Want to make great strides in your business? Jimmy Burgess believes that the answers you seek to a successful real estate practice may be simpler than you think.

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Sometimes what we view as a strength ends up being a weakness. It isn’t always the smartest agents that win, but the ones who execute efficiently who become the local market leaders. I’ve noticed five reasons smart agents often underperform and, in this article, I’ll share how small adjustments can lead to big wins.


1. They have too many goals

The first reason smart agents often underperform is that they have too many goals. By dividing their attention between several things, they end up not completing what they start or doing anything at a high level. Smart agents are always evaluating their businesses, which leads them to see several things they can improve. The key is to prioritize and focus on one thing at a time.

This process starts by making a list of activities, systems, or initiatives you want to implement in your business. Then rank them from the most valuable to the lowest priority initiatives. Set a goal to complete the highest priority within a specified time. Do not start on your second priority until the first one is completed.

For me, I keep 12 systems or initiatives I want to implement in the next 12 months. I implement one per month. I also add another one to the list as I complete one. I then reprioritize the 12 each month. By ranking them, you focus on the most important next steps for growth in your business.

When we focus on less, we set the stage to be able to do more.

2. They don’t have a North Star for their business

Metaphorically speaking, a North Star for your business is the main purpose or goal you have for your business. It is a guiding goal that helps you to stay focused when distractions or even opportunities come.

For this example, let’s use a goal of helping 48 families buy or sell a home this year as the “North Star.” Anything you consider doing during business hours (whatever those are for you) should be run through the filter of whether it will help you reach your goal of selling 48 homes or if it will hinder you from reaching the goal.

For example, if you are asked to chair a committee for your local MLS, how would you answer? The answer might be different for different people, but ask yourself if chairing the committee will help you achieve your 48 homes sold goal or distract you from it. If your answer is that it will help, then do it. If the answer is that it will distract you and hinder your achievement of that goal, then the answer should be “Not this year.”

Also, remember that anything you say yes to, whether that be time or money, should lead to you eliminating something you are currently doing. Anything you say yes to means you are saying no to something else. Keep that in mind as you decide how every decision lines up with your “North Star” goal.

3. They consume more content than they create

We live in a world where mindless scrolling has become the norm. Whether it be videos on YouTube, TikTok videos, or Instagram Reels, most agents spend way too much time-consuming content and way too little time creating content. Search Logistics recently reported that the average person spends two hours and 24 minutes a day on social media in 2024.

As a consumer of content, it should be alarming how much time you might be wasting every day. As a creator of content, you should be extremely excited about the captive audience you have available. The ability to passively prospect through creating video content has never been more readily accessible.

I believe there is a tipping point when building your personal brand. When you can achieve an average of eight hours a day of people consuming your content, you essentially have passive prospecting working full-time for you. Here are a few personal examples to show you how I  build my personal brand as someone who helps agents build their businesses.

This is an example of an Instagram green screen Reel I published where I discussed the video I produced with 30 ways to generate listing leads. At the time that I am writing this, the Instagram Reel referenced below was published four days prior. The watch time at the bottom of the analytics shows that it has been watched for four hours and two minutes in the last four days. This breaks down to roughly an hour of passive prospecting for my personal brand from just one video on Instagram over the past four days.


The next chart is from YouTube analytics for the video that accompanies this article. In the first 35 hours since that video went live, it has been watched 34.4 hours. This means that nearly every second, over the past 35 hours, someone has been watching this video. In turn, that means this one video has been passive prospecting for my personal brand nearly every second.

Yes, it will take time to build your following, but it will be worth it. To help the number of people you want to help, you must start creating more content than you are consuming.

4. They do not control their schedules

Agents who underperform are reactive instead of proactive. They don’t control their schedules, and their days are filled with wasted time. The best agents I know control their schedules.

They have specific times each week designated for prospecting calls, reaching out to past clients, and honing their skills through training. They regularly review their goals to see if they need to add additional prospecting time if they are behind on their goals.

Now is the time to evaluate how you can organize your day in a way that increases your productivity. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Begin by preparing a to-do list for the next day before you go to bed at night.
  • Set a specific time every day that you make outbound prospecting calls.
  • Schedule time to produce video content.

When you become proactive in controlling your schedule, your future business will be much better than it has ever been.

5. They don’t hire assistants

One of the biggest reasons agents underperform is that they allow their desire to control everything keep them from delegating activities to an assistant. For you to build the business you desire, and to serve the number of clients you should be helping, you will need to hire assistants.

For years, I spent countless hours loading my own videos onto YouTube. I’ve always created and distributed all my own social media content as well. Finally, I realized I could be doing higher priority activities for my business, so I found a company that finds virtual assistants in the Philippines who can help with all these tasks. Not only does the VA I hired help me, but she’s also much better at it than I am. This has freed me up to do higher-value activities and, because of her expertise, I’ve seen my account grow faster than ever before.

So, what are the lower-value tasks you do in your business? Would hiring a transaction coordinator free you up to generate more business? Would a virtual assistant scheduling your social media content give you the opportunity to list more homes and have more time? Delegation is the key to your next level of success.

Execution always trumps education. Become an agent of action. Set lofty goals and set them as your “North Star.” Create more than you consume, and take control of your schedule while delegating lower-value activities. The business of your dreams is achievable. Make a few minor adjustments and you will be surprised at the results you will see.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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