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Being transaction-focused is a mistake many rookie agents make.

When starting off in real estate, agents typically have one thing on their minds: the numbers and how they relate to profits. Being too focused on the transactions, however, can hurt your business in the long run. That’s why it’s important to keep your eye on the prize: relationships. By prioritizing service first, you put your client at the top of your list—and, trust me, they notice.

Here’s how you can shift your focus from transactions to best serving your clients.

Keep in touch. Be in constant communication with everyone in your database. It doesn’t matter if they were your client 10 years ago or if they are buying and selling with you now. Remember the mantra “client for life,” because that’s how you’re going to get return business and a lot of referrals.

Get better at listening. Yes, you’re the real estate expert, but that doesn’t mean you should shut out your clients when they’ve got something to say, especially when it has to do with concerns about the market. Understand that your clients may not be fully informed about the real estate process and will have questions for you. Educate them without making them feel like a burden for having to ask.

Be on top of every step. Keep your clients informed along the way. They may not be the hand-holding type, but knowing they are taken care of when it comes to following up on their mortgage, appraisal or inspection will ensure they are comfortable. If your schedule is too hectic to handle the day-to-day management tasks, consider hiring a transaction coordinator so you’re not doing a disservice to your clients.

Show that you care. On birthdays, purchase or sale anniversaries, or even their wedding anniversaries, show them how much they mean to you by acknowledging and celebrating the milestones. Keep a record of important dates and send handwritten notes or friendly emails, or even drop by with a gift. These little actions make a big difference.

Making your business about the clients is all about focusing on the little details. While they may not seem significant, a service-first strategy will help you achieve those sales goals much more efficiently than focusing solely on the number of transactions you’re closing.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at