You’re working hard but you’re not experiencing the results that you’d like to achieve. Chances are that what’s blocking your success boils down to one or two key behaviors. Once you can identify and eliminate these behaviors, your path to success will become considerably easier.

As a coach and a psychologist, it always amazes me how seemingly small changes can create huge benefits for the person making the change. Here is a list of five small changes that can yield big results for your business:

1. Eliminate the words “I” and “me” from all your marketing materials.

The key point here is to replace “I” and “me” with the words “you” and “your.” More than ever, today’s consumers want their real estate transaction to be focused on their wants and needs. When you use the words “I” and “me,” it becomes about you rather than your client.

If you haven’t made this shift already, go through every one of your current marketing pieces and be ruthless about eliminating the information about you. This includes your picture. Instead, for every marketing piece that you create, target the consumer and his or her lifestyle.

2. Stop spreading yourself too thin.

Be honest. When was the last time that you took a full day off, a full weekend off, or even a full week of vacation? When you try to do too much or you fail to take time off, your effectiveness decreases dramatically. On the other hand, taking time off increases your productivity. You actually accomplish more because you’re rested rather than running on your last ounce of energy.

The reason that agents try to do too much results from a sense of scarcity. Scarcity is based upon the fear that you will be unable to create sufficient income to meet your personal and business obligations.

To illustrate how cutting back can actually increase your business, one of our private coaching clients was working expired listings in nine different areas. She was exhausted and wasn’t achieving the results she wanted. When she decided to focus on only two areas, her business took off. Clear, narrow focus usually generates the best results.

3. Service vs. pleasing others

Many agents are people pleasers. Having their potential clients like them is more important than closing a deal. When you’re focused on pleasing others, you may be unable or unwilling to tell your clients the hard truth about a particular situation. The result is that small problems blossom into big problems. By failing to address the smaller problem, you’re forced to deal with even more difficult challenges instead.

To address this issue, focus on giving your clients the best possible service. They may not like hearing that the appraisal just came in at $30,000 under the contract price. Nevertheless, when you focus on finding solutions, telling the truth and staying focused on what’s best for your clients, they will be more likely to be loyal to you and to refer business to you in the future. The bottom line is that it’s better to have a client who has closed a transaction than it is to have them like you but work with someone else.

4. Avoid using negative labels.

Agents often create roadblocks to their success when they make negative comments about others. Granted, your buyer may place one low offer after another on multiple properties. Rather than calling him a bottom feeder or making some other derogatory comment, avoid adding an extra obstacle to your negotiation process. Keep your negative thoughts and opinions to yourself. Instead, be direct and accurate without being critical.

For example: “My client has elected to write an offer substantially under your asking price. About 50 percent of the time the agents can put this type of offer together. The only way to find out if this is part of the 50 percent who will ultimately close will be to issue a counteroffer.”

5. You don’t have to be “way better.”

Many agents are under the impression that top producers are significantly better than mediocre producers. Granted, there is a substantial difference in their income. The difference, however, is normally quite small.

The truth is that you only have to be marginally better than your competition to consistently come up on top. This means having a marketing plan that offers one or two services that your competitors don’t offer, providing a bit more in terms of the customer service you provide, and having a learning mindset. Top producers constantly seek new and different ways that they can grow themselves personally as well as growing their businesses. Being a lifelong learner will give you a huge competitive edge against agents who lack this important mindset.

Remember, small changes create huge results. It makes no difference where you start. Begin small and take small, consistent steps over time, and watch your business soar.

Bernice Ross, CEO of, is a national speaker, trainer and author of the National Association of Realtors’ No. 1 best-seller, “Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success.” Hear Bernice’s five-minute daily real estate show, just named “new and notable” by iTunes, at
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