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More people are flocking to real estate as a new career, thanks to a combination of the pandemic and rising house prices. According to The New York Times, 2021 saw record-breaking numbers of agents in the United States. But getting your license does not always equate to a successful career in real estate. According to that same article, as few as 10 percent of new agents will make it as full-time agents.
If you’re looking to bring new agents onto your team, those numbers might scare you. But luckily, there is a way to determine whether a newbie will make it in the industry. Learn why new agents struggle so much out of the gate and check out these nine characteristics of highly successful agents to help you find the next rockstar addition to your brokerage.
Why new agents fail
With so many agents failing in their first year, they must be doing something wrong. One of the biggest mistakes is that people think working in real estate is an easy way to get rich quickly. The truth is that many people don’t understand the industry’s nuances or realize that it is anything but easy work.
These unrealistic expectations are one of the main reasons that new agents fail. Many others haven’t put away enough money to support themselves while starting their new career. But perhaps the main reason that new agents fail is not practicing these nine characteristics of prosperous agents.
Possessing the right people skills
One of the most important characteristics for agents is continuously connecting with people, both clients and others. Therefore, a confident, outgoing person with phenomenal people skills will most likely excel in real estate.
Considering that buying a house can be extremely stressful for some clients, they need an agent who can remain empathetic throughout the entire experience. An agent who is a patient, thoughtful, people person will have a much easier time managing the personal aspects of selling a home.
Practicing next level communication skills
The next most crucial characteristic is staying on top of your communication skills. Every client will have a completely different preference and style when it comes to communication, and agents must be malleable and adapt to that of their clients.
Not only must agents be proactive and be excellent at communicating with their clients, but also when it comes to marketing. These days, social media is key to gaining more clients. As a result, the best agents will have a firm grasp of creating an engaging social media presence.
Being as honest as the day is long
There is no room in the real estate industry for untrustworthy people. Agency relationships like the one between real estate agents and their clients have to be built on trust. Clients rely on their agent to give them the whole truth, even when it’s not what they want to hear.
On top of honesty, an agent must display all-around high ethical standards. Buyers sometimes worry that real estate agents are only after a commission. Professional reputations can be ruined when an agent doesn’t look out for their client first and foremost.
Exercising your networking chops
One challenging aspect of being an agent is getting more clients. That’s why one should always be practicing networking skills. Who knows when you will meet someone in the market for a new home or looking to sell theirs.
It is also ideal to network with other reputable professionals in the industry. That way, you’re always ready to refer your clients to a trustworthy individual to help them in another aspect of the home buying or selling process. Plus, they will return the favor.
Being your own boss
Even when working for a brokerage, or team, agents generally are responsible for their own schedule and workflow. Unfortunately, not everyone is good at being their own boss, so real estate agents should have that self-starter attitude to be successful.
You can’t rely on someone telling you what to do and when to do it. It’s an agent’s responsibility to decide what needs to be done and figure it out. Since this is a career built on commission, if you don’t motivate yourself to get the job done, you won’t get paid.
Playing the long game
It’s recommended that new agents have enough money saved to support themselves for at least the first three months in their role as an agent. That’s because real estate is all about the long game, and even with today’s fast-paced market, things move slowly. Therefore, agents must be able to plan ahead and keep their focus on what they can do now that will help them later on.
The home buying or selling process can be a long one. Plus, marketing efforts might not seem effective until years down the line. Real estate agents must be persistent when evaluating growth.
Staying thirsty for knowledge
It’s inevitable — every day, the market changes. Houses are sold, new ones come on the market, and interest rates change. So agents can’t just learn the ropes once and then stop studying. It’s crucial to continue education, especially when it comes to understanding the local housing market like the back of your hand.
On top of that, you’ll want to stay on top of current trends. Whether it’s new tech that can make selling a house easier or current social media trends, being ahead of the game can give you a considerable advantage in the real estate industry.
Having elastic energy
Agents must be flexible. Being able to match the energy or vibe of different people will help agents build long-lasting relationships with their clients. However, each client will have completely different needs and communication styles. Therefore, having elastic energy will help agents communicate appropriately with different types of people.
It is also vital to be flexible with the process. In the real estate industry, there are often unforeseen issues or minor hiccups throughout the process. When agents can bend to keep the process from breaking, it will keep clients calm and help the journey get back on track.
Having a love for the industry
Being genuinely passionate about the industry will shine through to your clients. Seeing your love for the industry will help them place their trust in your hands. Not only that but being truly spirited for real estate will make practicing all of these other habits easier.
These characteristics are key for you and your team
If you’re looking for a new rockstar to join your team, you will do yourself a huge favor by looking for candidates who already exhibit these characteristics. But keep in mind that some things can be taught or perfected over time. A candidate who excels in some of these aspects but lacks a few might become the next all-star sales agent with a bit of guidance from their broker.
Chris Heller is a best-selling author and currently serves as the Chief Real Estate Officer at Ojo Labs. He also serves as an Advisor and Head of the Editorial Board for AgentAdvice.com. Connect with him on Facebook and LinkedIn.