building your real estate business

7 seemingly simple habits that can make or break your success as an agent

Bethany RamosIndustry Professionals, Realtors, Technology

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Reading Time: 8 minutes

As self-made millionaire and personal development guru Jim Rohn once said, “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”

Success is interesting. It’s something we self-assess. Success for one person may not be the same as success for another.

But there is a common theme: Well-known successful people share some helpful habits.

You can find several of these in the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, detailing the factors that support a strong mindset and even stronger performance.

Still, sustainable success goes beyond output. It’s a lifestyle that can include exercise, reading, and healthy eating, all helpful habits that real estate agents can pick up from their colleagues who thrive.

Putting a face to a name + 6 more ways to boost your real estate business

These are the seven most popular habits seen among super-successful agents. If your business needs a leg-up, one or more may be worth adopting:

1. Get a routine you can stick to.

One of the first steps closer to success is creating a day-to-day routine. You don’t have to map out every moment, but you do need consistency in when and what you do.

For example, jotting down a loose outline of your personal and professional habits may make it easier to stay on track for the day.

Real estate agents who hope to be successful can block out extra time for obligations and activities like: answering emails, attending showings, exercising, taking breaks, etc. If you have a goal to read each morning before beginning your day, schedule it into your calendar like an appointment.

There’s great personal satisfaction to be had from setting and achieving goals. Self-confidence is one of the most noticeable payoffs, an important characteristic of those with success. Bad habits only bring down self-esteem.

Try this: Take small steps and work up from there. This “baby steps” approach will allow you to tweak what is and isn’t working. Routines take time to create and solidify. Don’t get discouraged if your schedule needs adjustments before it feels like the right fit.

2. Get great at technology.

Successful realtors are always on the lookout for bigger and better ways to increase their business. Today, these strategies are most likely to be digital. The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2018 Technology Survey says brokers and agents spend from $251 to $1,000 a year on technology on average.

Problem-solving here is important. Highly successful real estate agents will leverage websites, apps, and internet marketing approaches to streamline and improve productivity. Saving time is a nice bonus. Instead of hitting a wall and not knowing what to do next, profitable agents seek out technology or related services that can provide them with a solution.

For instance, partnering with a tech-forward lender that has a large library of news-worthy content and co-branded marketing materials can eliminate the guesswork and make your job much easier. Success in any industry hinges on the ability to learn and be resourceful.

Try this: Having a blog you can share with your audience can be one of the most effective tools in your kit. Easily shareable content is a must for social media, and it can also bring traffic back to your site. If you don’t know where to begin or don’t have time to commit to writing, no need to worry. Partner with a local loan officer who can provide you with plenty of up-to-the-minute resources, including market-facing videos, social images, infographics, and e-books that you can post or send in emails.

Why partner with a Cornerstone loan officer? Because your clients just wanna have fun. Our speedy 10-Day Close gives new homeowners more time to celebrate.

3. Get your priorities straight.

That feeling that you’re being pulled in a dozen different directions? You’re definitely not the only one experiencing it. This comes with working as an entrepreneur. If you haven’t hired a manager to schedule your tasks, you’re probably going to feel swamped by the details.

Another trait of the most productive agents is their remarkable ability to prioritize. Developing this skill is critical. Those who are dominating their field don’t just work hard — they know exactly how to manage their time efficiently.

It’s important to understand your priorities and to know just how much time to devote to all you have to accomplish.

LiquidPlanner’s process provides a helpful guideline to eliminate confusion:

  • Mark the tasks that are important or urgent.
  • Estimate your commitment in time.
  • Expect for the unexpected to arise.
  • Cut commitments out as necessary.

Try this: To test the new process, make a list of everything that needs to be done this week and categorize it. Also, add in the time needed to complete each task. Incorporate this information into your schedule, allowing extra space for last-minute needs and issues. Finish your work by labeling the items that can be eliminated without it having an impact on your business. Congratulations: Your prioritized plan for the week is done.

4. Get focused on exercise and eating.

This may be more of a lifestyle change, but any successful person can confirm: A healthy mind comes from a healthy body. If we have low energy because of a lack of exercise or a poor diet, we’re going to gas out before the day is through.

It can also help to think of it this way. Your brain is the flashy car, and if you’re filling it with cheap fuel, it won’t be running smoothly.

“I take the first 30 minutes of my morning to chug a full bottle of water, do a quick 5 to 10-minute workout to get my body going, and then either a brief meditation or journal session.”

– Brigitte Pays, Triplemint

There’s a large volume of studies that connect daily exercise and nutritious diets with increased energy, focus, and mood, as well as less anxiety. Sounds like a solid recipe for success.

Consider several healthy habits to incorporate:

  • Eat smaller amounts more frequently.
  • Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, three times a week.
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand.
  • Steer clear of fried, fast, and processed foods.
  • Up your healthy carb intake to maintain mood.
  • Whip up a daily smoothie.

Try this: Use this system for the next 30 days, and you’re bound to see your energy levels improve. When you’re feeling great, success becomes even more enjoyable.

5. Get a grip on your market.

What else do successful people have in common? They strongly emphasize development and learning. As an agent, this looks like becoming a master of your market.

If you aren’t in-the-know about your local market, it’s likely to have a negative impact on your business. To perform consistently well as a realtor, you need to be ahead of the latest predictions, trends, and insights.

“Develop real relationships with clients and make connections: sponsor a local team, be seen in the community, go door-to-door introducing yourself and inviting them to an open house you have in the neighborhood. Because most agents don’t put in that effort, you will stand out!”

– Chase Michels, Baird & Warner

When you’re ready to reach out, these are some of the most helpful ways to do it:

Give yourself extra time to read the news.

This can be a part of your daily routine, whether it’s en route to a showing or while drinking coffee in the morning. There are countless news programs and real estate podcasts that will keep you abreast of current market shifts. As you share your new insight, your clients will appreciate it.

Put down roots in your community.

Real estate agents are one of the most pivotal parts of any neighborhood or local area. This is a position to wear proudly. And it’s probably going to take more than a face on a bus bench to edge out your competition.

There’s a saying by Maya Angelou that goes, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

So, take advantage of any upcoming opportunities to meet face-to-face:

  • Go to town hall meetings.
  • Join groups on NextDoor or Facebook.
  • Participate in a club or neighborhood gathering.
  • Visit local festivals and events.

Making person-to-person contact and being friendly with the people you encounter can help you build a rock-solid reputation, beyond your traditional marketing reach. Remember, these emotional connections are probably going to be twice as powerful as the clients you meet online.

Start walking.

You might try walking with intention, i.e., door knocking, or without any purpose at all, i.e., taking your dog around the block. This will give you an intimate glimpse into your neighborhood.

You may see people, places, and things you never would have noticed while driving. Take a long-time homeowner making renovations to the exterior of their house. They could be fixing up to sell, and with a quick chat, you could be first in line for their listing.

Try this: No matter what approach you use, becoming an expert in your local market paves the way to growing your success as an agent. You can leverage yourself as a specialist in your region, an identity prospective clients aren’t going to forget. Any leading agent will attest that going the extra mile pays — whether it’s instant or gradual.

6. Get accustomed to a 9-to-5.

Realtors love the fact that they can make their own schedule. Real estate isn’t a set 9-to-5 gig, and flexibility is why many people gravitate toward the profession. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still behave like you’re a 9-to-5 worker.

If you don’t have anything on your agenda until midday, that’s a prime opportunity to find something to accomplish. Sticking to a schedule and keeping yourself accountable is another trait of a prosperous entrepreneur.

There are many minutes in the day. Maximizing efficiency and taking advantage of the time available allows you to achieve beyond the expected. It’s simple math.

Try this: Set aside a slot of time once or twice each month to knock out mundane tasks and clear your schedule. This may be sharing blog posts, filling in your social media calendar, and similar activities. Getting this out of the way can give you more time back. and other social media scheduling platforms can handle most of this for you, including your Instagram presence.

7. Get comfortable with the follow-up.

Sales strategist Marc Wayshak’s 2019 research shows that 81.6 percent of top-performing salespeople spend 4 hours or more a day on tasks like prospecting, presenting, and follow-up.

How much time do you devote to your follow-up game? High-volume agents are those who’ve mastered the craft, honing in on the clever yet effective ways to reach out to potential clients.

Granted, you still need a method to your madness. An easy way to do this is by ensuring you provide value, making your sales pitch seamless.

Real estate is all about the personal connections you make. As a result, your follow-up strategy is critical if you want to form long-lasting client relationships.

Need extra motivation? Most sales are earned through about eight points of contact:

“Agents struggle with phone calls, yet sales is a contact sport! We try email marketing, postcards, social media posts – everything except making a call. However, no contact with the buyer or seller equals no hope of closing a deal. The best habit for your business is daily phone calls.”

– Shelley Gallamore, Realty Executives Southeast

Try this: Group and organize your prospects and clients. This can be done by neighborhood, need, relationship to you, school district, and more and will significantly enhance your approach to follow-up. You can also click here to find more strong ideas for lead nurture and follow-up.

These are the tried-and-true habits to embrace if you want to ramp up your volume. No matter what area you serve, you’re bound to see at least some productivity increase by applying one — or better yet, all — of these practices. As it is in all areas of life, your long-term success as an agent can be measured by what you do daily.

Ready to grow? We’re here to help you wow your clients in 3 different ways

Partnering with a Cornerstone loan officer has plenty of perks, but these are three of the biggest. First, give your buyers easy access to affordable mortgage programs with down payments as low as 3 percent. Second, gain info about helpful state and local down payment assistance programs that can make homebuying even cheaper. And third, tap into a treasure trove of co-branded marketing materials that you can use to educate and build trust with your audience. Find out how.

For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.

Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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