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This story was first published on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. It was updated on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. 

Read the news today and chances are you’ll come across a company announcing imminent layoffs, or a publicly traded brokerage reporting yet another round of disconcerting numbers and estimate shortfalls.

Times are challenging, indeed — in life and in real estate — and with another 21,434 new card-carrying National Association of Realtors members punching in as agents for the first time last year, competition for clients and commission dollars has never been more fierce. So it stands to reason that thriving, surviving, even staying afloat, has become more difficult than ever for new agents in 2023.

It’s for that reason that Inman set out, back in late 2021, to provide new agents the fundamentals from which to grow. Back then, we solicited advice from hundreds of the nation’s top Realtors and what we received in return was wisdom that went beyond the bromides to modern advice that touched on everything from the best sales philosophies in the new year to the efficacy of video text messaging.

With this year’s list, our second annual “New Agent Tips” feature, we reached out to many of the same top agents from our inaugural edition as well as many new participants, who emphasized lead generation, training and putting clients’ needs first — proving, once again, that some things never change.

So go ahead and peruse, skim and commit to memory the advice put forth by many of the top real estate agents working today, organized into categories, including technology, getting started and mentorships. And be sure to tweet the highlighted tips and salute the agents who took the time to share.

But if there’s one tip new agents should walk away with, perhaps it’s from Kyle Seyboth, founder of the Seyboth Team at Century 21 in Seekonk, Massachusetts, who said it best. Mixed metaphors, be damned!

“Throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks — then throw gasoline on the stuff that makes sense.”

Table of Contents


CHOOSING A FOCUS IN REAL ESTATE


Sniff out the underserved niche


Ben Caballero

HomesUSA.com

Real estate has many areas in which agents can specialize, at least 46 and counting. 

When I suggest specializing in a particular area of real estate, many will ask, “Which one?” I tell them to assess their skills, preferences, interests and background. In short, what do you like and what area of real estate could serve better than others?

In addition to commercial and residential options, there are apartments, land, farms and ranches, hospitality, industrial and short sales, to name a few. Plus, within those areas, there are leasing specialties. Here are two examples:

There is a very successful agent who specializes in restaurant properties. Restaurants turn over a lot, and he knows the business. Maybe he waited tables when he was in college.

Roger Staubach, the former Dallas Cowboy quarterback, created a very successful company specializing in representing companies leasing offices. He knew the market and used that knowledge to negotiate for tenants. It was a very underserved niche until he came along.

Ben Caballero is a licensed real estate agent with HomesUSA.com in Dallas,Texas. In 2020, he ranked #1 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 6,438.  Contact him here.


Don’t be a jack of all trades, master of none


Greg Harrelson

Greg Harrelson Team C21

As a new agent, you want to resist the temptation of trying to do everything you hear may work.

Focus on a few proven tasks — like daily prospecting — and repeat it every day. The faster you embrace repetitious boredom, the faster you build your production. 

Top producers get to the top by repeating the activities that get them business. Like, calling expireds every day. Or, talking to FSBO’s every day. 

Repetition leads you to skills mastery and once you master those skills, your conversion ratios will improve and now you have a predictable and duplicatable business.

Greg Harrelson is a licensed real estate agent with Century 21 The Harrelson Group in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In 2020, he ranked #168 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 139.50. Contact him here.



Focus on the areas you excel in


Libby Sosinski-Souilliard

Libby Sosinski-Souilliard

Keller Williams Realty: Pittsburgh South

My advice for any new agents is to SPECIALIZE.

Find the area of the business that you excel in, that you enjoy, that works best for you and become a specialist in that area. It can be a location, it can be an end of the business — hey, it can be a street. But become the go-to agent in that area that you choose. Learn it inside out and backwards. When you specialize, you succeed! 

Libby Sosinski-Souilliard is a licensed real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2022 she ranked #195 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 141.5. Contact her here. 


GETTING STARTED AS A REAL ESTATE AGENT


Make a schedule — and keep it


Ronni Glomb

Ronnie Glomb

Your Town Realty

From day one have a written schedule that you are going to follow. 

You must treat this business like a job. Always be early and always stay late!

The first investment is a CRM that you can afford. Create a profile for everyone you meet. Keep in constant contact with them. Always be adding people. 

Ronnie Glomb is a licensed real estate agent with Your Town Realty in Morristown, New Jersey. In 2022, he ranked #45 out of 250 agents for transaction sides. In 2021, he closed 242 transaction sides for a total of $137.83 million in sales volume. Contact him here. 


Get some training


Sunni Goentzel

Sunni Goentzel

Sunni Goentzel 

J.P. Weigand & Sons

Attend a Ninja Installation. You’ll learn so many valuable things, including how to best serve others, systems to have in place and tools that have proven results of success.

Sunni Goentzel is a licensed real estate agent with J.P. Weigand and Sons in Belle Plaine, Kansas. In 2021 she ranked #249 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 124. Contact her here. 


Avoid the shiny objects


Ryan Mathys

Ryan Mathys
Compass La Jolla

Avoid the shiny objects. Start with a very specific focused strategy and go deep on that until you have it mastered.

Agents are bombarded with dozens of holy grail systems and solutions for leads. Most agents never stay focused and committed long enough to see results. Pick one system, do it consistently for a year and you will get traction.

Something as simple as doing three open houses a week in the same area and building a buyers list to connect buyers and sellers. In 12 months, you’ll have hundreds of contacts and can create real value and be a connector.

Ryan Mathys is a licensed real estate agent with Compass La Jolla in La Jolla, CA. Contact him here.


Be a machine


Matt Menard

Matt Menard

Austin Real Estate Experts

To be successful, you must make the mental shift to view yourself as a “professional lead generator.”

As agents, finding business is the job, and conducting business is the reward.

Start by making sure you have a written database, preferably entered into a CRM (client relationship management) tool, and make sure everyone in your sphere of influence knows you are an agent and ready to serve their real estate needs as quickly as possible.

There are many distracting industry activities that feel like you are working in real estate, but unless you have all the business you can handle, you should be lead generating three hours per day, four to five days per week. 

Matt Menard is a licensed real estate agent with Austin Real Estate Experts, in Austin, Texas. In 2021, he ranked #8 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 483. Contact him here.



Get into the habit


Melissa Goldstein Tucci

Melissa Goldstein Tucci

Coldwell Banker West San Diego

Daily habits are imperative to this industry, let alone to a successful career.

Constantly doing the same tasks and items to create long-term beneficial outcomes is important to sticking with your habits and getting success out of them.

Like having a workout routine or eating healthy, having that same mindset in your real estate business and keeping things constant is what truly will get you the highest potential you can obtain and continue to allow you to grow personally and professionally.

Melissa Goldstein Tucci is a licensed real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in San Diego, California. During 2021, she ranked #130 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 150.30. Contact her here. 


CHOOSING A HOUSING MARKET


Study the MLS — every day


Nikki Lagouros, Property Collective

Nikki Lagouros

Nikki Lagouros

Property Collective

When I started, I studied the MLS every day, checking all different neighborhoods and knowing the Northern VA market like the back of my hand. 

Become a local market expert and see why your clients should choose you.

Nikki Lagouros is a licensed real estate agent with Property Collective in Great Falls, Virginia. In 2021, she ranked #155 out of approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 142. Contact her here


Learn the market you want to farm


Anna Sherrill

Anna Sherrill
ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

My advice for a new agent, join a team or shadow a top producer.

I would recommend someone that they look up to and want to be like. Learn the market for the area that you want to farm and host community events, send letters or postcards regularly. Be yourself! 

Anna Sherrill is a licensed agent and Vice President of Sales for ONE Sotheby’s International Realty in Miami, FL. Contact her here.


REAL ESTATE LEAD GENERATION


Keep it close to home


Mark Abdel

Mark Abdel

RE/MAX Advantage Plus

I’ve always been of the mindset to generate leads through my old database, asking for referrals from church and community groups.

Mark Abdel is a licensed real estate agent with RE/MAX Advantage Plus in Savage, Minnesota. In 2022 he ranked #56 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 225. Contact him here.


An open house every day of the year


Bruno Arapovic

Bruno Arapovic

HomeSmart Elite Group

If you’re a new real estate agent starting out in 2023, I would suggest picking an area and holding an open house every weekend for one year.

For safety, consider working with a colleague. Market your open house on the MLS and social media well in advance. Strategically place multiple open house signs, balloons and flags around the neighborhood.

To position yourself as a neighborhood expert, you must be consistent. Neighbors need to see your name on a regular basis, so if the budget permits, consistently send mailers to the entire neighborhood. In addition, consider sending creative mailers to expired listings. 

Bruno Arapovic is a licensed real estate agent with HomeSmart Elite Group in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2022 he ranked #10 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 632. Contact him here.


Be a politician


Amanda Bell, At Home Realty

Amanda Bell

Amanda Bell

At Home Realty

Remember, everyone you come in contact with is a potential client. Always put your best self out there. Being a Realtor is like being a politician: You will do a lot of shaking hands and kissing babies.

Amanda Bell is a licensed real estate agent with At Home Realty in Ashland City, Tennessee. In 2021, she ranked #53 out of 250 agents for transactions sides, with 201. Contact her here.


Keep an eye on the specs


Beau Blankenship

Beau Blankenship

Engel & Völkers 30A Beaches

One piece of advice I have for new agents beginning their careers in real estate is to create your own listings, especially during periods of low volume.

Building a relationship with investors interested in constructing spec homes and nurturing a network with them will help you create more housing opportunities to represent. Real estate advisors should put as much effort into building their network for future opportunities as they do into their current transactions.”

Beau Blankenship is a license partner and luxury real estate advisor and investor for Engel & Völkers 30A Beaches in Florida’s 30A market. In 2022, he ranked #96 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 181. Contact him here.



If it’s Sunday, it’s an open house


Stacey Hennessey

Stacey Hennessey & Co. Team C21

As a new agent, I had more time on my hands than money, so I would host open houses every Sunday.

If I didn’t have my own listings, I would ask to help other agents with their opens. 

Later in the afternoon and early evenings, I would call for sale by owners (FSBOs) and expireds. My first listing as an agent was for an FSBO. [The client] stopped me during my presentation and asked if I could follow him over to his fiance’s house because she needed to sell too. I got two listings. 

You never know what your day will bring. Build habits such as going into the office every day, time blocking, making those calls. They will pay off.  

Stacey Hennessey is a licensed real estate agent with Century 21 Stacey Hennessey & Co. in Appleton, Wisconsin. In 2021, she ranked #90 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 165.  Contact her here.


Narrow in on two neighborhoods


Anne Lusk

Anne Lusk

Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty

Find at least two neighborhoods of at least 100 homes.

Send handwritten notes, hand-addressed to every homeowner that’s not currently listed, offering to do a comparative market analysis of their property in this ever-changing market. 

Include last year’s previous sales.

Pick a neighborhood that is more of a starter neighborhood with a high inventory turnover.

It takes six contacts for the people to remember you. So the once-and-done approach won’t work! You need to be persistent and offer information that would be helpful to a future seller.

Research to make sure no one is in the do-not-call list and follow up with a phone call saying something such as, “Your neighbor’s home just went under contract. I’m sure other buyers missed out on getting this home. Now would be a great time to sell! When would be best to meet in person?”

Ask them if days, nights or weekends would work best. 

Anne Lusk is a licensed broker-owner with Lusk & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 2021, she ranked #94 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 163.25. Contact her here



Invite the neighbors


Katie Murphy

Katie Murphy

Shorewest Realtors

One thing that can really grow your business and does not cost a lot is holding open houses.

This allows you to get in front of people. When I hold an open house, I also invite the surrounding neighbors. I mail or put a flyer on the door, letting them know when it will be held.

You never know, they might be thinking of selling soon or have a family friend that might want to live close to them. If you don’t have your own properties to hold open houses, ask the agents in your office if you can help hold their new listings open. Make sure to give good feedback to the listing agent right after the open.

Katie Murphy is a licensed broker associate with Shorewest Realtors in Greenfield, Wisconsin. In 2021, she ranked #147 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 144.  Contact her here.


Outbound calls


Abe Safa

Abe Safa

Century 21 The Harrelson Group

One of the most valuable things a new agent can do early on in their career is get in the habit of lead generation daily! 

Leads are the lifeline of the business, and the sooner one starts, the quicker their career will take off.

There are many ways to lead generate. My personal choice was, and still is, outbound calls. I quickly built a sustainable business that got me to over 100 transactions a year by my third year in the business, and to over 170 by my sixth year.  

Generate leads, build a database, nurture that database, follow up when you are supposed to — and watch your business grow. Follow this strategy and watch how, year after year, you get more and more inbound calls from your database, past clients and referrals, and generate more business with less effort.

Start smart and you will grow fast.

Abe Safa is a licensed broker with Century 21 The Harrelson Group in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In 2021, he ranked #201 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 132. Contact him here



Attack your market with everything you’ve got


Mario Venancio | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach

Mario Venancio

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach

In generating leads I stick to the tried and true ways. Classic farming, postcards, door hangers, calling my sphere of influence, social media following the leaders in the industry and networking with Realtors throughout the country.

Follow the top agents on LinkedIn and Instagram. Posting strong content and supporting my followers. 

When listing a property or selling a property, I attack the area via social media, phone calls, postcards and market statistics. This is a constant process and, like any of my strategies, this must be done consistently, every day. You must continuously fill your pipeline. This is what has made me the #1 agent in New Jersey and nationally ranked by the Wall Street Journal for years. 

Mario Venancio is a licensed Realtor sales associate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach in Rumson, New Jersey. In 2021, he ranked #4 among approximately 191 agents for transaction sides, with 133. Contact him here



A lot of this stuff is free, people


Ryan White

Ryan White

RE/MAX Alliance

Take advantage of free lead-generating activities.

Open houses, social media video marketing, and contacting your sphere of influence to remind them you are in the industry are huge. Taking advantage of as much free education from title companies, lenders, board of Realtors, etc. will help you become the expert and give you ideas for video content.

Ryan White is a licensed real estate agent with RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland, Colorado. In 2022 he ranked #99 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 178. Contact him here.


NURTURING LEADS


Have a process for following up


Kendall Butler

Kendall Butler

F.L.I. Properties

As a new or seasoned real estate agent, You MUST prove your value to earn clients.

Most buyers start searching the market and talking with multiple agents about homes 6-12 months in advance of purchasing. You must stand out as a market expert and provide knowledge they are not finding elsewhere.

Not only do you need to be the market expert and be able to communicate this effectively, you also must have a process for follow up and being their agent of choice once they DO get ready to purchase.

Kendall Butler is owner and broker of F.L.I. Properties in LaGrange, Georgia. In 2022, she closed $33.8 million in sales volume. Contact her here.


Send out an e-newsletter


Connie Dornan

Connie Dornan

Christie’s International Real Estate

Many times new brokers spend an absurd amount of time and money on lead generation. But at the end of the day, one’s best lead source is their own sphere.

Make it known to your friends and family that you are a broker. Get involved in community-based events and associations. Host open houses, and if you don’t have any listings, reach out to a busy broker that may need help.

Add your own sphere and include the new people that you meet into your customer relationship management system.

Send out e-newsletters, start a podcast and post regularly on social media so when people think or see you, they automatically associate you with real estate.

Connie Dornan is a licensed real estate agent with the @properties brand of Christie’s International Real Estate. In 2022, she ranked #130 out of the top 250 agents by transaction sides, with 163. She works in Glenview, Illinois. Contact her here.


Get back to what matters


Khalil El-Ghoul

Khalil El-Ghoul 

Glass House Real Estate

Less Masterminds, less events, and more real relationships with real buyers and sellers.

Figure out where and how you want to connect with new prospects and double down on creating new relationships and communities in our new post-pandemic world.

Khalil El-Ghoul is the principal broker and founder of Glass House Real Estate, a modern real estate company serving Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia with over $500 million in homes sold since 2010. Contact him here.


Network amongst people you want to work with


Lauren Freedman

Lauren Freedman

Coldwell Banker

Invest in yourself and your brand. Make yourself stand out amongst the competition.

Market yourself, and advertise yourself and what you have to offer.

Network amongst people you want to work with and surround yourself with like-minded people.

Lauren Freedman is an associate broker with Coldwell Banker in Branford, Connecticut. In 2022, she ranked #58 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 221. Contact her here.


Organize a tour for newcomers


Melissa Greer

Melissa Greer

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Yost & Little Realty

Learn as much about your area as possible and develop a newcomer tour to sell the area.

Get involved in local nonprofits. Support the community that you hope will support your business.

Work on becoming the local real estate expert in your area.

Melissa Greer is a licensed agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 2021, she ranked #87 out of  approximately 250 agents nationwide for transaction sides, with 170. Contact her here. 


Consultative Sales


Steven Koleno, EXIT Realty

Steven Koleno, EXIT Realty and The Koleno Group

Steven Koleno

EXIT Strategy Realty

The success of agents in the future both new and old, will be based on understanding that the consumer’s  behavior has been forever changed. A new agent would benefit more by learning new sales approaches like Consultative Sales over the outdated sales tactics still taught today.

Consultative selling focuses on building a relationship with a consumer, understanding their problems, and developing innovative solutions to their challenges. Consultative selling puts the consumer’s needs over the needs of the salesperson. So simply listen and help the consumer achieve their goals.

This valuable approach will give a new agent a good start at early success.

Steven Koleno is a licensed broker with EXIT Realty and the president of the Koleno Group in Chicago, Illinois. In 2021, he ranked #23 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 264.5. Contact him here.


Give back to get back


Mario Venancio

Mario Venancio

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach

Giving back to the community is key. 

I sponsor charities, schools and community events.

As a result, I often get referrals from people I’ve never met. I attack every angle consistently so when people decide to buy or sell, they’ve seen me in so many different ways over many years I’m the go-to agent. Trustworthy and committed to the best interests of my clients. 

Mario Venancio is a licensed Realtor sales associate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach in Rumson, New Jersey. In 2021, he ranked #4 among approximately 191 agents for transaction sides, with 133. Contact him here.


WORKING WITH REAL ESTATE CLIENTS


You’re an educator, NOT a salesperson


Kendall Butler

Kendall Butler

F.L.I. Properties

Don’t settle with what they “want” for their home. 

Educate the seller and inform them of their equity and prepare them for realistic expectations. 

Make it your goal to earn every client for life, not for one transaction. 

You are an educator, NOT a salesperson.

Kendall Butler is owner and broker of F.L.I. Properties in LaGrange, Georgia. In 2022, she closed $33.8 million in sales volume. Contact her here.



Transparency is key


Nikki Lagouros, Property Collective

Nikki Lagouros

Nikki Lagouros

Property Collective

Stay strong and be consistent.

Know what it takes to craft winning offers and be very transparent with your clients on what kind of market we’re in. 

Prepare them for the aggressiveness in the market because a lot of people are purchasing their first home with the interest rates being so low.

Nikki Lagouros is a licensed real estate agent with Property Collective in Great Falls, Virginia. In 2021, she ranked #155 out of approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 142. Contact her here


Manage expectations


Laurie Lundeen

Laurie Lundeen

Coldwell Banker Realty 

Working for your clients means managing your clients’ expectations and keeping them within the boundaries of the contract.

Keep good records and know your numbers – numbers never lie!

Laurie Lundeen is a licensed real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Realty in Green Valley, AZ. In 2022, she ranked #231 out of 250 agents for transactions sides, with 136. Contact her here.


You are the face of your business


Ryan Shedlock

Ryan Shedlock

Howard Hanna Real Estate

Embrace your strengths. Who you are is your value proposition to your clients and that’s what will separate you from others.

Stand out by being genuine and true to yourself. Believe in yourself and your product and others will follow. Think of your brand as how you want to convey yourself to others. Always remember, you are the face of your business. 

Ryan Shedlock is a real estate agent with Howard Hanna based in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2022, he ranked #32 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 290. Contact him here.


Be nice


Darlene Streit

Sotheby’s International Realty

Communicating respectfully is key for success, along with setting realistic expectations for how the transaction process will unfold. 

My advice is not to get emotional, and realize this is a business transaction. Keep your eye on the end result, which is a successful outcome for all involved, whatever that may wind up looking like. 

Darlene Streit is a licensed real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Real Estate in Santa Fe, NM. In 2021, she ranked #17 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 286.  Contact her here.


Adapt or die


Kimberly Taylor

Kimberly Taylor

NextHome First Class

You must always transition to the needs of the buyers and sellers.

Inflation, COVID and politics are current obstacles that we have to transform to and overcome to be able to succeed in this business.

Today’s real estate world has changed drastically.   

Kimberly Taylor is a licensed real estate agent with NextHome First Class in Freeport, Illinois. In 2021, she ranked #21 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 276.  Contact her here.


It’s a big deal


Mary Wallace

Mary Wallace

Coldwell Banker Realty

Remember, it’s a privilege to help people with one of the most important transactions of their life. 

If your heart is focused on helping others and you are willing to put in the effort, you can be very successful! 

Mary Wallace is a licensed broker with Coldwell Banker Realty in Oak Lawn, Illinois. In 2022, she ranked #84 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 192. Contact her here.



THE REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION


Pile up your sales early


Blake Cannon

Blake Cannon

Cannon Cleary McGraw

Pile on your sales as early as possible, do the incredible job that every Inman subscriber does and NEVER EVER stop learning and implementing. 

Create such momentum and success that your competitors stop trying to beat you. Go get em’!”

Blake Cannon is an associate broker and partner with Cannon Cleary McGraw in Oxford, MS. Since starting real estate in January 2007, Blake has closed over $125 million in real estate transactions with the #1 ranked firm in Oxford, MS. Contact him here.


All transactions are different


Melissa Greer

Melissa Greer

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Yost & Little Realty

Never get complacent or stop trying to improve and learn new ways of doing business. Never think you know it all. Keep up with market trends and know your business.

Be creative and think outside the box. All transactions are different.

Melissa Greer is a licensed real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 2021, she ranked #87 out of  out of approximately 250 agents nationwide for transaction sides, with 170. Contact her here. 


Don’t sweat the small stuff


Darlene Streit

Darlene Streit

Sotheby’s International Realty 

Avoid getting lost in the details.

Buyers and sellers often fixate on a minor issue and want to terminate because of it. I routinely move to a successful closing by providing alternate perspectives, which changes the focus on an issue that could cause a deal to falter. And the issues almost always melt away. 

Clients are often emotionally overwhelmed by a real estate transaction and look to me for solutions. Maintaining perspective while communicating respectfully has helped me close many deals that would have been lost otherwise. This generates referrals, repeat business, and bolsters my productivity significantly.

Darlene Streit is a licensed real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Real Estate in Santa Fe, NM. In 2021, she ranked #17 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 286.  Contact her here.


Treat every transaction as if it were your own


Stephanie Vitacco

Stephanie Vitacco

Keller Williams Encino-Sherman Oaks 

My advice would be to look at each transaction as if it were your own or that of your family.

Never think about the money and always put your client first. Taking care of their needs is a must. If you put their needs first, your own will follow. Give yourself time to learn your craft. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or admit when you don’t know something.

Clients will appreciate and sense when you have their best interest at heart.

Stephanie Vitacco is a licensed real estate agent for Keller Williams in Encino, California. In 2021, she ranked #58 out of approximately 250 agents nationwide for transaction sides, with 193.5. Contact her here


Your sphere might be too small


Mary Wallace

Mary Wallace

Coldwell Banker Realty

As sales are scaling back to what we have seen in more balanced markets, Realtors who want to succeed this year have to keep their nose to the grindstone.

If you’re not setting aside time for prospecting four to five days a week, your pipeline will not be steadily full.

Reaching out to your sphere — which can be described as anyone you know — is critical. If your sphere is not in need of real estate services, then you need to build your sphere by meeting new people. Join a club, local business organization, introduce yourself to people everywhere you go).

Mary Wallace is a licensed broker with Coldwell Banker Realty in Oak Lawn, Illinois. In 2022, she ranked #84 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 192. Contact her here


RETAINING REAL ESTATE CLIENTS


Success comes in waves


Mark Abdel

Mark Abdel

RE/MAX Advantage Plus

Dream big, have a plan, and execute by closing deals with integrity and building relationships.

Success comes in waves, and the most resilient agent builds long-term relationships by always putting the client first.  

Mark Abdel is a licensed real estate agent with RE/MAX Advantage Plus in Savage, Minnesota. In 2021, he ranked #75 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 178.  Contact him here.


The difference between a gas furnace and an oil boiler


Kamil Andrukiewicz

New Haus Group

An agent today needs to be more than a door-opener.

New agents should take every opportunity possible to learn as much as they can about everything related in our industry. We have so many new agents coming into the real estate world that are just looking to get by. This will not work for you if you aren’t here for the long haul. Customers are looking for experts, for advisers, and you should be all of those things.

Study up on the basics of a house — the structure, the mechanicals — and make sure you can tell the difference between a gas furnace and an oil boiler. These are simple things that will make you stand out. 

Kamil Andrukiewicz is a licensed real estate agent for New Haus Group in New Britain, Connecticut. In 2021, he ranked #191 out of the top 250 agents by transaction sides, with 133. Contact him here.

Meet the parents


Cindy Cahill

Cindy Cahill

Realty Executives Select

It’s not about the pay — the pay comes when you do a good job for your clientele. 

If you truly care about the needs of your clients, they’ll feel that and will be lifelong clients and refer their friends and family. 

Starting early — collecting your “spheres of influence” to stay in touch — is extremely helpful. Stay in front of them to “remind” them you are there to help them.

Cindy Cahill is a licensed broker with Realty Executives Select in Taylor Mill, Kentucky. In 2021, she ranked #34 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 240. Contact her here


Starbucks card for the win


Stacey Hennessey

Stacey Hennessey

Stacey Hennessey & Co. Team C21

From time to time I send a note card with a gift card for Starbucks, Panera, etc., to random past clients saying it is “random acts of kindness day, and today is your lucky day.” 

That’s always a hit, and very appreciated.

Stacey Hennessey is a licensed real estate agent with Century 21 Stacey Hennessey & Co. in Appleton, Wisconsin. In 2021, she ranked #90 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 165.  Contact her here.


First servant, then a leader


Rory Hertzberg

Rory Hertzberg

Coldwell Banker

The best advice I ever received was from my grandfather before he passed, and I truly believe it has helped me far more in life than any other thing I’ve ever learned. I tell everyone I know, including our newer and existing agents at the office, and I welcome them to share it with others.

The best piece of advice I could give is what my grandfather told me, that he believed “the greatest route to success was to put others’ needs in front of yours and you’ll always be successful no matter what.”

Whether in his career, church, politics or military service, he always put others’ needs in front of his, and that made him the greatest and most successful person I knew. I strive to live my life along that belief.

He also kept this wonderful piece of advice in his wallet, which I now have and keep in my wallet so every time I open my wallet I’m reminded of him and how he served others. One side says ‘First servant, then a leader’ and then the other side says ‘How can I bless my wife’s life today?’”

Rory Hertzberg is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Bradley, Illinois. In 2022, he ranked #82 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 196. Contact him here.


Hand-written personal notes


Richard Leasure

Richard Leasure
Howard Hannah Real Estate

Every day, I start at 8:00 a.m., and first thing, I send out 12 personal hand-written notes to customers and friends on my mailing list.

I do daily searches for my active buyers and email them any new listings that look like they may work. Call my sellers at least twice per week.

The most effective thing for me is the hand-written personal notes. They are really nice cards with seasonal themes, and a typical one merely says hello and wishes them well.

Richard Leasure is a licensed real estate agent with Howard Hannah Real Estate in Rochester, NY. In 2022 he ranked #239 out of 250 agents for transactions sides, with 134. Contact him here.


Be responsive


Jason Saphire

Jason Saphire

HomeZu

Be as responsive as possible.

I’ve found the number one attribute mentioned in my 700-plus reviews is how responsive I am. Whenever a client calls, they speak with a live person.

I highly recommend utilizing a 24/7 live answering service for when you’re not available. Even if the receptionist just takes a message and says you’ll call them back, it’s better than the call going straight to your voicemail.

Also, tell clients you check and respond to emails continuously throughout the day. Clients don’t expect you to respond at midnight, but if you do, they’ll be very impressed. I end all my emails with, “Feel free to call/email with any questions, and I can walk you through anything.” Ninety-nine percent of the time, the client won’t bother you, but it makes them feel like you’re their personal go-to expert.

Jason Saphire is the founder and principal broker of HomeZu. In 2022, he ranked #8 out of the top 250 agents by transaction sides, with 704. Contact him here.


REAL ESTATE BRANDING & MARKETING


Set yourself apart


Chris Carr

Chris Carr 

Simple Choice Realty

Differentiate yourself.

Close to 3 million people hold a real estate license in the U.S.A. Figure out a way to set yourself apart whether that be your business model, the type of home you list and sell, the technology you use, or something else. Be different. Be exclusive. Find a niche. And then whatever you do, be the best at it.

Chris Carr is the broker-owner of Simple Choice Realty Inc. and a founder of national flat-fee listing service HomeZu.com. Chris has been doing flat-fee “à la carte” listing services for almost 20 years. Contact him here.


Build your brand by being front and center


Evelyn Dean

Evelyn Dean

RE/MAX Elite

I tell new agents to always work their spheres of influence, staying in front of people to always be building your brand.

Don’t wait for business to come to you. Personal touch is the most valuable tool we have. 

Evelyn Dean is a licensed real estate agent with RE/MAX Elite in Conway, Arkansas. In 2021 she ranked #219 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 129. Contact her here.


Communicate who you are the old fashioned way


Christa Huffstickler

Christa Huffstickler

Engel & Völkers Atlanta

Although the way we advertise, the tools we use to communicate and transact business have changed, the core fundamental of our business remains the same: It is built on relationships.

First, build your foundation by focusing on your sphere of influence. New technology, social media and digital marketing are all building blocks that should be utilized — but they are not your foundation. 

Second, align yourself with successful people. Now more than ever, successful real estate agents need assistance with their business. Find ways to add value as a mentee, or better yet, secure a position as an assistant. This will provide connectivity to the market and opportunities to grow.

Christa Huffstickler is founder and CEO of Engel & Völkers Atlanta. In 2022, she ranked #61 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 217. Contact her here.


Learn body language


Gary Newton

Gary Newton

RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals

My advice to new agents is to market yourself like crazy. Educate yourself on construction. Learn how to speak publicly. Articulate your points well. And be able to convey value to your client before you ask for their business.

Also get some training on how to be approachable, learn body language, and develop a great skill set with social dynamics. And then just show up. Pick up your phone when people call. It is the greatest gift they can give you. It is the lifeblood of your business and your livelihood. Be sure to show gratitude in all you do.”

Gary Newton is president and CEO of Newton Realty Group LLC at RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals in Lansing, Michigan. In 2022, he ranked #162 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 152. Contact him here.


Get out and stay out


Kimberly Taylor, NextHome First Class

Kimberly Taylor

NextHome First Class

As a new agent carving out a career, it’s important to start making your brand. Name and face recognition matter. When people think of real estate, they need to think of YOU! Work your sphere of influence. 

Building your brand includes volunteering in the community — schools, churches, social organizations. 

Be present at any public marketing opportunities. I come from a town of about 25,000. I was young, eager and determined to succeed.  

Connect with people who understand the housing market. Network with lenders, appraisers and inspectors. As you grow in this business, you’ll begin to rely on all of them for referrals and you’ll be happy to pass them along as well. 

Kimberly Taylor is a licensed real estate agent with NextHome First Class in Freeport, Illinois. In 2021, she ranked #21 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 276.  Contact her here.


Be very online


Greg White

Imagine Home Realty

My advice for our new agents has always been, find a way to make yourself stick out without spending a ton of money to do so.

Get creative. Find ways to reach people without paid advertising. Something like 85 percent of real estate transactions initiate online these days. Make yourself known there. 

Be the first person that every person you know thinks of when it comes time to buy or sell. The days of farming a neighborhood and sending out a calendar once a year are over.

Greg White is principal broker-owner of Imagine Home Realty in Warren, Michigan. In 2021, he ranked #25 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 258. Contact him here.



MANAGING YOUR TIME AS A REAL ESTATE AGENT


Law of large numbers


Amanda Bell, At Home Realty

Amanda Bell

Amanda Bell

At Home Realty

Time is your most valuable commodity, and you have to figure out how to meet the most potential clients.

Not all of them will pan out, but it only takes one to get the ball rolling.

Amanda Bell is a licensed real estate agent with At Home Realty in Ashland City, Tennessee. In 2021 she ranked #53 out of 250 agents for transactions sides, with 201. Contact her here.


Create daily goals, and stick to them


Beau Blankenship

Beau Blankenship

Engel & Völkers 30A Beaches

One piece of advice for new agents beginning their real estate career is to stay consistent. 

Real estate is a game of longevity, no matter what market you’re working in. Create daily goals and hold yourself accountable. If you stay consistent and grind full time, you will create your own success.

Not many agents will succeed right away. Don’t give up because success is in the long-term game.

Beau Blankenship is a license partner and real estate adviser with Engel & Völkers 30A Beaches in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. In 2021, he ranked #36 among approximately 250 agents by sales volume, with $249,048,606. Contact him here.


Fill the holes in your calendar


Darren James

Darren James

eXp Realty

The death of a Realtor, or salesperson for that matter? White space on your calendar.

There’s a huge difference between being busy, and being productive. Fill the white space on your calendar.

Use video to create content and fill the white space. Interview a business owner, and post the interview to their social pages and yours. Give a tip each week on the housing market to your database and social followers.

Give a highlight of yourself, something you like doing outside of work. An inside glimpse into your life will showcase your authenticity. A neighborhood report each week can drive traffic to your website or social channels. Content is king and everlasting. Make the most of it and provide as much value as possible.

Darren James is a licensed real estate agent with eXp Realty in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2022, he ranked #36 out of the top 250 agents by transaction sides, with 267. Contact him here.


Early to bed, early to rise


Edna Kimble

Edna Kimble

Century 21 Wright Real Estate

Don’t buy into the adage that a successful Realtor needs to be up till midnight working deals.

Ninety-nine percent of everything you do after 9 p.m. is junk. 

Early to bed. Get lots of sleep and respond with a clear mind at 7 a.m. instead.  

Edna Kimble is a licensed realtor for Century 21 Wright Real Estate and has worked in real estate for almost 20 years in Cherokee County, Oklahoma. She has been the #1 Century 21 Agent in the United States for the past 2 consecutive years. Kimble closed over 202 units in 2021 and led a team of 3 that closed a combined total of 345 units. Contact her here


Set aside time for follow-ups


Nikki Lagouros, Property Collective

Nikki Lagouros

Nikki Lagouros

Property Collective

The hardest part about being a Realtor is following up.

Always block out one or two hours dedicated to following up with your leads and clients.

Nikki Lagouros is a licensed real estate agent with Property Collective in Great Falls, Virginia. In 2021, she ranked #155 out of approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 142. Contact her here



It’s not a 9-to-5


Gary Newton

Gary Newton

RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals

Get to work. 

This is not a 9-5. It’s 60-plus-hour work weeks. 

Gary Newton is president and CEO of Newton Realty Group LLC at RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals in Lansing, Michigan. In 2022, he ranked #162 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 152. Contact him here.


Time blocking is key


Stephannie Wilson

Stephannie Wilson

Schuler Bauer Real Estate ERA Powered

Agents need to develop a business plan right from the start. And start time blocking each week!

Develop daily habits of making those calls and social media. The more that you follow up and show up the more successful your business will become!

Stephannie Wilson is a licensed real estate agent with Schuler Bauer Real Estate ERA Powered in New Albany, Indiana. In 2022 she ranked #155 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 155.25. Contact her here.  


MANAGING MONEY AS A REAL ESTATE AGENT


Patience and persistence


Blake Cannon

Blake Cannon

Cannon Cleary McGraw

If you’re smart, industrious, and conscientious, you will succeed on your own through patience, persistence, constant learning and implementation. 

The leads and sales that you will obtain in short order will allow you to exponentially compound your business over time. The high number of sales you make in the beginning is like investing a huge chunk of money early on and letting compounding interest do its job.

Blake Cannon is an associate broker and partner with Cannon Cleary McGraw in Oxford, MS. Since starting real estate in January 2007, Blake has closed over $125 million in real estate transactions with the #1 ranked firm in Oxford, MS. Contact him here.


Set up an LLC early


Meghan Oliver Clarkson

Meghan Oliver Clarkson

Long & Foster Real Estate

You must treat this career as a business.

I wish a seasoned agent would have told me when I first started the importance of setting myself up as an LLC. It would have been easier in the long run had I known to consult with a CPA in the beginning. Doing it early sets you up for the benefits for when you start earning a decent income. 

Meghan Oliver Clarkson is a licensed real estate agent with Long & Foster Real Estate in Chincoteague Island, Virginia. In 2022, she ranked #133 out of approximately 250 real estate agents for transactions sides, with 162.33. Contact her here.


Establish a marketing budget


Christa Huffstickler

Christa Huffstickler

Engel & Völkers Atlanta

Remember that you are a business.

Establish a business plan, set goals, establish a marketing budget and follow through every day.

Bottom line; don’t get distracted. Stay focused on building your foundation and layer in technology and tools as you grow.

Christa Huffstickler is founder and CEO of Engel & Völkers Atlanta. In 2022, she ranked #61 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 217. Contact her here.


Keep track of every minute detail


Laurie Lundeen

Laurie Lundeen

Coldwell Banker Realty 

Agents need to approach the real estate business with business principles.

That will start by understanding that you are the CEO of your business and take full responsibility for everything.

New agents should have a system in place for tracking and managing every minute detail of each transaction. Instead of hiring assistants, agents should be thinking about developing relationships with vendors and real estate affiliate partners. Your affiliate partners are part of your team. Concentrate and specialize in listings. Listings are “golden” and will drive your business to new heights!

Laurie Lundeen is a licensed real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Realty in Green Valley, AZ. In 2022, she ranked #231 out of 250 agents for transactions sides, with 136. Contact her here.


Jamie Wong

Jamie Wong

RE/MAX Fine Properties

Track inflation and appreciation of the consumers’ assets.

If you can quantify the increase of appreciation during the last three years and showcase what it was during the former three years, this allows sellers to understand our markets have always and will always adjust.

Learn to be adaptable.

Jamie Wong is a licensed broker with RE/MAX Fine Properties in Flagstaff, Arizona. In 2022, she ranked #144 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 158.5. Contact her here.


COLLEAGUES, PEERS & MENTORS IN REAL ESTATE


Bring in a top producer, and share the wealth


Ben Bacal

Ben Bacal
Revel Real Estate

You have to push yourself to get out of your comfort zone.

You can start by saying hello to a complete stranger. Bring them something of value such as a potential buyer or a pocket listing they can share with a friend who may be looking to move in their area. Just start a conversation and ask if they would sell themselves.

Once you have a deal, one sure way to ensure your success is leverage. Obtain that exclusive listing by bringing in a top producer who already has a resume of solds. Half of something is better than all of nothing and this is especially useful when you are trying to break into the luxury market. 

Ben Bacal is a licensed real estate agent the founder of Revel Real Estate in Los Angeles, CA. Contact him here.


Find a listing agent and take notes


Jude Hodge

Jude Hodge

RE/MAX Coast and Country

As an agent, I modeled myself after other successful agents on day one.

They all have one thing in common — they were successful listing agents. Being a listing agent is not easy because it’s very competitive, and you must do excellent work, with photography, drones, videos, 3D tours and paid additional marketing, among other skills. 

I’ve focused my career on being that agent, and I still focus on learning and being the best I can be. I recommend learning as much as possible about listing a home.

Judge Hodge is a full-time licensed real estate broker for RE/MAX Coast & Country in Brookings, Oregon. In 2022, she ranked #192 out of the top 250 agents in the U.S. for transaction sides, with 142. Contact her here.


Befriend a top producer


Darin Greear

Darin Greear

Long & Foster Real Estate

I always tell newer agents to befriend one or more top producers in their office and ask if you can help them with showings, put up signs, or anything at all.

Most top producers are willing to help a newer person out because everyone was new at one point and they may have some business that they can pass on to you. 

You must always be willing to help when they call.

Darin Greear is a licensed real estate agent with Long & Foster Real Estate in Blacksburg, Virginia. In 2021, he ranked #109 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 155.48. Contact him here



Don’t forget the other guy


Cindy Martins

Keller Williams Realty Georgia Communities

Remember your relationship with fellow agents is extremely important. They are your internal customer and a valuable asset.

Customers and clients may be a one time transaction, but you’ll work with the agents for many years. 

Cindy Martins is a licensed real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Georgia Communities in Albany, Georgia. Contact her here.


Be the agent everyone wants to work with


Katie Murphy

Katie Murphy

Shorewest Realtors

When I first started, an agent told me to make sure you are the agent that everyone wants to work with.

I took that piece of advice and stuck to it. In all of my transactions, I make sure that agent is going to enjoy working with me so the next time they see my name on an offer or I am showing their listing they want to work with me.

I’ve gotten many accepted offers just because the other agent knew me and [was] confident I would make sure the transaction went smoothly and would make it to the closing table. Real estate [is] a relationship business. That does not only mean with our clients. It also means the agents we are working with on the other side of the deal.

Katie Murphy is a licensed broker associate with Shorewest Realtors in Greenfield, Wisconsin. In 2021, she ranked #147 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 144.  Contact her here.


Reputation, reputation, reputation


Pam Price

Pam Price

RE/MAX Advantage Realty

Your reputation will be worth your weight in gold and worth far more than any lead generation.

Being a top producer since my first year in real estate consisted of me working multiple open houses every weekend, writing handwritten notes, building relationships with other agents, and going to every class I could find.

Giving back to your community is extremely important as well. Use social media to its fullest and build your followers.

Remember, this is one of the only careers where the sky is the limit, and you get out of it what you put in it. 

Pam Price is a licensed real estate agent in Laurel, Delaware. In 2021, she ranked #74 out of the top 250 agents by transaction sides, with 179. Contact her here.


STAYING EDUCATED


Every opportunity is a gift


Kendall Butler

Kendall Butler

F.L.I. Properties

Opportunity leads to opportunity.

Treat every single opportunity as a gift. Even if you don’t win the account, the opportunity should be a learning experience.

Kendall Butler is owner and broker of F.L.I. Properties in LaGrange, Georgia. In 2022, she closed $33.8 million in sales volume. Contact her here.


Podcasts for the win


Sunni Goentzel

Sunni Goentzel

Sunni Goentzel

J.P. Weigand & Sons

Never stop learning. 

Immerse yourself in classes, podcasts, news articles, research, groups and your community.

Sunni Goentzel is a licensed real estate agent with J.P. Weigand and Sons in Belle Plaine, Kansas. In 2021 she ranked #249 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 124. Contact her here.



It takes commitment to keep up on your niche


Jonathan Minerick

Jonathan Minerick

Founder | Homecoin

There are an endless amount of things to learn about any niche and it takes commitment to stay current on it.

Clients will recognize the value you bring to any transaction and will want to include you as a trusted advisor. Instead of focusing on marketing yourself, focus on learning and sharing knowledge.

Hyper-specialize in a particular niche of real estate. Know every minute detail surrounding that niche, and share that knowledge freely.

Jonathan Minerick is the founder of homecoin.com in San Diego. In 2022, he ranked #5 individual agent for transaction sides, with 1,116. He ranked #9 by sales volume, with $598.5 million. Contact him here.


Shut up and listen!


Brody Tarter

RE/MAX Evolve 

Shut the hell up and listen. STOP TALKING! Watch and listen.

No one cares what you did previously as a teacher, bank teller, stay-at-home mom or paralegal.

Nothing prepares you to be a successful agent like listening and watching top agents around you.

I’ll be the first to share and save everyone time. Your 90 hour pre-licensing class you took online while you ate a frozen pizza and stayed in your pajamas all day isn’t going to prepare you!

Listen to understand, not to respond!

Brody Tarter is a licensed real estate agent with RE/MAX Evolve in Winchester, IN. Brody consistently closes more than 250 transactions per year. Contact him here.


Keep an eye on Inman


Mario Venancio

Mario Venancio

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach

Read every day.

Updates from Inman are excellent, top agents and top coaches.

Be responsive at all times and provide a level of service people deserve.

Read one self improvement book per month.

Mario Venancio is a licensed Realtor sales associate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach in Rumson, New Jersey. In 2021, he ranked #4 among approximately 191 agents for transaction sides, with 133. Contact him here.


Don’t sleep on self-improvement books


Mary Wallace

Mary Wallace

Coldwell Banker Realty

As you familiarize yourself with the basics (MLS, showing systems, lockboxes), create a spreadsheet of everyone you know to start building your sphere of influence. 

Then reach out with valuable information personally and through social media. Read a self improvement book per month and listen to podcasts to help sharpen your people and problem solving skills. 

Mary Wallace is a licensed broker with Coldwell Banker Realty in Oak Lawn, Illinois. In 2022, she ranked #84 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 192. Contact her here.


REAL ESTATE TEAMS


Join a team to learn the ropes


Paula Burrows
EXp Realty  / The Paula Burrows Team

Working with a mentor or a real estate team is a benefit for a new agent to learn the business.

Answer your phone, follow up and follow through. Volunteer in your community, and give your time. People need to know, like and trust you.

Always put your clients first and make sure to keep in touch with them often after the transaction closes. Your clients are lifetime friends and referral partners. Use a CRM daily. Customer Service is #1 with Integrity-Ethics-Honesty.

Paula Burrows is a licensed real estate agent with the Paula Burrows Team eXp Realty in Toledo, WA. Contact her here.


Want more sales? Join a team


Blake Cannon

Blake Cannon

Cannon Cleary McGraw

If you start on your own, working to obtain your own leads, you may receive a higher commission split, but decide whether or not it’s worth a larger percentage of a potentially smaller number of sales. 

Blake Cannon is an associate broker and partner with Cannon Cleary McGraw in Oxford, MS. Since starting real estate in January 2007, Blake has closed over $125 million in real estate transactions with the #1 ranked firm in Oxford, MS. Contact him here.


Seek out a busy listing agent


Laurie McCarty

Laurie McCarty

Coldwell Banker Preferred Realtors

My best piece of advice for new agents is to consider joining a real estate team! 

As a new agent, you will join a brokerage but consider joining a team within that brokerage. Look for a team spearheaded by a busy listing Agent! This agent will typically have a large overflow of buyers and will pass those leads onto their team members.

Another perk? You’ll be learning the ropes of the business from a seasoned agent and receiving the support of a team backing you (e.g. transaction coordinator, marketing team, etc.).

Laurie McCarty is the owner and a sellers agent with The McCarty Group at Coldwell Banker Preferred Realtors in Bakersfield, California. In 2021 she ranked #90 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 165. Contact her here.



REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY


Answer your phone


Meghan O. Clarkson, Long & Foster Eastern Shore

Meghan O. Clarkson

Meghan Oliver Clarkson

Long & Foster Real Estate

ANSWER YOUR PHONE! If you can’t answer, text the caller that you’ll call back in a certain time frame.

You can have all the technology & all the fancy systems but if you don’t have follow through and you don’t pick up the phone, you won’t survive in any market. 

Meghan Oliver Clarkson is a licensed real estate agent with Long & Foster Real Estate in Chincoteague Island, Virginia. In 2022, she ranked #133 out of approximately 250 real estate agents for transactions sides, with 162.33. Contact her here.



Get your ducks in a row with an economical CRM system


David Cobb

RE/MAX 10 New Lenox

Get your ducks in a row!

Get a good, economical CRM system in place for your leads and future clients. You don’t need to spend a fortune on this.  You may also want to upgrade it in the future.

This system will help you organize, maintain and nurture your current and future leads, sellers and buyers.

Having this system in place from the start will allow you to focus on lead generation and client engagement. You may not have many clients now, but if you put the work in, they will come. Now get to work!

David J. Cobb is a licensed real estate agent with RE/MAX 10 in New Lenox, Illinois. In 2021, he ranked 249 out of approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 124. Contact him here


Choose your CRM wisely


Connie Dornan

Connie Dornan

@properties Glenview North

There are several pertinent decisions and investments to make when starting a career in real estate, but the most basic that will help launch all the other steps one needs to make — the CRM. 

Choose a CRM that you can afford and one that is easy to use, but make sure it also has capabilities of upgrading/customizing when your business grows to amazing heights.

Alternatively, your brokerage may offer a CRM as well. Upload all your friends, family and acquaintances. Associate their birthdays, closing anniversaries, other pertinent information about the individual and create reminders within your CRM. This will give you an opportunity to connect with these individuals. 

It’s on these connections that you will build and grow your business along with managing your finances and what your ROI is on marketing/advertising activities.

Connie Dornan is a licensed real estate agent with the @properties brand of Christie’s International Real Estate. In 2022, she ranked #130 out of the top 250 agents by transaction sides, with 163. She works in Glenview, Illinois. Contact her here.


It’s not rocket science: Answer the phone 


Darin Greear

Darin Greear

Long & Foster Real Estate

I help train a lot of new agents in our office and my advice to all newer agents is pretty simple; it’s not rocket science: Answer your phone.

It seems simple, but when your phone rings, someone is wanting your help and they called you. That is your best potential hot lead and you need to answer it ASAP.

If you’re in a meeting with another client, then you must call them back ASAP if you miss a call.

Darin Greear is a licensed real estate agent with Long & Foster Real Estate. In 2022, he ranked #172 out of the top 250 agents by transaction sides, with 148. Contact him here.


Don’t be a technophobe


Nikki Lagouros, Property Collective

Nikki Lagouros

Nikki Lagouros

Property Collective

Practical technological solutions. Technology is on our side and is making being a successful Realtor easier than ever. Some things can be automated to help make your life easier. 

It’s important to do your research.

Nikki Lagouros is a licensed real estate agent with Property Collective in Great Falls, Virginia. In 2021, she ranked #155 out of approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 142. Contact her here


Video text messaging works


Chad Schwendeman

Chad Schwendeman

EXIT Lakes Realty Premier

For new or existing agents I would suggest blocking out at least two hours a day for prospecting your sphere, past clients, current clients and internet leads.

We’re seeing great results from video text messages.

More than 90 percent of communication is nonverbal, so having the video text allows prospects to connect with you on a deeper level than just leaving a voice message.

Chad Schwendeman is broker/owner of EXIT Lakes Realty Premier in Baxter, Minnesota. In 2021, he ranked #56 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 195.3. Contact him here.



OVERCOMING ADVERSITY IN REAL ESTATE


Don’t be shy


Kamil Andrukiewicz

Kamil Andrukiewicz

New Haus Group

Don’t be a shy agent! 

Dive deep into everything you can. Shadow top agents. Host open houses. Make sure everyone knows you’re a real estate agent! 

Kamil Andrukiewicz is a licensed broker/owner with New Haus Group in New Britain, Connecticut. In 2021, he ranked #191 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 133. Contact him here



Learn how to handle objections


Jude Hodge

Jude Hodge

RE/MAX Coast and Country

A successful career is a lot of little pieces put together.

I started with self-development, thanks to a mentor in my life, Bill Pike. He taught me how to handle objections. It sounds easy, but every day we come across unique and sometimes difficult scenarios. Take a deep breath, sleep on it, or whatever it takes to deal with the issue.

Often, that means letting people down, giving them bad news, or holding a deal together. 

Always take the high road. 

Jude Hodge is a broker and Realtor with RE/MAX Coast and Country in Brookings, Oregon. In 2021, she ranked #112 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 154. Contact her here.


New city, new career, no fear


Nikki Lagouros, Property Collective

Nikki Lagouros

Nikki Lagouros

Property Collective

I moved to a new city, new career, and  became an agent in Reston,Virginia, in 2017.

I completely changed careers and was able to do great numbers my first year, but I just kept growing and growing year after year because I had a routine and I stayed consistent.

Nikki Lagouros is a licensed real estate agent with Property Collective in Great Falls, Virginia. In 2021, she ranked #155 out of approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 142. Contact her here


You can beat the odds


Pamela Price

Pamela Price

RE/MAX Coast and Country

When I started real estate in 2006, my house was in foreclosure and I had an infant and a toddler. 

Always working for corporate America, I decided to work toward my own goals and knew I had to go all in, meaning full time, knowing I was going to sink or swim — and sinking wasn’t an option for me. 

Every year since 2006 I have made more than the year before. This year being named #74 in the nation and #1 in my state was a huge honor, with 180 transactions and over 37 million in volume in 2020. 

It’s obvious the sky is the limit in this career. Get involved in your community, attend town meetings, join local chambers and boards. 

Be a light in the world, be ethical, and remember, there’s no amount of money worth losing your reputation for. 

Pamela Price is a licensed broker/owner with RE/MAX Coast and Country in Laurel, Delaware. In 2021, she ranked #74 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 179. Contact her here


You’re your biggest competition


Kyle Seyboth | Century 21

Kyle Seyboth

CENTURY 21 The Seyboth Team 

At the end of the day, your biggest competition is yourself, and the mindset of understanding real estate is that “no” doesn’t mean we quit; it means we move on and try to do better. 

Throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks, then throw gasoline on the stuff that makes sense.

Kyle Seyboth is the founder of CENTURY 21 The Seyboth Team in Seekonk, Massachusetts, licensed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In 2021, he ranked #7 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 522.  Contact him here.



SELF-CARE


Motivate yourself


Jude Hodge

Jude Hodge

RE/MAX Coast and Country

It’s important to wake up every day and motivate yourself! 

Keep a positive attitude, despite all the hard things that are thrown at you. Be the leader that your clients are looking for and that they’ve hired you to be. 

Jude Hodge is a broker and Realtor with RE/MAX Coast and Country in Brookings, Oregon. In 2021, she ranked #112 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 154. Contact her here.


Emotional fortitude for the win


Latham Jenkins

Latham Jenkins

Live Water Properties

Working in real estate is like being on a roller coaster. You experience incredible highs and unfortunate lows.

You need the ability to have resilience and the emotional fortitude to stay positive, keep your sentiments in check and act selflessly.

This takes work every day but those attributes make an agent that is trusted by their customers and on the path to success.

Latham Jenkins is a licensed real estate agent the founder of Live Water Properties in Jackson Hole, WY. Contact him here.


Eat healthy, think healthy


Gary Newton

Gary Newton

RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals

Feed your mind, body, and spirit good, clean positive things. You need to be at your best. 

Write down your goals. You cannot hit a target you do not see. 

Don’t major in minor things. Be productive, NOT just busy. 

Take time to rest and recover. It will help you stay fresh and revitalize your business.

Gary Newton is president and CEO of Newton Realty Group LLC at RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals in Lansing, Michigan. In 2022, he ranked #162 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 152. Contact him here.



REAL ESTATE VIRTUES


Be a people person


Kim Erwin

Kim Erwin

Keller Williams Coastal Bend Island Properties, The Kim Erwin Team 

This is not a business about money, despite outward appearances.

This is about the people. As a Realtor, you will sell homes every day of your life, navigating the pitfalls and stressors with ease because it is known territory. But the majority of clients complete a home sale or purchase only a couple of times in their lives, if that many. To them, this is a daunting task, filled with emotion and unknown processes. 

Be patient. Be kind. Be empathetic. Remember that you are their safety net that they are relying on. If you take care of the people, success will follow.

Kim Erwin is a licensed real estate agent at Keller Williams Coastal Bend Island Properties, The Kim Erwin Team, in Corpus Christi, Texas. In 2021, she ranked #138 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 146. Contact her here


Do unto others


Darin Greear

Darin Greear

Long & Foster Real Estate

Always do what you say you’re going to do, and treat everyone the way you want to be treated.

Darin Greear is a licensed real estate agent with Long & Foster Real Estate in Blacksburg, Virginia. In 2021, he ranked #109 among approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 155.48. Contact him here


Reputation matters


Melissa Greer

Melissa Greer

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Yost & Little Realty

Remember, your reputation is the only thing that arrives before you do.

Optimism, integrity, superior customer service, and care and compassion for all clients always.

Melissa Greer is a licensed real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 2021, she ranked #87 out of  approximately 250 agents nationwide for transaction sides, with 170. Contact her here.



Compliment a stranger


Christa Huffstickler

Engel & Völkers Atlanta

You never know where your next deal is coming from, so be kind to everyone and never, ever judge someone at first glance.

A simple act of kindness — helping someone carry an armful of bags, holding a door for someone, or complimenting a stranger can open the door to new relationships, which are the lifeblood of your business.

Asking people about themselves and genuinely having interest in building new relationships with people will not only grow your sphere of influence and generate more clients for you, but by being an agent who truly cares about people, your past clients will refer more people your way, too.

Christa Huffstickler is founder and CEO of Engel & Völkers Atlanta. In 2022, she ranked #61 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 217. Contact her here.


It’s not always about homes


Nikki Lagouros, Property Collective

Nikki Lagouros

Nikki Lagouros

Property Collective

I attribute most of my success to putting the needs of my clients before my own. Providing value is something I do with every client — I always act in their best interest, and I’m never pushy or “salesy.” 

We are building long-term relationships — not in this for a quick sale. Most of real estate is about building relationships with people, and there’s only a small portion that has to do with homes.

Nikki Lagouros is a licensed real estate agent with Property Collective in Great Falls, Virginia. In 2021, she ranked #155 out of approximately 250 agents for transaction sides, with 142. Contact her here


Persistence is key


Andy Nelson

Andy Nelson
Willis Allen Real Estate

Always focus on a single word: persistence.

Lack of persistence is the number one reason I’ve seen so many agents leave the business in the course of my 45+ years. Don’t give up. Believe in your vision. Remember why you started in the first place.

It’s been said that persistence beats talent 100 percent of the time, and that isn’t any less true in our profession. From brand new agents to multi-million dollar producers, the most common trait they share is that they make the phone ring – they never wait for it.

Andy Nelson is president and owner of Willis Allen Real Estate in La Jolla, CA. Contact him here.


Discipline is freedom


James Rusch-Michener

James Rusch-Michener 

Realty One Group Mountain Desert

Discipline has been the no. 1 contributing factor to my success as an agent.

From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed I know what my day has to consist of in order to be successful.

My day starts with drinking two cups of water and a workout before I go into the office at 7:30 a.m.

I stay committed to my lead generation, which consists of calling canceled, expired and FSBO [listings], as well as circle prospecting from 7:45-11:30. I made these calls first because it was the hardest task for me to complete, but it’s the way I generate the most business. I scheduled my appointments to be one right after another with the first one starting at 12:30 p.m. If I didn’t have appointments to fill the work day I would go door knocking FSBO, canceled or expired listings. Around 5 p.m. I would time block for one hour of call backs and answering emails.

This discipline of holding to a schedule has led me from renting a room from my brother without a consistent income to enjoying financial freedom, 20 rental properties, a private lending business and a team of eight agents that closes up to 250 deals a year with a passive income of over $300,000 a year. Looking back I am grateful that I held strong and worked hard no matter how tough it got. Discipline is freedom. 

James Rusch-Michener is a licensed real estate agent with Realty One Group Mountain Desert in Prescott, Arizona. In 2021 he ranked #135 out of 250 agents for transaction sides, with 149.22. Contact him here.


Don’t neglect your family


Laura Sanders

RE/MAX In Motion

Being present with your family is really important. If I could go back in time I would have tried to spend less time on the phone and more time with my family. My children will never forget those behaviors.

Laura Sanders is a licensed real estate agent with Team Sanders of Re/Max In Motion in Coral Springs, FL. She led all RE/MAX agents in sales in Florida in 2019 and was #23 in the nationwide. Contact her here.


Even when they’re unbearable, be kind to the client


Mario Venancio

Mario Venancio

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach

The key to being successful in our businesses and creating longevity is to be kind to every agent, every prospect, every buyer and every seller. Even when it’s difficult. 

I try to create a unique experience for each client, servicing them at the highest level whether it’s a rental or a $5 million sale. In the end, this pays off big and is like a wave in the ocean that keeps coming at you.

Mario Venancio is a licensed Realtor sales associate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach in Rumson, New Jersey. In 2021, he ranked #4 among approximately 191 agents for transaction sides, with 133. Contact him here.


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