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With a new year right around the corner, now’s the time to tap into your full potential and realize your dreams.

“Never have I seen an opportunity where it’s so straightforward to do well in real estate,” said Brian Buffini, founder of Buffini & Company, an organization dedicated to sharing Buffini’s powerful lead-generation systems with others.

Author of “The Emigrant Edge: How to Make It Big in America,” a best-selling book, Buffini shared the following principles—and how to apply them—during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago, Ill., earlier this month.

  1. A voracious openness to learn. “The ability to earn and the desire to learn are extraordinarily linked,” said Buffini, who explained that being open means not having all the answers and being willing to try new things, while voracious means there’s an appetite. “When you come here as an emigrant, you have to learn everything,” added Buffini, who noted that it’s easier than ever today thanks to the accessibility of information through a variety of formats.
  1. A “do whatever it takes” mindset. “I see real estate transactions fall apart all the time because the agent encountered a problem,” said Buffini, who recounted an adventure early on in his career that involved putting together a crib for a client when no one else was around to help. “Over the next seven years, this woman sent me more referrals than I’ve ever received in my life,” noted Buffini. While we’ve all heard that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, unleashing a “whatever it takes” attitude is instrumental in producing advocates.
  1. A willingness to outwork others. “Americans, by nature, are hard-working people,” noted Buffini, “and a willingness to outwork others in the real estate business boils down to the difference between being busy and being productive.” While transactions have gone up significantly over the last four years, with less FSBOs than ever before, Buffini turned his attention to the sales agent—and how they’re faring in this environment. Dissecting numbers reported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), Buffini noted the following about sales agent income:
  • In 2013, the gross commission for the average sales agent was $37,200.
  • In 2014, the market went up 7 percent, but agent income came down 2 percent to $36,500.
  • In 2015, the market went up 11 percent, and REALTORS® made $29,560 (20 percent less).
  • In 2016, real estate professionals made $31,670 before split and expenses.

“When we get a listing, we get so excited that we got a listing that has no guarantee of payment, except the money we pay to promote, market and try to sell that property,” added Buffini. “That’s why I love the real estate business.”

  1. A heartfelt spirit of gratitude. The nuclear fuel for success, Buffini noted that you can’t have gratitude in your mind and heart and entitlement/envy at the same time. “Our product is the American Dream, and every time we sell it, we get paid thousands of dollars. We’re very blessed with high-quality problems,” said Buffini, who encouraged audience members to travel, go see, go serve and come back and kiss the ground. “Can you imagine if you walked around so thankful every day for where you lived and the opportunities you have? Reignite the gratitude in your own heart for where you live and what you do.”
  1. A boldness to invest. When people become moderately successful, they tend to become more risk-averse and they ultimately end up giving less; they simply take calculated risks. “The first thing I invest in is relationships,” said Buffini. “Does it involve service and the opportunity to grow my skills?”
  1. A commitment to delay gratification. A hard sell across the board due to the fact that in America, if you can’t afford something, you can still have it, Buffini noted that people are overburdened today when it comes to their expenses at home and within their business—which is typically underfunded. “Your business is the golden goose, so don’t starve it,” noted Buffini. “It needs to be fed, nurtured and mated so that it can produce other golden gooses.” With the end of the year approaching, now’s the time to commit to taking things down a bit and eliminating expenses that are no longer necessary.
  1. Remember where you come from. “I want to remember where I came from, and where my people came from. I also want to remember who they are and what they would do with my opportunity,” explained Buffini, who encouraged the audience to take a step back in order to gain perspective. “When you’re complaining about the buyer, remember when you didn’t have the buyer,” noted Buffini. “And when you’re talking about inventory, remember when there was so much inventory that everybody was upside down on their houses and they were going into foreclosure.”

“It’s our time to shine,” concluded Buffini. “If you focus on building relationships, offering superior service and growing your skills as a professional, you’re going to win—and you’re going to win big.”

Stay tuned to RISMedia for more from this year’s REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

For more information, please visit

Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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