6 Reasons a Successful Agent is Successful When Others Are Not

SandPeak Realty, Inc.
SandPeak Realty, Inc.
Published on July 10, 2018

In every successful real estate office, you will find a lot of agents, but only a handful are successful agents . Why is that?

And another question- if you hang out in their office- you will see a lot of agents. But not the successful ones? And why don’t you see them. Because they are working deals. Making connections. Prospecting. Learning and Training. They do come to the office on a regular basis, but not because they have to. Or they have nothing to do. They come in with a purpose: to check in with their broker, turn in their paperwork, have appointments with customers- and most importantly bring in checks from closing!

 And Guess what? 

A successful agent is different from 95% of all real estate agents. They do things differently than the other agents in the office. (You know, the agents that complain about the market, their last buyers or sellers, about how there are just no leads. The ones who point at everything else for their ills, all the while they should be looking at the three fingers pointing back at them). They work differently. Talk differently. They have a different outlook on their career. And they work hard. Very hard. Very, very, very hard. It’s all part of being a successful agent.


According to the National Association of Realtors 2017 Member Profile, the median gross income of an agent was $42,500 in 2016. This is 25 percent higher than the median income of all workers in the United States.

This is what attracts most people to a career in real estate. They think it will be easy money.

But is it?

Real estate is often a referral-based business. Those who have been in the business for 16 years or more experienced the highest real estate income- almost $78, 850 on average.

Wait. So if you start to do the math, the median income for an agent is $42,500. 50% of all agents earn MORE than that. And 50% earn LESS. And those in the business earn almost double that as their average? The numbers don’t look great for new agents and for those who aren’t full time!

The report also points out the correlation between income and the number of hours worked- meaning part time vs. full time. Those who typicaly worked less than 20 hours per week had a median gross income of less than $10,000 A YEAR (and I know agents who don’t work that many hours in a month!) while those who worked 60 hours or more per week had a median gross income of over $100,000. (How many agents do you know like that?)

An agent that makes over $100,000 would be considered a successful agent in most offices.

And the most successful agents out there? They make even more.

Kinda blows a hole in the whole “All realtors think this is easy” thing, doesn’t it?

Why are these agents making north of $100,000 a year, when the average is less than 40% of that amount? Because they are the elite. They are the dedicated ones. They don’t consider “luck” in their career. They go out fish. They find it. They work hard every day. Always nibbling. Always searching. Always prospecting.

There are a few variables that impact your real estate salary:

  • Your Location
  • The Local Economy
  • The Amount Of Your Own Real Estate Expenses
  • And, Your Ability To Network.

But these are, in terms of success, partial variables- some you have control over, others you do not. But in terms of real success, what does a truly successful agent have that others don’t? It’s simple:


Reason #1- A Successful Agent is part of an optimistic group.

They always seem to smile. They get it. They bring their optimism to the business and their customers.

They don’t see the glass as half full or half empty- They see it as completely full and they are going to get their portion.

They surround themselves not only with positive people, but people who will move them towards their goals. They listen. They analyze. They are even keeled and stable. They don’t get overly excited. They understand that there are ebbs and flows. They ride the waves and then sit back and wait for the next wave. Why? Because they know it is ALWAYS coming.They aren’t labor intensive. They understand the power of delegation. When it comes to the little things, if they can sub it out- they will. They don’t recreate the wheel. If something feels right, they do it. But after careful examination.

They get help when they need it. Where they need it. And plan ahead in case they need it. They are wise with their spending and their decisions, but are not afraid to spend the money when it is going to help lessen their burden. They truly care about results- not just about getting the listing or working with a new buyer. They aren’t taking listings just to put a sign in the yard. They are trying to close a deal. They are looking at the sellers home as an opportunity to double, triple, or 10x their business!

Reason #2- A Successful Agent goes above and beyond in their level of service.

They know there is huge disconnect during the real estate transaction. Most agents and brokerages today talk about great service- until you work with one of their agents and find out just how unprofessional and ill-prepared they are!

Successful agents are in the business of putting people together, making sure that all parties do what they agree to do, and ensuring that all time lines are met. They understand their role is bigger than just an agent on one side.

These are the agents that other agents say “this person really knows what they are doing- they have their stuff together!”

Wanna be successful? Be one of those agents that EVERYONE loves working with. And we aren’t talking clients here. When another agent tells their client, “I know this agent. They are great to work with and will get the deal done!”, you know you have arrived at that special place.

Stop and think for a moment about this. How many agents in your local market do you know of that are like this? How many have you worked with? Probably only a handful.

Reason #3- A Successful Agent knows why their clients have hired them.

In his book, “The Best Damn Sales Book Ever”, author Warren Greshes writes, “Successful salespeople act as experts, advisers, and resources to their clients, always ready to provide them with knowledge, expertise, information, and education.” (find it Amazon here. It is HIGHLY suggested you read this book- it will change the way you sell real estate!)

They understand their value. They know their buyers and sellers can do this job without them. But they believe that they can’t. And even more so, they believe that by NOT being in the market place, their potential clients are at a disadvantage.

Knowing WHAT you bring to the table and BELIEVING that your customers have a far superior experience because you do is the biggest key to success.

Do you know what your value is? And don’t give the normal real estate BS about finding properties (anyone can do that with Zillow and Realtor.com), or the best negotiator (are you?), or even that you can help get the buyer/seller from contract to close with no pain (blah, blah, blah!).

Every single agent out there is taught to say those things.

If you want to be different, then you have to walk and talk differently than every other agent out there.

Here are six ways the best of the best, the most successful Real Estate Agents bring value to their customers:

  • They save their customers time.
  • They teach them something.
  • They solve their problems.
  • They ease their pain.
  • They save them money.
  • They make them money.

That’s it. They live these principles.

Do you know how you can deliver value to your customers? If not, you might want to figure it out right away. Today. Now.

Reason #4- A Successful Agent is prepared.

Preparation is the key to their expertise. They have their facts, their numbers, and all their tools ready to go. They know their contracts and forms, understand how to put a deal together, and have everyone interest in mind when they negotiate. They rehearse what they will say (it’s called Scripting- and it works! Check out this script from the master, Tom Ferry- see it HERE) and are always ready with a response.

They know their market. They know what houses are available. How many have sold. The number of expired listings. Their statistics are updated every month.

They know their way around town, where neighborhoods lie, what is unique about each area. They know the schools and principles. They know what new developments are coming in. They know what new stores are coming to town. They are ready.

They practice writing contracts. They practice with their tools. BEFORE they ever use it with a customer.

They are successful because their clients trust them. And trust comes from experience. The fastest way to get experience? To just do it!

Reason #5-

A Successful Agent doesn’t compromise on their morals and values.

Successful agents value their integrity over the sale. If the deal won’t work because the parties can’t agree- so be it. They never lie, cheat, or steal. Fraud is something they would never tolerate.

They make it clear to their clients, to agents they work with, and to any business they use- their name and reputation mean more to them than a sale.

Disclose. Disclose. Disclose. That is their three favorite words.

They get the sale right UP FRONT so they don’t have to give back commission OUT BACK. But make no mistake, most successful agents have bought a lot of refrigerators, washer & dryers, and have paid for many sales cleans- because it’s the right thing to do for that client.

Reason #6- A Successful Agent continually grows and learns. Everyday.

They never stop learning. There is always a new way to do something. A  better way. An easier way. But they don’t learn for themselves. They learn to become teachers. To teach their clients. To lead them.

A successful agent will read books on sales and self-improvement while others are out playing.

A successful agent will watch videos on how to improve their skills while others are watching TV at night.

A successful agent will practice and rehearse their scripts while others are lounging around on a weekend morning.

A successful agent will attend classes, get accreditations, and are ALWAYS the first ones to get their CE credits done well before they are due. All while other agents are hanging out in the office at the water cooler.

In short, A successful agent is a life long learner. They learn a lot from each other.

And they learn a lot from the average agent as well. Like what NOT TO DO!


If you want to be a successful agent, then find another successful agent in your office. There are always one or two. Even better, find a successful agent in a nearby town or city that isn’t part of your market.

Buy them a cup of coffee. Pick their brain. Listen to them. Maybe, too, you can learn and someone will call you one day, and ask, “Can you tell me what it takes to be a successful agent?”

And that would be cool.



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