9 Secrets of Success in Real Estate Sales

Sure…you took the real estate course. You have the technical knowledge necessary to perform. You know about real estate marketing, you know what real estate sales contracts look like, and you know what to do at settlement. Great. Not talking about that. I’m talking more about those “soft” skills you didn’t necessarily need to learn to get your license, but that are key to success, nevertheless. Here are just a few skills and characteristics that have been shown to increase chances of success in real estate sales:

1. Communication Skills

Good oral, written, and listening skills are key to success in real estate. This is so basic I almost didn’t want to mention it. But because it’s so basic, I had to. As a real estate professional, you deal with people all the time. So the ability to communicate effectively is at the heart of your business. Not only does it mean the ability to achieve mutual understanding, but it also means making sure everyone involved is in the loop. Listen attentively, speak and write clearly, give and request feedback, and confirm that all relevant parties have been informed.

2. Interpersonal Skills (The Likeability Factor)

This may sound silly, but the real question is: do people like you? The reason I ask is because overwhelming evidence shows that people tend to do business with people they like. [I know. Not exactly rocket science.] But it’s such a basic thing that people tend not to give it enough consideration. So, what makes a person likeable? Well, people tend to like people who are: polite, good listeners, helpful, respectful, honest, trustworthy, and empathetic. And who show a genuine interest in them and have a positive and optimistic attitude. So, to the extent you are considered likeable, your business will benefit.

3. Organizational Skills

To be organized is to have structure and systems in place. It means you know what to do, when to do it, where to do it, how to do it, and why you’re doing it. Organization promotes efficiency, productivity, effectiveness, and mental clarity. And it saves you time and energy. Some tools you can use to help organize your real estate business include: task lists, a virtual personal assistant, a smart phone, a calendar, and a contact management system. And if you insist, yeah, a sticky note is not out of the question. Whatever works best for you. Because when you’re organized, there is order. Without order, there is chaos.

4. Relationship-building Skills

Relationship-building is a skill. Usually, it doesn’t just happen. It takes effort. Meeting new people and then ignoring them will not get the job done. After making a new contact, communicate regularly. You can: call, email, send mailers, do lunch, etc. Determine frequency based upon the type of relationship you want to


5. Goals

Goals give you a sense of direction and clarity. They give you a roadmap so you know exactly where you are headed. Written goals with deadlines work best. You can set daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and even longer-term goals. Be sure to review them regularly to make sure you are on track. You can always make adjustments along the way, especially if you discover your goals have changed.

6. Patience

Woo! This is a biggie. Especially, if you’re dealing with short sales, foreclosures, or complex commercial real estate transactions. They tend to be labor-intensive and time-consuming. Therefore, being able to wait patiently while things progress will be good for business and your blood pressure.

7. Persistence

Stick-to-it-iveness. The real estate market has its ups and downs. Ideally, you should be able to maintain an adequate level of business either way. On one hand, this means having a sustainable business model. On the other hand, it means having the determination, adaptability, creativity, and vision to succeed, even if the real estate market slows down. Persist and you’ll still be standing even after others have thrown in the towel.

8. Self-confidence

Self-confidence is the basis upon which to build almost anything. It is the belief and trust you have in yourself. It propels you to act. And it’s what will get you through obstacles, if they arise. To increase your confidence, focus on your strengths, commit to lifelong learning, have a Plan B, and stay positive at all costs. If you believe you will succeed, chances are you will.

9. Self-knowledge

You will save yourself a lot of time and energy if you know what you are passionate about. When you know exactly what interests you, you don’t waste time on unrelated matters. You are focused. For example, if you have a passion for lying on the beach, soaking up the sun, and sipping drinks with little umbrellas in them, then maybe you want to develop a niche in beachfront properties. By the same token, selling historical properties would only drive you bananas and lead you straight to the poor house. Know who you are, then “do you.” You can’t miss when you follow your bliss.