conduits to a new client. After all, everyone has friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances.
A successful real estate agent won’t dismiss someone they meet simply because that person isn’t currently in the market to buy or sell a house. Situations change, fortunes are reversed, happily married couples become unhappy and decide to split.
Crackerjack agents value their networks and can produce the testimonials and reviews to prove their worth.
7. KNOW THE NEIGHBORHOOD(S)
It’s no secret that most real estate agents specialize — sometimes in the type of property they broker, sometimes in a particular geographical area or neighborhood, and most often in both. If you want to be a contender, you have to know your neighborhoods like the back of your hand.
Successful agents are knowledgeable about school systems, job opportunities, retail stores, nightlife, walkability, bikeability, public transportation, crime rate, taxes, zoning, and development. Of course, this is on top of their in-depth knowledge about home prices, home sizes, and property values of “their” neighborhoods.
How Do You Measure Up?
If reading about these seven habits of the most successful real estate agents had you nodding your head and saying “That sounds like me!” you may very well have found your dream career.
Learn more about how you can kickstart that career by becoming a 100% commission real estate agent with Ashby & Graff. Give us a call today or browse the rest of our blog posts to educate yourself!