The best agents are constantly steeped in development and education, broker Nick Schlekeway writes, developing their skills personally so that they can achieve and succeed at the highest levels of real estate.

One year following the launch of Inman’s The Basics newsletter, our weekly dispatch of must-reads for new agents, we’ll spend the month of August digging deeper into what it takes to survive against the odds as a new agent in a tough market.

This is the second in a five-part series on the pillars that form the foundation of agent success. Here you can find parts one, three and four. Part five will be published on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Last week I introduced the topic of creating a service-based foundation for real estate success. I also described the four pillars of success that all top performers follow. Let’s start off with pillar number one: personal development.

Never stop learning

Successful agents never stop learning and the best of the best have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. They understand that every single day is an opportunity to learn, develop and get better.

The quest for new insights and understanding pushes and motivates them to research new markets, study the practices of other top performers, seek out new insights from books and podcasts, travel to faraway places for conferences and mastermind groups, and surround themselves with peers, mentors and clients who lift them to new heights. 

Successful agents do all of the following:

  • Learn how to read a room
  • Learn how to read people
  • Learn how to articulate their value proposition
  • Learn how to market real estate
  • Learn their market itself along with the underlying economic and social forces driving it
  • Improve their communication skills and industry expertise to the point where they can completely relax in conversations with prospects (which of course improves their conversion rates).

They’re constantly steeped in development and education, developing their skills personally so that they can achieve and succeed at the highest levels of real estate. Personal development is the pillar that makes all the other ones possible. A continuous focus on improving yourself will make you more impactful with your planning, lead generation and lead conversion. 

Your energy drives your influence

Sales is a business about influencing people. You cannot influence through negativity and negative energy. Negative energy repels positive people away from you and draws negative people closer to you.

You can only influence people to make decisions (i.e. sales) through positive energy. At the core of personal development is the capacity and skill, based on your habits and mindset, to bring enormous reserves of positive energy to your work. Day in, day out, meeting after meeting, and year after year. 

I’m a firm believer that nothing changes if nothing changes. If you want things to change, you have to change personally. As my hero and mentor, Jim Rohn, always said, “If you will change, everything will change for you.” Pillar number one for success in real estate, and in my opinion, success in anything in life, is personal development. 

A quote to ponder

“Personal development is the belief that you are worth the effort, time and energy needed to develop yourself.”

— Denis Waitley

Nick Schlekeway is the founder of Amherst Madison, a Boise, Idaho-based real estate brokerage. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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