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7 (More) Habits of Highly Successful Real Estate Agents

June 27 2017

We're already halfway through 2017! The midpoint of the year is a great opportunity to pause and reevaluate how to ensure you'll meet the goals you set at the beginning of the year.

In real estate, success is hugely dependent not just on the market, but on the personal traits of the agent. We started the year highlighting the 3 Habits of Highly Successful Real Estate Agents. The article lists the first three of 10 traits that top Realtors embody, according to renowned agent and trainer Leigh Brown, who stars in this series of three videos produced by Washington REALTORS® (but is relevant to Realtors nationwide!).

Today, we're revisiting Brown's advice and letting you in on the remaining seven habits of highly successful real estate agents. Check out the two videos below, and our summary, to discover how you can stay or get back on track to meeting your goals for 2017.

4. Know your products and trends. "To survive in real estate, you've got to go far beyond the license law that comes from the commission," says Brown. This includes knowing the things in your community that affect real estate--and, therefore, your clients--like trends, builders, neighborhoods, school zone boundaries, and more. "Your clients will come to you because they know you're a resource not just for houses, and not just for the real estate industry, but for your local community," Brown says.

5. Know the law. Not a lawyer? Then don't play lawyer, says Brown, and don't try writing your own addenda or clauses. Instead, call a lawyer. "It doesn't make you less knowledgeable when you say you need to call in an expert," Brown says. "It means you are protecting yourself from a silly liability issue where you open your mouth and insert your foot." If your MLS or association offers a legal hotline, you can also lean on that resource in a pinch--but make sure you always know when to refer your clients to a legal expert.

Visit NAR's Law, Ethics & Policy page for resources on all things legal.

6. Mitigate, don't litigate. The longer your real estate career, the higher the likelihood that you've been sued at some point. "Things are going to happen," says Brown. "One of the benefits of being a Realtor is using the mediation process to find a solution for everybody so that we can protect the client and protect the industry and make things right when they need to be made right."

For more information, see NAR's Field Guide to Mediation & Conflict Resolution.

7. Customer service and technology. "Speed matters," says Brown. "You cannot get an email from a prospective buyer or seller and get to it the next day. Getting around to it is not a business plan." The best way to manage leads and other important items is through smart tech tools. "If you get the willies from technology, you've got to suck it up and get over it because the tools that we have available can help you provide an experience that the consumer wants."

Check out our annual Technology GuideTechnology Guide or our Product Directory for a comprehensive list of real estate tech tools.

8. Network at your own association. "Don't be an agent island," says Brown. "You've got to network with other Realtors. The beauty of this business being so entrepreneurial is that almost any Realtor you talk to has a different way of succeeding in the business." Networking with your fellow Realtors is the best way to learn new ways of succeeding in real estate. Plus, it can help build your referral business. "We love nothing more than working with buyers and sellers who are already connected to a great Realtor in another market, and who understand our value."

Check out these two articles for networking advice: Is it Important to Network With Other Agents? and 15 Networking Secrets of Successful Real Estate Agents.

9. Never stop learning. Stay on top of your CE education, but go beyond the minimum of what's required to retain your license. Consumers may not know what all your designations mean, "but what I tell my sellers is that every time I take a class, I'm learning a new way to market their property and help them be successful when I'm dealing with their home," says Brown. In addition, "You're gonna give yourself a bigger worldview on how real estate works and you'll see that there are benefits that can help your business and you shape and mold it into what you want it to be."

See 6 Online Resources for Real Estate Education for training ideas.

10. Help protect your industry. The non-partisan Realtor Party is one of the most influential voices in Washington, D.C. It not only advocates for Realtor and their clients, but for issues like housing affordability and reasonable taxation. "When you sign up to be a Realtor, you've got a duty to help make sure that the people in the capitol buildings in your state and in Washington D.C. don't destroy our industry and don't mess with private property rights," says Brown. Visit the REALTOR® Action Center to get involved today.Visit the REALTOR® Action Center to get involved today.

Closing Thoughts

"Bottom line, real estate is your business," says Brown. "It's gonna look like what you make of it. And yes, it's hard. This is hard. It's so much harder than what you've seen on HGTV." But if you persevere, Brown says that "you can be as successful as you've ever dreamed of, because there are no limits in real estate unless you put them there. So take the limits off, be everything about yourself that your friends love, translate that to real estate, and watch yourself achieve big things."