How to Be a Successful Real Estate Agent

Female realtor showing new home to couple
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I can always spark a spirited conversation when other real estate agents hear me saying that real estate isn't about sales or selling. It is true that, like anything else in life, we're always selling ourselves in some way. Real estate sales, however, isn't like standing in a used car lot and trying to talk someone into spending more than he planned on the latest new hybrid vehicle.

Marketing Your Services

If anything, real estate is more about marketing yourself, your services and your clients' listings. But, rarely is the listing agent going to be standing there with the buyers doing a sales pitch, very rarely. Excellent photography skills and the ability to write compelling descriptions about listings will go much farther than selling skills. True, you're selling yourself in a listing presentation, but you can do that with facts and figures, as well as technology and examples of your accomplishments – no arm-twisting necessary.

Working with Clients

And, when it comes to working with buyers, you'll get farther doing extensive research to get them into the homes that meet their needs. Overselling the features of every home you show rarely does anything more than annoying them, as they don't want to feel "sold." I can tell this to you all I want, but my own business success illustrates it best.

  • I don't network for business. In this case, I'm talking about personally interacting with people in organizations, mixing, mingling, shaking hands and handing out business cards. I've probably handed out fewer than ten business cards in a year. True, I only work with buyers now, but when I did take listings, the leads came from my website and not from making face-to-face sales pitches.
  • I do no print advertising or direct mail, only web advertising. As I do a lot of writing, I spend most of my time when not with a real estate customer in my office writing articles like these. I've been referred to as the "hermit" Realtor.
  • I've never made a cold call. There is no other way to say it; I don't call anyone out of the blue for business.
  • I don't send bulk blast emails. Sorry, but it seems too much like cold calling to me. And, I don't like receiving unsolicited emails either.

The Bottom Line

I'm not criticizing any real estate agent who does any or all of the things. In fact, if I did do some of these things I'd probably triple my business. I just don't want to. I'm quite happy with my business volume. I just looked at brokerage and individual agent stats in my market, and I'm doing double the average volume of individuals in my multiple listing service profiles.

I'm not telling you this to brag, but to let you know that anyone can be a successful real estate professional without sales skills or experience. Don't let doubts about your sales abilities slow you down or stop you from going after a career as a real estate agent.