Real estate agents come from all walks of life. Unfortunately, people in the real estate business are often painted as a “type” that’s far from reality.
You know the type. The one that’s portrayed in movies and in pop culture. Often agents are depicted as slick, fast-talking salespeople that are all about the deal and making fast cash. They’re usually super extroverted and the life of the party to the point of being overbearing.
In the real world, good real estate agents are a lot closer to Phil Dunphy from Modern Family - without the hilarious puns. He may miss the mark sometimes, but Phil embodies all of the personality traits that help agents succeed whether the market is booming or going through a slow period.
Being an extrovert isn’t necessarily a key trait of successful agents, but being personable is. You’ll come across all personality types as a real estate agent. People that make a personal connection, are engaging, and get along with everyone are well-suited for a career in real estate.
After all, real estate is about selling yourself as much as it’s about selling property. If you’re the type of person people are comfortable with and like being around it will definitely help you grow your business.
Communication is key in real estate. Whether it’s communicating the value of your services to a seller, negotiating points for a purchase contract, or lining up the closing with the lender, deals hinge on how well you communicate. And let’s not forget, today buyers and sellers expect near-instant communication.
Another aspect of real estate that requires good communication is maintaining relationships. Because referrals are the holy grail of a successful real estate business, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open with your past clients and others in your network.
Creative Problem Solver
Until you’re in the trenches, there’s no way of understanding how many unexpected, totally unforeseen issues you’ll run into as an agent. Every day experienced agents run into new problems they’ve never faced before that have to be handled on the fly.
Real estate problems are problems that don’t always have a straightforward answer or textbook solution. There could be more than one way to solve the problem. Therefore, being a creative problem solver is a huge asset for agents.
Being a good networker doesn’t mean you have to know thousands of people and be that person who’s always out and about handing business cards to anyone who will take them. But it does mean that you’re good at making connections, organizing them, and keeping up contact.
There’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction, but these days a lot of networking is done online. Many top real estate agents are experts at using social media to not only market their services but also to maintain personal connections and network with others.
If you genuinely care about your community and are invested in its future you’ll naturally make a great real estate agent. Good agents are very active in the community and help shape it with every home they sell or help a client purchase.
Agents who are community-oriented are the local experts. Since they’re involved on numerous levels, they’re up-to-date with the recent developments and where the market is likely headed. It’s easier for clients to put their trust in a real estate agent that’s passionate about their community and making it a better place for everyone.
Pays Attention to the Details
In real estate, one small detail can undo a deal or cost you a client. You have to pay attention to the small cues that clue you into what a client wants and needs. You have to pay attention to every line of the contract to avoid costly errors. You have to pay attention to the red flags that may be hard to spot during a home tour. You have to pay attention to how every listing photo is framed.
Those who lack attention to detail will have a much more difficult time getting their footing in real estate. Usually, all it takes is one avoidable blunder for serious agents to realize even the smallest details matter.
Being an agent takes tenacity. There will be a lot of setbacks and letdowns working as a real estate agent. Many people who get their license only to let it lapse at their first renewal fail to realize things don’t come easy. You have to be consistently persistent if you want to have a long-term real estate career.
The average home buyer will look at 10 homes before deciding to write an offer. Not every listing appointment is going to pan out. Deals can fall through despite your best efforts. You may have to cold call 20 leads or more before you talk to a person who’s actually interested in buying or selling.
The good news is that it gets easier with time. You’ll build your network and start getting more referrals. But at the end of the day, you’ll still need the tenacity to stay at the top of your game.
Technology is moving at a very fast pace, and real estate is an industry that has always been impacted by technological advancements. The internet was a game changer for listings. Email was a revolution in sending and accessing documents. Social media has dramatically changed how agents market their business.
From e-signatures to the virtual reality tools, real estate agents have to be up-to-speed on the latest technology. This is especially true now that the tech-savvy millennial generation is the largest segment of home buyers.
Real estate is hard work - period. Despite what many people think, it isn’t easy money, particularly when you’re just starting out. You’re running your own business from the ground up, which requires a remarkable amount of work no matter what industry you’re in.
You may spend hours searching through listings and arranging home tours only for a buyer to decide they want to wait six more months before buying. You then need to touch base on the regular so that the lead remains warm and doesn’t get picked up by another agent. Once they do decide to purchase a home a lot of energy and effort may be needed just to get the deal accepted. All of this work is done yet you don’t receive a penny unless you make it to the closing table.
Add running a marketing campaign, completing continuing education and juggling other active clients on top of that and it’s easy to see why the best agents have a fantastic work ethic.
The best real estate agents make their clients the priority. They understand they’re helping someone make a huge life decision that impacts their financial future, family, and stability. Understandably, buyers and sellers are looking for guidance from their real estate agent during the stressful ordeal.
Agents do a lot of hand-holding, managing emotions, and educating during the process. If you aren’t naturally inclined to serve others or don’t have the desire to help people, real estate may not be the best career path. Service-minded people, on the other hand, get fulfillment out of taking on these tasks, which leads to motivation rather than burn out.
Real estate agents get a bad rap for doing whatever it takes to close a deal even if it means bending the truth. Every industry has its bad apples, but real estate has been depicted pretty unfairly. There are countless real estate agents that always act with honesty and integrity even if it costs them a sale.
It goes right back to the trait of having a service-minded attitude. And if you’re a Realtor then you’re beholden to act honestly in all your real estate dealings. Realtors work under a Code of Ethics that puts honesty above all else.
Real estate agents are a part of another person’s brokerage, but they are the masters of their own career destiny. You’re creating a brand and running the show yourself. You’re the boss. No one is dictating your schedule or telling you what to do next.
People with an entrepreneurial spirit are self-motivated, have a keen business sense, and aren’t afraid to bet on themselves. If they don’t know how to do something they figure it out and try new approaches to find what works best. Continuous improvement and growth is the primary goal, and that mindset will take you far in real estate.
Above all else, real estate agents with enviable careers are true professionals. They invest in their education, treat all clients with respect, and work every day to grow their business. Being true professionals, they are always on time and follow through on their promises.
Real estate is a serious business. Clients have a lot of money on the line, and they expect their agent to be a professional they can rely on. Anything less than that and you may earn a reputation for the wrong reasons.
These key personality traits can set you up for success as a top-performing real estate agent. Some may come naturally while others take a bit of work to fine-tune. What’s most important is that you embrace them and recognize them as the true assets that they are.