The nation’s foremost real estate educators and female leaders in real estate (Real Estate Educators Association and Awesome Females in Real Estate) convened in Scottsdale, Arizona, this month for their respective annual conferences to share their personal insider tips that can help you grow your business.

1. Sleep more, achieve more
Realtor and coach Joeann Fossland began her session on “What is Success” with a quote from author and business consultant Jim Collins: “Failure is caused by the undisciplined pursuit of more.”

Fossland noted that being a workaholic has been replaced with the mantra of “less is more.” As Fossland puts it: “If it doesn’t make your heart sing, don’t keep it.”

When you give up the pursuit of more, you have more time to pursue the activities you love outside of real estate, and you will spend less as well.

Ariana Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, elaborated on this notion at Real Estate Connect: “If we slept more and gave up technology from time to time, scientific research has shown that we would be more successful and more productive.”

In fact, psychologist K. Anders Ericsson’s research shows that if you sleep 7.5 to nine hours per night, you will perform better across the board. In fact, the two best-performing groups in this study napped every afternoon.

Fossland then provided two simple steps for achieving this goal. First, identify one habit that, if implemented, would create the greatest improvement in your life. Implement that habit.

Second, eliminate the one habit that, if you stopped doing it, would make the most difference to your well-being.

The result? Watch both your personal life and business success improve.

2. The No. 1 secret to get past gatekeepers
Real estate broker Melissa Zavala described her strategy for getting results when you hit a barrier: “Don’t resist, persist.”

Real estate professionals constantly bump into the word “no.” Whether it’s with a client, a lender or some other service professional, Zavala advised to not give up. Instead, keep persisting in obtaining your goal.

Getting past gatekeepers is a major block that most agents face. Gatekeepers are typically low-wage employees who lack the authority and knowledge required to resolve your issue. Unfortunately, these individuals often control access to the people who can make the decisions.

Zavala shared her No. 1 secret for getting past these people: Twitter. She shared two specific ways to use Twitter to achieve this goal. First, if you are not getting satisfactory answers to your questions, send a direct message to the company and ask, “Can you help me with a question about your product?”

If that doesn’t work, post your complaint on Twitter. Most major companies monitor Twitter and have a quick response team in place to handle any issues that people post on that site. As a result, Twitter may be the quickest route to getting your issues solved.

3. Replace judgment with forgiveness
Real estate trainer John Wenner and lawyer Darity Wesley touched upon two pieces of the same theme: judgment and forgiveness.

According to Wenner, a major barrier to negotiation success occurs when agents make judgments about their clients. When you conclude that you are smarter or more capable than your client is, you are creating a barrier that ultimately changes how you communicate. The most common result is conflict.

Along the same line, Wesley described forgiveness as “putting aside or stopping yourself from engaging in anger, resentment or indignation.” By incorporating forgiveness rather than judgment, it’s much easier to generate solutions to virtually any problem you may face. As Wesley described it: “Forgiveness comes from the heart and the spirit, not the intellect.”

4. Don’t be afraid to be different
When real estate coach Denise Lones first entered the real estate business, she had “one of those very long, hard-to-pronounce” Greek names. When she ordered her sign riders, her broker suggested that she drop her last name and go by her first name only. Since she was young and wanted to please the broker, she was afraid to not follow his suggestion.

On the other hand, Lones was even more afraid of her father. When she asked her father what to do, he said, “You’re not the kind of woman who goes by just her first name.”

Lones decided to order the sign riders with her full name. When she took her first listing, she received a call from a woman who wanted to know if she was Greek. The woman went as far to see if Lones could speak Greek. Once the woman determined that Lones was indeed Greek, she immediately hired Lones to list her home.

The same thing happened with a commercial property as well. Even though Lones had no commercial experience and tried to refer the owner to a better-qualified commercial broker, the owner wanted to list with Lones because she was Greek.

Lones advises to celebrate what makes you unique and different. It’s your uniqueness that makes you stand out from the crowd and that will ultimately attract the clients who are the best fit for you. Don’t be afraid to capitalize on it.

So here’s the bottom line: Sleep more, forgive more, judge less and celebrate your personal uniqueness to attract the ideal clients for your business.

Bernice Ross, CEO of, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Discover why leading Realtor associations and companies have chosen Bernice’s new and experienced real estate sales training for their agents at and

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