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To be really great at real estate, you have to be a good businessperson. That means being a self-starter and learning how to manage your business as a business. You need to understand and begin to practice all the components that will allow you to help that business thrive. Bookkeeping, marketing, negotiating, contract writing, etc.

But the most important skill for any real estate professional is the ability to prospect. You can be great at everything else, but if you do not know how to generate business leads and convert those leads into business, this is going to be a tough road for you.

Most, if not all, businesses have to be good at prospecting in some fashion or another. Dentists, doctors, lawyers, landscapers, restaurants, etc.—you name it—the ability to draw new customers through the door is a must if you want to keep the doors open!

For example, your local dry cleaners may use different forms of prospecting, but they need to have the skill to generate new clients and customers. They’re not going to call area consumers up and say, “Hey, would you like to clean your clothes at my place?” (Though that might be a funny way to go about it!)  No, instead he’s going to do some kind of advertising, such as a direct mail piece or an ad in a paper. Another example might be restaurant owners; they may get involved in the local clubs, like the Kiwanis Club or Catholic Charities, so they increase their visibility, give their restaurants a good name, do their civic duty, and encounter potential customers and contacts. There are dozens of reasons why joining these organizations is a good idea.

So, all business owners need to be good at prospecting. They can’t just sit by the phone waiting for people to call; it’s not going to happen. If owners are bad at prospecting, their businesses are going to suffer. If you’ve got a restaurant that doesn’t advertise, offer specials, get its name out there, do direct mail—or any of that kind of thing—do you think that restaurant is going to survive for long? Of course not! That’s true for you as well.

Step one, have the right mindset. Don’t enter the industry thinking it’s a walk in the park. It’s not. It’s solid work for a really great income. In fact, when approached with a business mentality and a willingness to work, you can earn at the same level or even higher as people who spent eight years in college earning top degrees. There really is no ceiling for what you can accomplish if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.

Step two, develop the right skillsets. Prospecting, negotiating, presenting, and marketing. These four cornerstones of the real estate business are not difficult to learn, but they do take practice. I encourage you to not just memorize canned speeches. They only work if the other person knows their part! Ultimately, understand that you are in the business of working with people. Which means, the better you are at reading and understanding people, the better you’ll be at listing and selling real estate.

Step three, ask for help. Your broker should be a tremendous resource for you. As you’re learning to set up your business and create good habits, ask your broker for best practices for getting started. Many companies have mentoring programs that are terrific for helping agents get off on the right foot. You’ll also want to contact an accountant so that you can avoid the bookkeeping pitfalls that so many agents fall into in the beginning.

Step five, always be learning. I host a coaching call every Monday morning and what I love to see is agents from every end of the experience spectrum call in and ask questions. It’s awesome how much we can all learn from each other if we’re first willing to learn. I’ve known agents so stuck in “the way it’s always been done” they couldn’t change with the market, and that hurt their ability to compete. I’ve seen brand new agents who didn’t listen to the naysayers and just jumped in and tried everything and surpassed agents with many, many years in the industry. Always believe there is something new to learn. Our industry changes constantly. The smart agent is willing to keep up!

You’ve got this. I’m here to help, with a passionate community of Power Agents® that can be there for you as well. Learn more at 

Darryl Davis, bestselling author of “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate” and owner of Darryl Davis Seminars, has trained and coached over 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe for more than 27 years. He is the founder of the Next Level® real estate training system, The Power Program®, which has helped agents double their production over their previous year. For more information, and the new agent tools that can help take you to your Next Level®, please contact or visit