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Part VI

RISMEDIA, September 13, 2008-For the past five weeks, we’ve introduced you to leading industry professionals who have a hunch on why some real estate agents are succeeding more than others. From increasing photography for home listings to thinking outside the box and persevering, we conclude our Viewpoints series with Nancy Nelson of the Listingbook, who says that “experience tells me that an agent’s success or failure is not usually based on one strength or weakness.” Here, she offers her common denominators to this theory.

Nancy Nelson
Online Training

As a manager and broker interviewing potential agents, it was always a challenge trying to figure out those that would be stars, those that would just make it, and those that would fail. Experience tells me that an agent’s success or failure is not usually based on one strength or weakness.

I’ve found a few common denominators:

Technology-Eighty percent or more of today’s buyers begin their search on the Web. Buyers expect their agents to be able to do more than e-mail. They want accurate data and they want it consistently and quickly. An agent that ignores this pool of buyers will have a difficult time in the business. The most successful agents find a way to integrate technology into their businesses.

Planning-Agents have to manage their careers like a business. They should have a business plan, an action plan and a budget. Any business built without these will likely fail. Real estate is no different. Planning to live during lean times is crucial.

Contacts-I cannot underplay this. Those agents that have good contacts have a better shot at starting off right, but agents do make it without a large contact list. It’s just harder. I came to Greensboro, North Carolina, not knowing anything about the city. I had been licensed in Ohio, but I was newly licensed here and had to learn everything again. I studied the market and quickly got to know many people. Others around me appeared to make money more easily because they had people calling to give them business. I worked hard and invested in technology and myself. It paid off because during my second full year in Greensboro, I was tops in the office.

Personality-Some people have it and some don’t! Some people use it and some don’t. Those people that have an outgoing personality that others gravitate to, often build trusting relationships that create a network of supporters that help the agent succeed.

Tenacity-When an agent has tenacity, weaknesses in other areas often can be overcome. The determined agent will do what many agents may never consider. These agents may have a tougher time, but they often make it just because they don’t know the word “fail” and refuse to use the word “quit.”

Real estate, like most other sales positions, is a numbers game. If you contact enough people that want what you have to offer, enough times, you will make sales. It helps if people like you along the way. In order to contact people you have to be where they are, and today that requires some technology investment and ability. It’s not an easy career path, but it can be very rewarding.