In real estate, nothing happens until you generate a lead. Whether you want to be a top-producing salesperson or the head of a successful agent team, successful “rainmakers” differ from lower-producing agents in a variety of ways.

If you’re an agent who would like to be the rainmaker for a team of agents or if you’re aspiring to become a top producer, your behavioral profile and your values will strongly influence how easy or difficult it is for you to succeed. Do you fit the rainmaker profile? Here’s how to tell:

1. The rainmaker profile
Your behavioral and values profiles are highly correlated with real estate sales success or failure. Target Training International’s (TTI) version of the DISC personality assessment that incorporates its former PIAV (Personal Interests, Attitudes and Values) assessment is perhaps the most accurate predictor available today.

The rainmaker profile on the TTI version of the DISC is high score on the “D” and “I” factors coupled with a high “Utilitarian” score on the Values. In case you’re not familiar with this jargon, here’s how this information translates into real estate practice:

“D” is for Dominance
People who score high on the “D” factor on the DISC are high-powered, get-it-done types. Because they are so motivated to accomplish what they set out to do, they find it easier to “ask for forgiveness” as opposed to ask for permission. A great example of this type is Donald Trump — he has no issue or compunction about firing people; if they’re not doing the job, they’re out.

How can you recognize the agents who score high on the “D” factor? Here are some statements that typify these individuals:

  • “Rejection? What’s that? If they don’t want to work with me, it’s their loss.”
  • “Objections? Not a problem! Objections are buying signs!”

You can also identify people who score high on the “D” factor on the DISC — they’re generally the ones calling on owners of expired listings, for-sale-by-owners and cold calling. Rejection simply doesn’t bother them. They schedule their two to three hours of prospecting per day and keep to that schedule day in and day out.

“I” is for Influencing
The second factor is the “I” factor for influencing. People who score high on the “I” factors are the “people persons.” They like to talk and enjoy bonding with others. If you put a person who scores high on this factor in a roomful of 100 strangers, they won’t be strangers for very long.

The challenge for people who score high on Influencing is that without a high Dominance score they tend to talk a lot without accomplishing much. Moreover, they are reluctant to put themselves into situations where they may by rejected. They’re much too sensitive to have someone slam a door in their face.

When an agent scores high on both factors, however, you have someone who will do the hard types of prospecting, really care about their clients, and will have a strong foundation for being a rainmaker.

Values: Utilitarian
Most people who use the DISC are focused only on the behaviors. To really understand what drives an individual, you must also look at their values. The latest version of the DISC inventory evaluates the values that motivate the behaviors.

People who have “Utilitarian” as a prime value are pragmatic. You can show them a new app or tool and you will often hear, “That’s nice, but how is that going to help me make more money?”

TTI’s research with both American and German salespeople has shown that the Utilitarian factor alone is highly predictive (71 percent) of sales success. In other words, regardless of your behavioral style, if you score high on the Utilitarian factor, the probability is high that you can become a top-producing agent or rainmaker for an agent team. Less than 5 percent of the population has all three factors. If you’re one of those lucky individuals, you have the foundation for major real estate sales success.

Emotional resilience
“What makes a successful rookie Realtor?” A 2006 study that I conducted jointly with the researchers at the Real Estate Simulator demonstrated that emotional resilience (the ability to bounce back from failures and adversity) is also a key factor in top production and rainmaking. In fact, at last year’s California Association of Realtors conference, Barbara Corcoran noted that the one factor her top producers had in common was their ability to pick themselves up and keep going when they experienced a setback.

If you have these four factors, rainmaking will be a natural activity for you. If you have none of these factors, it may be much more difficult for you to succeed in the rainmaker role. You can adapt your behavior, but it will be challenging. Instead, you may be better suited to being a buyer’s agent, listing specialist, or transaction coordinator on a team rather than being the rainmaker whose primary role is to constantly generate new business.

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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