You’ve heard of IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence). When it comes to real estate sales success, neither of these factors is as important as PQ.

If you want to join the ranks of top producers, developing your Persistence Quotient (PQ) is the route to success.

My husband and partner at, Byron Van Arsdale, and I were recently discussing how to help agents remove the blocks to their success.

Byron observed that often agents who struggle with their production have a consistent approach: When they try a new lead generation tool or strategy, they quit before it has time to yield results.

They give up at the very point where they are succeeding. In other words, they have been feeding the pipeline but haven’t quite reached the point where they see the results.

A few days later, a high-tech executive friend made a similar observation. Over her 30-year career, she has seen account executives work hard for six to nine months and then quit.

The remaining account executives then swoop in and convert those accounts within a few weeks. Why? The hard work was already done.

What the research says

A 2012 study conducted by the Keller Center at Baylor University of 134 new agents reached a similar conclusion.

Courtesy of Keller Center for Research

Courtesy of Keller Center for Research

The study sought to determine “if cold calling as a baseline lead generation activity — meaning no experience, no contacts, no database, no marketing, no listings and no ‘just-solds’ — would generate appointments for agents.”

The results showed it took 208 total calls to get an appointment or referral. Based upon the conversion rates from the study, it took agents approximately six hours of calling to achieve one appointment.

If the agent converted 50 percent of these appointments into a closed transaction, it would take an agent 12 hours to generate one buyer or seller lead that would close.

Nevertheless, by the time the agents had spent 11 hours cold calling, all 134 had quit calling. But the data showed that it takes 12 hours of cold calling to generate a closed deal. In other words, the agents stopped one hour short of reaching the 12-hour goal.

Why the PQ factor matters

Persistence is critical, especially considering how long it takes certain types of prospecting to yield results. For agents who door-knock in conjunction with snail mail, it takes between six and eight contacts before they will start converting leads.

If the agent uses only snail mail without door-knocking, it can take 18-36 months before it will consistently yield leads.

The same is true with Internet leads. Many agents gripe that Internet leads are worthless. As a result, 50 percent of all Internet leads go unanswered.

Those agents with a high PQ, however, realize that consumers often start looking online 12-18 months before they plan to purchase. The agents who consistently convert these leads have developed long-term lead incubation strategies that keep consumers engaged until they are ready to purchase.

How to raise your PQ

Unlike IQ, which tends to be stable in adults, you can raise your PQ. Here’s how:

1. Identify the one or two lead generation activities that you enjoy doing most.

2. Review your production for the past 12 months. Identify which lead generation activity resulted in each closed transaction. If you don’t have this data, begin tracking it now.

3. Determine if any of the lead generation activities you enjoy are also those that yield the most transactions. If so, devote at least two hours a day, five days a week doing that activity for the next 60 days.

If you persist, you should have approximately five solid leads that ultimately will close.

Build your PQ muscle

Becoming more persistent is similar to building a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. If you have trouble doing two hours a day of lead generation, five days a week — start with 30 minutes a day two or three times a week. The goal is to build up the habit until it becomes self-sustaining.

Is it worth the effort?

Two different studies support how important the PQ is. A RedX study comparing their top-performing clients (those who earn $250,000 or more per year) with those earn only $70,000 annually had some surprising results.

Agents who made $250,000 prospected 4.6 days per week for at least 90 minutes per session on average; $70,000 producers prospected on average 3.5 days per week for at least 60 minutes.

In other words, $250,000 earners prospected 6.9 hours per week vs. 3.0 hours per week for $70,000 earners on average. The difference of 3.9 hours per week resulted in over triple the income.

The Keller study showed a similar outcome. If the agents in that study had persisted in doing their calls two hours per day, five days a week, they would have made approximately $290,000.

Is working on your raising your PQ worth it? You be the judge.

Bernice Ross, CEO of, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs and

Email Bernice Ross.

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