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good_real_estate_agentI have worked for a small independent real estate company for over 12 years now, and although my position and responsibilities have changed since I started, at virtually all points I have had a comprehensive view of every agent’s sales performance and commission income, as well as their involvement in company, community and industry activities. Because we are a small company, every deal that is written passes through my desk at some point, so I know exactly who is doing what business. I organize most of our meetings and events, so also I know who attends functions. With this perspective it is really easy for me to see why the successful agents are successful, and why others aren’t.

Engagement – This is hands down the most important factor to an agent’s success – engagement with your company, your industry and your community. Be “all in” with your company. This includes attending meetings and training sessions, communicating with the managing broker, and interacting with staff members. If you have desk space in your company‘s “brick and mortar” office, use it regularly. Make sure your broker/sales manager is up-to-date on your activities and is involved in your business planning.

Be around other people who do what you do to feed off one another’s energy, exchange ideas. Attend meetings for your local and state associations, conferences for your company’s franchise or other affiliated network, or events hosted by other industry groups.  Remember, engagement also comes from regular face-to-face interaction. Whether your company favors in-office agents or home-based agents, try to make it to the office whenever possible. Even if you work virtually most of the time, stop by the office once a week or so to say hello to the staff, attend a meeting, meet with a client, chat with your manager, etc.  Volunteer for floor or phone duty and sit at the communal desk for a few hours.  If you have assigned space and seldom use it, you are missing some great opportunities!  Get in the habit of holding office hours. I have seen a remarkable difference in the productivity of the agents who do.

Don’t forget the staff – Check in with key staff members regularly – when I know what an agent is working on, he/she becomes top of mind for incoming referrals, incentive programs, and other opportunities. We LOVE to see the agents succeed, and it makes us feel good to be a part of it. And, your life as an agent will be much easier if you have a positive relationship with the staff, rather than an adversarial one. You don’t have to bring us treats or presents, just show that you respect and value what we can contribute to your business.

Learn the nuts and bolts first – A new agent needs to get a feel for ALL of the administrative tasks required to manage clients, write contracts, get properties listed, make MLS changes, etc. Even as business grows and it may be time to hire an assistant, knowing what help you need before you hire someone to do it can save significant time and money in the long run.

Re-tool during down time – Don’t let the slow months in your market go by without retooling. This is the time to clean up and add to your database, work on your marketing, develop or refine your communication plan, prepare for events, clean out your desk and close out old filesThere is ALWAYS something to do. We created a “to do” list for our agents that includes daily, weekly, monthly and ad hoc tasks. Send me a note, I can send you the list.

Keep to a schedule / the myth of “part-time” – So many people interested in real estate as a career think it sounds so great because you can do it part-time and on your own schedule.  The No. 1 agent in our company who does anywhere between $35-50M in volume a year is in the office EVERY day. When he’s not out with clients he is in the office working, attending meetings, chatting with fellow agents, and generally creating positive energy. Our No. 1 rookie in 2014 closed 13 deals in her first year and was also in the office EVERY day. I very rarely see anyone achieve real success with a part-time approach. In my opinion, part-timers take business away from the rest of the full-time committed professionals, and quite frankly sometimes don’t do the job as well.

Incorporate referrals into your business plan – Many of our most successful agents are also the ones who make the most outgoing referrals for clients or friends who have real estate needs outside of our service area. This means that they have a heightened sense for picking up on people’s needs.  A client whose son is finishing up his freshman year at a big university may be in the market for a condo or small house, but you have to be listening to make that connection.. Great agents keep their ears to the ground for those kinds of opportunities and let their sphere know that they have relationships outside of their market and can make good introductions.

Set goals – Our strongest agents are goal-oriented, and their deals aren’t happening by accident. Your goals should be specific, detailed, clear, measurable, and in writing.  Be specific about figures, time periods, and deadlines. Challenge yourself, while remaining true to your core values and beliefs.

The bottom line is that the best agents are those who wake up every day recognizing that what they achieve in real estate is dependent on the actions they take every day to engage, learn and plan for success.

Pam Metzger CRP, is with Colorado Landmark, REALTORS, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. Pam is also a member of the LeadingRE Advisory Council.

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