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RISMEDIA, March 2, 2009-The real estate market anywhere, at any time, is what you see it is. If you believe you can succeed in the market, then you can. If you believe that the market is a disaster for everyone, then you cannot.

If you think nothing else will happen today … then nothing will happen. You can go to all the classes you want to teach you about real estate, to motivate yourself to work harder, but if you do not believe in your own ability to succeed, it won’t happen.

Of course, real estate professionals have to be realistic about the market in which they work. You can’t constantly have 20% price increases along with 2% wage increases. That kind of market had to come to an end.

So, now, real estate agents need to face the truth of the current market and they have to believe in their own ability to sell homes in this market.

Everything else is teachable, but believing in yourself has to come first.

I’ve developed sixteen basic principles which will allow a sales professional to have not just a good year, but an extraordinary year, regardless of what the real estate market is doing in your area.

Aim. You need to have a definite aim in life, not just a vague sense of what you’d like to be doing in a few years. This aim is what defines your days.

Self-confidence. Every sales professional needs to develop a strong sense of confidence in his ability to do anything. Success is impossible without self-confidence.

Initiative. If you don’t take a chance, you don’t stand a chance. Sales professionals are by nature risk-takers.

Imagination. Every successful sales professional needs to be creative in developing solutions to the problems that occur in every transaction and in finding new ways to attract new business.

Action. You need to be active, not passive in order to be successful, particularly in a slow market.

Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm builds confidence in you and confidence in your clients. No one wants to work with an agent who lacks passion about real estate.

Self-control. Times are tough and agents, along with everyone else, can get frustrated. But expressing that frustration is one of the fastest ways to lose a client or lose a deal.

Develop a habit of performing more work and better work than you are paid to perform. The greatest gift a Realtor can give is great customer service, not an expensive closing gift.

Develop an attractive personality. Everyone in the sales community needs to recognize the traits that make others comfortable and pleasant to be around, and to develop these traits themselves.

Accurate Thought. Would you want to work with a scatterbrain while making the largest investment of your lifetime?

Concentration. Clients need focused, thoughtful support more than ever.

Persistency. There is no giant step that does everything. It’s a lot of little steps.

Failures. Learn to look at your failures as lessons to be learned and then they have a positive impact on your life and your career.

Tolerance and Sympathy. If someone hurts you, learn to forgive them and try to be understanding. The greatest revenge is success.

Work Ethic. Develop the good work habits that earn you a reputation as one of the hardest working agents in your market.

The Golden Rule. Ultimately, in real estate as in life, you reap what you sow.

In good markets or bad markets, the best people succeed and the ones who make excuses always fail. Life is a series of choices. I choose success and so should you.

Mark Leader is the creator of Mark Leader Courses. Mark Leader Courses is North America’s #1 choice for real estate agents who want to increase production and permanently change their lives.

For more information, visit