Figuring out your personal strengths and letting the rest go will allow you to grow your business in ways you never knew were possible. Once you have identified the archetype that best fits you, use these guidelines to see which tools and strategies are most likely to contribute to your success.

With more than 1,000 Inman posts, Bernice Ross is a long-time contributor whose weekly column on real estate trends, luxury, marketing and other best practices publishes every Monday.

Whether you’re a rookie agent, a rising team leader or an established veteran broker, we can all benefit from sharpening our skills. Follow our “Back to Basics” series to learn fundamental strategies, tactics, philosophies and more from real estate pros across the industry.

How many trainings and seminars have you attended where the speaker tried to convince you that your only path to success was to copy his or her strategies, techniques and business tools? This one-size-fits-all approach almost always results in frustration and failure for most agents.

Perhaps recognizing this, Dean Cottrill, president of brokerage consulting for T3 Sixty, outlined four agent “archetypes” at a recent conference. Each archetype has different strengths and weaknesses and requires different tools and strategies to succeed.

So identify your personal strengths — your archetype — and then build your business on what you do best. As the speaker and work coach Joeann Fossland says, “No one ever got to the top by developing their weaknesses.”

Uncovering your personal strengths: 4 archetype models

The diagram below represents the four dominant agent archetypes and whether they work primarily with cold or warm leads using direct or indirect selling. Looking at the chart, which one best describes you?

Once you have identified the archetype that best fits you, use the guidelines below to see which tools and strategies are most likely to contribute to your success.

1. The prospector

Prospectors use direct selling with cold leads. They typically rely on cold calling and door-knocking to reach FSBOs, owners of expired listings, and people they haven’t met before. They are high-drive, get-it-done types who handle rejection well. For them, every “no” puts them that much closer to the next “yes.”

Because prospectors often fail to build strong relationships with the people they represent, they often have to spend more time in lead generation as compared to other archetypes.

Successful prospectors use proven scripts and normally have them in front of them as they prospect. Most are very disciplined about when they prospect each day, often tracking when they get the best results and working within those time parameters.

Key tools prospectors need include:

2. The networker

Networkers love being face-to-face. They rely on direct selling and are the most common agent archetype. Referrals are their primary source of business.

For years, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers has reported that referrals are still the primary source for both buyers and sellers. In 2018, 41 percent of all buyers used an agent who was referred to them by a friend, relative or neighbor and another 12 percent used an agent they had done business with in the past. For first-time buyers, 51 percent relied on referrals.

Networkers can be found doing volunteer work at local schools or their place of worship, or raising funds for local charities. Many enjoy doing open house because it puts them face-to-face with potential clients.

This archetype also loves Instagram and YouTube as ways to network online. To maximize their results from these social media site, networkers must focus on turning those social conversations into face-to-face meetings.

Networkers need the following tools:

  • A basic CRM
  • Basic email marketing/touch system
  • Business card website or basic brand website
  • Social media presence (growth area)
  • Time and friends

Networkers don’t need a lot of technology to be successful and should stay away from more complex systems and tools that keep them from doing what they do best — networking.

3. The converter

Converters rely on indirect selling to reach cold leads. This is a highly demanding approach because it can be extremely expensive, requires quick response time, and leads, especially those from online sources, can take 12-18 months to convert. Needless to say, this approach requires a robust lead follow-up system that drips on leads for extended periods of time.

Paying for leads is capital-intensive and requires tremendous discipline to conduct the required follow-up calls. Primary sources for leads include and Zillow, their own websites, plus other services such as BoldLeads, Real Geeks, MarketLeader, BoomTown and RedX.

Opcity and Referral Exchange’s New LIVE system are two systems that incubate leads and then turn those leads over to the converter when that lead is ready to transact.

Also, chatbots are also an extremely effective way to convert incoming leads 24/7. IMRE.Ca, Automabots, Structurely and Roof.AI are all examples of chatbot tools that can help converters be more effective.

Converters need:

  • Strong follow-up systems and responsiveness
  • Phone skills and appointment setting
  • Organization for follow-up
  • Systems for measuring quality of and cost-per-lead
  • A commitment to follow up religiously to reach a 3 percent and 4 percent conversion rate

They also need:

  • A budget
  • Advertising programs
  • A lead generation website system
  • A lead follow-up and lead management CRM system 

4. The marketer

Marketers rely on indirect selling to warm leads. Their primary strength is their expertise in a specific market niche such as probate, a geographical area, military, first-time buyers, etc.

Clients are attracted to marketers not only due to their expertise, but also because the marketer’s message resonates with the people in the niche they serve. In other words, they speak the language of the niche they serve.

Marketers are most effective when they tailor-make their marketing materials to fit a specific niche. For example, if they’re serving seniors, their marketing materials should show the elements of the local lifestyle in which seniors are most likely to engage. See an excellent example here.

T3 Sixty describes this as having “expert knowledge in a given niche where your identity and brand are integrated with that knowledge. The agent’s marketing campaign should also drive home the agent’s expertise in that niche.”

Marketers will also need the following tools and systems:

Once you have identified which archetype best fits you, let the other approaches go, and double down on your strengths. You’ll love how great you will feel as your business grows, and you’ll let go of engaging in activities that are ill-suited for your unique archetype, allowing you to do more business that you enjoy.

Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP ( and, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at and her new agent sales training at

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription