At its core, real estate is a sales job, but staying relevant requires many skills, like marketing, creativity, technological innovation and more. To step up your game and elevate your business, here’s where you need to invest time and money.

The definition of a “real estate professional” in our current world is ever-changing. The old ways of doing business are dying, and to survive agents need to adapt.

Although the profession continues to be a sales job, staying relevant requires skills such as state-of-the-art marketing, technological innovation, creativity and systems creation. Each of those skills could turn into a full-time job without smart planning and the ability to recruit talent to delegate tasks.

Here’s where you need to step up your game if you haven’t already.

1. Cinematic video

Video has become the most relevant exposure for just about anything for sale, and real estate is certainly no different. Today, the most successful real estate professionals will create cinematic experiences including aerial videos, shots of the property with day and night light, and even an actor presence.

Writing a story for a property and creating videos with “actors” simulating the daily life in a property provides the ultimate connection that a buyer would be attracted to while searching for the perfect home.

2. Stunning photography

In addition to videos, photography is also getting upgraded. Hiring a professional photographer is just the beginning. Today, property and community photographs go beyond simple illustration and oftentimes are masterpieces that could stand alone in an art gallery. 

Depending on the price point and the desired level of marketing, many agents opt to shoot a property at different times of the day and provide daylight as well as twilight images.

For a home which is likely to sell “between” seasons, it would be smart to reshoot the property as seasons are changing. For example: A mountain home in proximity to a ski resort with only summer pictures is not likely to get the same attention as if it were pictured with snow.

3. Virtual tours

In addition to still photography, 3D tours like those created with Matterport have become another must-have item that allows buyers to “tour” the home virtually from their browser.

Options, opinion, options! If you think that having a property video and HD images is enough, you are probably not wrong, but buyers love options, and not every buyer will be attracted to the same marketing collateral.

4. The networking of the future

Networking should go above and beyond the standard of just handing out business cards. A direct relationship with other professionals in feeder markets will not only increase the chances for business referrals but would also allow a seller’s agent to increase exposure and possibly find buyers.

Top agents are becoming masters at networking and continue to build a wealth of connections all around the industry with the use of different techniques.

With technology making long-distance networking much easier, staying in touch with our sphere of professionals has never been easier. However, when it comes to networking in the digital age, things are turning back to “old school” ways.

Generic drip emails asking for referrals are unlikely to be effective. While we can use technology to make a first contact with other professionals, scheduling face-to-face networking meetings for lunch or dinner, handwritten cards and phone/Zoom calls are key elements to build long-lasting business relationships.

5. Smart planning and delegating

Time is money. Real estate professionals do not have enough time to do it all alone and should not be investing valuable time in creating items such as brochures, photography and installing for-sale signs.

However, delegating is not always the simplest task. More than often, delegating means that things may not turn exactly as expected. It is important to not get stuck on a single issue and push things through to completion. Blocking time and prioritizing “money activities” is a smart way to boost income and productivity.

6. Tracking like an accountant

Track it all! This is how you can establish whether time is invested in the most productive way or not. Examples or items to track are dials, conversations, emails, leads, appointments set, appointments conducted, referrals, time spent on a task and much more.

One of the best tracking tools is a great Excel or Google Sheet with computed formulas that can be easily reviewed. You should know exactly how many calls are needed to get a client and how many clients taken will translate into a closed deal.

7. Building systems

Building systems is one of the most valuable assets for any business. Systems should be in place for just about anything.

For example, as a property is listed for sale, having a checklist and a ready-to-go vendor list will streamline the process and also allow the agent to present the process as a valuable asset for the sellers. In this case, the system can become part of the marketing plan.

8. Recruiting talent

You cannot do it all alone. Focus on your local market. Research what the competition is doing, or simply ask other real estate professionals who they’re using for their business needs. That said, not everyone is willing to share the “secret sauce.”

Inquiring other local businesses is also a great way to find talent. It is essential to not be shy and interview multiple individuals and companies to find what is most suitable for the business model.

There is no perfect fit, and the process should be ever-evolving. A mission statement and core values should be the framework of the process, but the process should always be evolving.

Upgrade the the present, succeed in the future

It is clear that creativity and versatility are essential qualities to building a strong foundation as well as keeping up with industry advancements for the present and future. This allows professionals to offer an up-to-date service that is above and beyond the competition. Present successes set up future opportunities.

Having passion, an ongoing adoption of a structured process and synergy of everything mentioned above is the ultimate key to deliver stellar outcomes in the real estate industry for the future ahead.

Marco Del Zotto is a Global Real Estate Advisor for LIV – Sotheby’s International Realty Breckenridge, CO. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

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