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elite_producerIn late April, a group of nearly 200 RE/MAX top producers came together in Arizona for two days of learning, networking and exchanging great ideas. Although they brought unique perspectives to the table, they shared a common thread: being wildly successful (each topping $500,000 in commissions last year) and extremely skilled at what they do.

Obviously, this is a group we can learn something from. So we posed questions in an open-ended survey, and some interesting trends emerged. Their insights are valuable for agents looking to reach the upper level, as well as for brokers wanting to attract these types of stars to their offices.

Here are just a few of the findings, distilled into a list of six takeaways:

1. There’s nothing more important than taking care of your clients.
These top producers realize that everything flows from great service. When you serve the needs of your clients and put their interests above your own, you plant the seeds of repeat business, referrals, recommendations, word-of-mouth advertising and a host of other positive results. Granted, you need to follow up to make those things happen, but they all begin with a satisfied client.

2. The most valuable resource is time.
In multiple ways, these elite performers stressed the importance of spending their time wisely. Asked what they do intentionally every day, they says things like “designate three things as must-do’s” and “get the most important things done first.” Interestingly, their top challenge was time management. It seems that even at the highest levels of success, there are still only so many hours in a day.

3. Constant prospecting is critical.
Call it farming, prospecting, lead generation or simply creating a presence in a neighborhood or community. Whatever the term, these top producers are constantly priming the pump for new business. Dig into the survey data a bit and you find references to efficient systems covering current client care, past client follow-up and ongoing navigation of new business opportunities.

4. Written goals drive results.
About 75 percent of top producers write down their goals. And of those respondents, the vast majority articulated their goals in terms of specific production numbers. Transaction sides. Sales volume. GCI. Total net. The lesson: High production takes focus, and definitive, measurable goals can keep you on track.

5. Brand matters. A lot.
There’s a school of thought in our business that “brand doesn’t matter.” That’s nonsense. These top producers have seen the benefits a major international brand can deliver. And when confident, driven people like this credit a brand for contributing to their incredible success, it says a lot about the brand—and a lot about the notion that brand doesn’t matter.

6. It’s good to have a “why.”
On his survey sheet, one top producer—an agent who earns more than $1 million a year—wrote these two things: One: “It’s not just my business. It’s who I am. I live it, eat it and sleep it. I work harder than anyone around me,” and two: “(Every day) I wake my children up and tell them I love them. They’re my motivation.”

That last one’s great, isn’t it? Work hard, be the best and do it for a great reason. Ultimately, success at the highest level comes down to that.

We’re glad we asked.

Vinnie Tracey is president emeritus of RE/MAX, LLC.

For more information, visit www.remax.com.

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