By Terri M. Cooper, Dirk Zeller

Part of Success as a Real Estate Agent For Dummies Cheat Sheet (Australian/New Zealand Edition)

It’s one thing to be a real estate agent and another thing entirely to be a continuously successful real estate agent. Here are some key tips to keep in mind for long-lasting success in the real estate industry:

  • Know your ‘why’. It’s so important to know why you’re in real estate. What do you want to gain? What does success mean to you? How will you know when you have achieved your own personal version of success? If your definition is vague and something along the lines of, ‘I want financial independence’, ‘I want to earn a million dollars’ or ‘I want to be known as the best agent in my area’ then this isn’t strong enough.

    These definitions aren’t enough to motivate you, to help you through the inevitable rough patches, nor are they strong enough to give you the resilience you need to keep moving forward until you reach your goals. Brainstorm now and be very clear on your big ‘why’.

  • Set your goals. Your goals must have built-in rewards and they must first be short term: Covering the next 12 months then for the years after, but never more than 3 to 5 years ahead. Your life in the real estate industry is bound to change during this time. You may move offices, change staff, change location. Many things can, and probably will, happen so don’t look too far ahead.

  • Establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators or Action Steps). You may need the help of your principal, sales manager or a real estate mentor or coach to help you with this process. The value of these external people is that they will help you stretch to the next level, keep you accountable, applaud your efforts when you have a win, and guide you when you go off track. Setting KPIs, more than anything else, will fast track your success.

  • Get clear on your ‘point of uniqueness’. What do you want to be known for? Words like ‘honesty’, ‘integrity’ and ‘loyalty’ are good, but they aren’t enough — they’re used by every real estate agent and have lost their impetus. What do you think you could do for your clients better than anyone else? What knowledge or experience could you offer your clients to set you apart? Knowing the answers to these questions will guide your personal profile and soon you will be seen as the real estate agent of choice.

  • Decide how you’re going to find your clients. Prospecting is simply about building relationships for current and future business; filling your pipeline with people who will want to use your services. To achieve this, check in with your principal, your sales manager or your coach for advice, then settle on your top three prospecting strategies and stick with them.

    Spreading yourself too thin by having a go at everything usually ends up in spinning many wheels for small results. Block out time every single day to prospect, and it will pay huge dividends.

  • Get listings. How skilled are you at getting in the door for appraisals? How skilled are you at converting these to listings? If your answer is ‘not that great’ then you urgently need to up skill. Attend training, coaching, webinars, seminars, read books, listen to CDs — whatever it takes. Remember that without listings you have no stock. Without stock you have nothing to sell, and without anything to sell you have no income!

  • Market property. Before marketing anything, do you take time to identify the target market? Who might they be and where are they likely to be found? Do you know which marketing and advertising methods are going to be most suitable for your client? Do you know how to ask the seller to invest in a marketing program if this is your real estate agency policy? If your answer is less than positive, there are plenty of opportunities to learn this skill. Just take some time out to focus on further training.

  • Work with buyers. Are you good at identifying the wants and needs of your buyers? Do you know how to separate the wants from the needs? If not, you could very well waste your time trying to satisfy wants, while your buyer goes elsewhere to satisfy their needs in a different location or with a different style property than your initial brief. This can be very disheartening and your income depends on the sale; there’s no charging for wasted time.

  • Negotiate offers. Are you good at eliciting offers from your buyers? Can you negotiate these offers to ensure the best results for your sellers? How good are you at mediating and confirming agreements? There are myriad of books on negotiation and many ways to up skill on the topic too. To be successful in the long term, pursue every opportunity available to help you become a top negotiator.

  • Keep your business on track. This is where you may need the help of other professionals to assist with your business plan, financial plan and how you’re going to track your finances. It’s well worth talking with someone skilled in this area, as the field is littered with real estate agents who work so very hard but at the end of the day have nothing much to show for it. Don’t be one of these casualties — put plans in place now!