Advice For Success in Residential Real Estate Sales

On any given day in the life of a licensed real estate agent there are hundreds of choices to make.  Only a few choices will be right.


The rest of the choices will seem right and they may even be fun and interesting but they will not be the best choices. Successful agents have learned the best things to do.   For example, if I was an agent today I could be contacting old buyers and sellers. I could be previewing houses for buyers that I have met. I could be learning about financing plans. I could be going back to old leads that I have the email addresses to and setting up searches for the buyers. I could be previewing houses and areas that I am not familiar with. I could be taking online courses to increase my knowledge of short sales and financing. I could be resting and recharging for busy times to come. I could be working online blogging or making my website more interesting. I could be buying leads from lead aggregators. I could be showing rental clients. I could be calling sellers to get them to reduce their price. I could be talking to other agents in the office to see what they are up to.  I could be doing all of these things and buy would I feel busy.


What if I told you that most of these choices are the wrong choice?  


For an agent with no pipeline of buyers and sellers only a few of these are the right choices.  If you are going to be successful it takes a lot of learning to distinguish what to do and when to do it. As your career evolves it may be time to do some of the “other things” but only after you have developed a pipeline of business that will carry you through the year.  For example right now on January 21st I have 2 million dollars worth of buyers and sellers that I am working with.  With that taken care of I can now move on to juggle other things.


There is no boss in the real estate business.


There is no manual to tell you what to do. Every year thousands and thousands of people get their real estate license and very few succeed. Brokers and owners of real estate companies make lots of profits off of the unsuccessful agents. Partially or marginally successful agents create a financial victory for the management.  Nobody will complain if you sell a few houses every year and all of the agents in the office to the same.  But you should have a goal that is different than making your owner rich.  Let’s talk about making you rich and successful. Don’t follow the stampeding cattle over the cliff.   Read this advice a few times.  It will show you the way.


Internet Leads


Leads:  Agents can have a thousand leads and be unsuccessful. I have seen it firsthand as the manager of many companies. It is not having leads that are important it is what you do with them.


Definition:  A lead is the contact information of someone who wants to buy or sell a house.


Let us think about this.


The definition did not say a lead is someone who will call you. The lead is not someone who will email you. A lead does not want to read your blog or gaze at your photo. A lead is a very honest simple thing.  Leads do not care about anything except finding a house or selling a house. A lead is not someone who wants you to sell 20 houses this year. Leads don’t care about you.  Unsuccessful agents treat leads like pet rocks.  They stare at them and wait for them to do something. There are no such things as good leads or bad leads there are only leads that are managed well or managed poorly.


Leads managed well.


If you are an agent and you have 100 leads. Of those 100 leads if you treat them poorly about ½ of 1% will buy a house from you. That will just about re-coop the cost of the leads and you will be not making any profit.


In a recent survey buyers who were working with agents reported that they were fully satisfied with their agent based on 1 thing.  If the agent found them a good house that they could buy then the buyers were happy.  Conversely if the agent sold a house for a seller they were happy.  That is it. Nothing else. Leads know exactly what they want but agents seem to miss this simple truth.


If you have a lead ……..feed them houses. 


Leads do not want to meet you. They do not want to spend time with you. They are not interested in financing until they find a house.  If you have a lead simply send them houses. Email them, call them, mail them, drop listings off in their mailbox or send them texts with addresses and pictures. Put yourself between the lead and the inventory. You can never feed a lead too many houses that meet their search criteria.


In most agents mls systems there is the ability to set up a search to send houses to leads.  Do that and only that every time and you will sell 10 houses for every 100 leads. Then you are successful.  You can actually stop reading now and you know what it takes to be successful. (really)


Why set up a search? There is so much information on the internet already. Consider this from the lead point of view.


There are reasons why a search set up by an agent direct from an mls is the best way for leads to get their information. This is true because the information is more accurate, more up to date and it is not polluted by ads, useless information and the leads information (cookies and personal information) will not be tracked online. It is anonymous.  Leads like these things but nobody ever told them why you (agent) can give them a better opportunity to find a house than anybody else on line by setting up a search. It is safer, takes less time and it is the most effective way for a lead to find a house.


We are human.


We are sometimes lazy. I would bet that you have not set up a search online for the leads that you have.  I would bet that you have not sent additional houses and looked for outliers and special houses for your leads and sent them to the leads.  I am betting that you have leads now that you can feed houses to.  Now you know where to start.


I know that to be successful in 2014 you need to focus on feeding houses to leads.




Do you stay home on Tuesday nights and watch your favorite TV show?  How many people do you meet when you do that?  A successful agent contacts 20-30 people a day. They are joiners. They join groups. They like people and make themselves known to other people. Making contacts is a lifestyle decision. If you like bowling join a bowling league. If you like sports join a sports team. If you like books join a book club.  Join a meet-up group…join a church group just don’t hide in your house.



You need at least 250 other people to know two things about you to be successful. They need to know:


1.  You make your living selling real estate

2.  You are good at what you do.


Think of all of the people who know you but they do not know those two things. Think of how many more people you can get to know you if you make this part of your 2014 plan. 


Statistic:  One out of every ten people that you know has some say or control in a real estate transaction every year.


Statistic: People move about once every 7 years in the Pennsylvania area.


If 250 people know you and they know that you sell real estate for a living and that you are good at it then you will be successful due to your contacts.




Maybe you are successful at everything you do. Maybe you know that you will not be successful but you do not know which excuse you are going to blame until you finally bail on your dream.  Your attitude is your choice.  Your choice determines the outcome of your real estate career.


As a manager of agents I see many things. Many times I see people who sell homes when their attitude is good. I also see people who have bad attitudes sell no houses. I see agents say that they are going to list 10 houses and they go out and do it. I have seen agents target high price points and earn big commissions. I see people who choose to be successful and I see others choose to fail.  One thing I am sure of is that most of these agents are not aware of just how important their attitude is in relation to the results that they create.


Attitude is created internally and then the results show in your activities.


An honest measurement of your real attitude is the best way to begin to change your results. If your attitude needs help then set aside some time to change it. If you truly feel that you cannot create change or that you do not know what to do to change your attitude talk to your broker or to successful agents. You will be surprised at how willing they are to help. If you ask a top producer how they sold 20 houses last year then they will answer you. In my experience when I have told people how to reach their goals but they are unwilling to listen and to make the changes required to be successful. The old adage “when the student is ready the teacher will appear” is very appropriate to salespeople.  If and when you are ready the answers are often a lunch appointment away.


“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.”

-Wade Boggs                   

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