• Tour it all. Just because you don’t have a buyer for a certain property, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t preview it.
  • People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
  • You must change your mindset in ways of approaching your business, who you are and what you do.

To be at the top of your craft, you have to have dedication. The successful brokers and real estate agents of today understand this, which is why they control a majority of the business in the areas they service.

These movers and shakers are the players in your markets, and here are five commitments you can make to become one as well.

1. Know your city’s geography like the back of your hand

You have to crawl before you can walk and certainly before you can run. Let’s hit the reset button and start from the basics. Do you really know your city like you think you do?

If we were to strike up a conversation, could you paint me a mental map of every neighborhood: its street names, location, surroundings and proximity to businesses?

Though it sounds like a simple thing to do, it’s vastly overlooked by many professionals. With technology to navigate us here and there, it’s easy to put this seemingly old-school practice on the back burner.

But, look at top producer Madison Hildebrand and his presence in the Malibu, California market.

When he first got started, he made a commitment to drive every street of the city to learn its geography and communities. Sure, he could have relied on navigation to get him from A to B, but to craft a mental map of where he works was far more beneficial than any form of technology.

2. Client or not — tour it all

We tell our clients all the time: you have to see a house in person versus just looking at the pictures online. Yet, we tend to to do the same thing! Just because you don’t have a buyer for a certain property or a seller to run comps for, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t preview it.

In a market where trends are constantly changing, you have to be at the forefront of knowing what’s for sale, pending and recently sold so you can strike up quick facts when the time comes for servicing new clientele.

Touring properties in the areas you choose to work not only shows the listing agents and brokers you’re active in the market but also the owners.

3. Understand your market in-depth and the surrounding ones at the surface

A few months back, I was going to a new development appointment with my broker in Shawnee, Kansas, which is about 20 minutes away from the city I usually work in Leawood, Kansas.

On our trip back to the office, we stopped midway in a city called Lenexa (where my church home is) because of all the construction taking place in their downtown area.

As we approached another new development sign (one that I drove by quite frequently every Sunday), my broker asked me: “Anthony, what’s going on here? Who’s the developer? What are they planning?”

To which I replied: “Not sure, I don’t work this area.”

His face was priceless! “You mean to tell me, that you don’t know what’s going on here, and your church is right there? What happens when other members of your church ask you what’s going on here? What will you tell them? The same thing you told me? C’mon, get your head in the game. You can’t just know your market, you’ve got to know the market.”

Lesson learned.

4. Meet with the top producers in your area: brokers, contractors, builders, lenders, appraisers, city officials, etc.

These folks have made it to where they are for a reason and usually welcome the opportunity to meet with those who take a sincere interest in them.

As with any meeting, people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Cut the breeze, and talk about something non-real estate related.

What connects you both outside of work? Similar interest? Hobbies? Building genuine relationships like these will do wonders for your business and your well-being in the short and long run.

5. Think media company first and real estate second

If you haven’t seen Gary Vaynerchuk’s keynote speech at ICSF, you need to! It’s absolutely amazing! Without giving too much away, he broke down that in this day and age, to be at the top of the pack you need to break apart from it.

Nothing crazy or wildly drastic; instead, you must change your mindset in ways of approaching your business, who you are and what you do. Yes you’re a real estate agent, but more importantly, you’re a source. A source of information and media!

Become transparent, and put yourself at the forefront where people are spending most of their free time: online! It’s human nature to soak up information and there should be nothing stopping you from being that source providing it. Check out Gary Vee’s full keynote speech here.

Nothing meant to last was ever built overnight, and your fruits from these labors surely won’t be. However, with a dedication to being your best self, a game-plan that you work consistently and strategies that you execute in full, you’ll be on your way to becoming a player in your market.

Anthony West is a real estate agent, the founder of The Luxury Life KCatMoffitt Realty, and an entrepreneur in Kansas City.

Email Anthony West.

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