19 Habits of Highly Effective (and Successful) Real Estate Agents

Did you know that there are over two million active real estate licenses in the United States? Make no mistake, real estate is a competitive business.

In order to be one of the most successful real estate agents, you have to be driven, self-motivated, and creative. It also helps to have a competitive streak, whether you’re competing against other agents or just trying to achieve a new personal best. In short, this is not the career to choose if you are the type of person to ‘phone it in.’

Furthermore, becoming a successful real estate agent won’t come from using tips, tricks, or hacks, it involves building effective habits that you will use in your daily working routine.

To brush up on your business practices, here are effective habits you need to master in order to become a successful real estate agent.

Set a Daily Routine

Consistency is key, and when you have a daily routine you keep up with, you’re likely to be more efficient and organized. Getting into a habit of keeping a routine will ensure you set aside time for the important aspects of your real estate business, including making phone calls to past clients and for sale by owner (FSOB) listings, keeping up with social media, and daily prospecting. However, it’s not just limited to real estate activities. Getting a morning routine going (like scheduling a workout session and a time for journaling, praying, or reading) may make a difference to set a positive tone for your day. If going into an office will make you more productive, reserve a space at your brokerage or if you need to or rent a workspace away from home. Go each day and keep the consistency going.

Time Block Your Schedule

If you’re stuck wondering where your time and efforts are going, you don’t have to wonder anymore when you practice the art of time blocking. This is a time management strategy where you schedule everything, both work related (answering emails, showing or listing appointments, and prospecting) and personal (journaling, lunch, and short breaks), in blocks. Get your to-do list together at the beginning of the week and add the time blocks. When you do this, it allows you to see an overview on your calendar. For each block of time, make sure you focus all your efforts on that task. Don’t get distracted and do something else during the block. See if this method works and adjust accordingly. If you find your work better in the morning or evening, be sure to schedule your brain-heavy tasks during those times. Feel sleepy mid-day? Try to work in a coffee or tea break, even if that means scheduling a client meeting at your favorite local coffee shop.

Be Motivated Every Day

There are countless tasks an agent must attend to that are necessary but no fun. Successful agents are able to engage in the most monotonous, routine aspects of their job with enthusiasm….EVERYDAY!

This means they pick up the phone and make cold calls even when they don’t feel like it. They update their calendar and contacts obsessively. They attend industry events and local events (even when they’d rather binge watch Netflix) because they understand success is not a feeling, it’s an action.

So instead of making excuses, find a reason to do the things you hate. Post a picture of your dream home on your office wall. Listen to ambient music. Drink less caffeine….or more! Whatever will motivate you to act is a good thing.

Establish Clear, Actionable Goals

It’s not enough to say you want to be the top performer in your brokerage. How many homes specifically do you need to sell to become the top performer? How many leads will you need to convert to reach your goal? How many cold calls will you need to make each week to uncover prospects? Will the neighborhood turnover rate be high enough for you to reach your goal?

Wishful thinking doesn’t sell homes or make dreams come true. If you’re serious about growing your career, consider setting goals for each aspect of your business. Don’t stop until you’ve reached that goal each day. Set realistic goals that take into consideration your available resources, as well as your proposed deadlines.

Know Your Neighborhoods

“Location , location, location,” is often said in the real estate business, but do you really know the location or neighborhoods you’re working in? Stay up to date on what’s currently on the market and recently sold, and any insight on potential upcoming listings. At the same time remember that your clients, especially new homebuyers, moving into the neighborhood will have questions about public transportation, walkability, stores, gyms, schools, and crime rates. They’ll look to you for insider information, so get involved in the community and know the neighborhoods you work in.

Know Your Clients

On your first contact with a client you will typically ask for the basics: preferred neighborhood, how many bedrooms they need, their financial situation, budget, and timeline. This information is important to know, but additionally you should really get to know your client. This means you’ll need to work towards understanding their motivation for buying or selling, their family structure and values, and what is non-negotiable versus nice-to-have. This knowledge will help you as you search for the right buyer or the perfect home for your client.

Additionally, you can work towards acquiring clients in a niche that you gravitate towards or have excessive knowledge about. It could be empty nesters looking to downsize, clients looking for multi-family homes, or young families moving from another state.

Know Your Mortgage Products and the Market

Since your clients are looking to you as the expert in real estate, they will appreciate your ability to answer questions they may have about mortgages and home financing. While you don’t need to know everything there is to know about mortgages, make sure you know the basics. It’s useful to understand what your clients are going through and which steps they need to take when. Find a partner or two in home financing so you can refer your clients or get questions answered.

Maintain an Online Presence

Successful agents are constantly maintaining their digital presence because they understand how crucial first impressions can be. Like it or not, buyers and sellers are increasingly searching online for their dream home before they connect with an agent.

Listings on your site should include detailed specs and bright, clear images. Your contact information, image, and location should be easily accessible. Register a business address with local online directories and you’ll gain higher SERP visibility with search engines like Yahoo and Google. This means that, over time, your website will appear near the top of the search result page, making it easier for potential buyers and sellers to find you.

Maximize Social Media

When it comes to social media, maximizing it is one of the best ways to get clients. While you can post listings, testimonials, and events, you’ll also want to use social media to show off your knowledge. Exhibit your expertise in staging homes, or teach your audience how to read current market trends. Answer questions, get people interested in what you’re posting, and ultimately lead them into becoming clients. For reaching an even larger audience, consider running ads on social media platforms to reach targeted potential clients.

By constantly uploading engaging content on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram you can increase your chances of landing more clients. A successful real estate agent always strives to enhance their social media presence because they understand the power of the digital world.

Aim For a Large Sphere of Influence

Making and maintaining good relationships with potential clients is another important habit a successful real estate agent must master. Many research analysts report that leveraging your good and current clients for generating future leads is the most vital habit every real estate agent should practice.

The referrals and testimonials from your past clients will help you expand your sphere of influence, which will make your name in the market. Successful real estate agents make dozens of important contacts during their work, and they often ask for a favor in return. But there is a way of asking for a favor. You can’t just go to your clients and blandly ask them if they have any leads for you. Instead, a gentle reminder after each contact to mention your name if they find anyone in their circle in need of guidance from a real estate agent can work wonderfully.

This can only be possible if you stay in touch with your clients. Hence, continuing to reach out to them after a successful sale is a necessary step.

Communicate Quickly and Effectively

A successful real estate agent knows how to deal with clients properly and answer their queries. They know what information they can share on a text and what needs to be clear on a call or during a physical meeting. Setting a positive tone and aspiring to provide your clients with what they are looking for is a must-have habit for reaching your real estate goals.

Practice Good Management Skills

Aside from good communication skills the real estate market also demands excellent management skills. The habit of organizing your everyday routine and focusing on critical matters first is the utmost requirement to become a successful real estate agent. Because a real estate agent always has plenty of tasks on hand, the ability to prioritize the important ones and save energy for later ones is a habit you must develop. This is not just about setting a schedule for the day (see above), it’s about learning how to manage and prioritize when the day throws you a curveball (which days inevitably do).

Keep Looking for More Leads, Even After Selling

Ask for referrals and continue promotions regardless of your current state of business. Just because you’ve got leads currently in the pipeline, or are closing a lot of deals, doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. This is the time to work even harder!

Successful real estate agents know that the top method for being successful is to never quit looking for new leads.

Don’t Focus Only on Selling

An excellent real estate agent does not just focus on selling. They make a connection with the client to make them feel comfortable in openly communicating with you about their needs and demands. By developing a relationship with your client, you will be doing more than just selling a house. You will be creating trust between your business and the client, which in the future will lead to a loyal stream of clients.

Picture from: easypropertylistings.com

Focus on Listings

Top agents have always been focused on listings. Listings are the most important business an agent can do. All the marketing, name recognition, spin-off sales and listings, and all the credit goes to the listing agent. Top agents have mastered the art of servicing seller clients, and the payoffs are huge. Focusing on listings will make you the “name brand” and most recognized top agent in your market. Create a plan to increase your listing inventory and dominate your market with more ‘For Sale’ signs with your name on them. This will create increasingly more success for your business.

Stay Informed about the Industry

Keeping current with industry trends and market conditions is yet another common success habit of top selling real estate agents. They dedicate time each day to reading market reports so they can stay informed, plan more effectively, and properly advise their clients.

NAR (National Association of Realtors) reports provide you with critical insights into buyer and seller trends so you can be strategic about your marketing. Follow NAR research regularly to understand how to effectively connect with buyers and sellers. HubSpot is another great online resource for information on marketing, sales, and branding in any industry, including real estate. You can also listen regularly to real estate podcasts during your commute, or during a planned downtime in your office.

Network with Connections

They say it’s all about who you know, and when it comes to real estate 92% of consumers (says HubSpot) trust referrals from people they know. Schedule time to network with connections. Your past clients and partners in the real estate transaction (like lawyers, home inspectors, insurance agents, and contractors) are great to start with. Host network events and parties that will benefit your connections. Create value by introducing them to others or being an advisor when it comes to all things related to houses. Send out postcards on holidays and keep track of birthdays to let your connection know you’re thinking about them. In this way you’ll stay top of the mind and feel more comfortable when it comes time to ask for referrals.


There is always a way to solve an issue if you have perseverance and an attitude willing to exhaust all options when it comes to putting a deal together or keeping one alive. Top agents have a “never, ever give up” mentality and it’s obvious. This trait goes beyond the norm, and really shows the dedication of adding value for clients.

Go the Extra Mile

It sounds cliche but it’s 100% true. Word of mouth will spread about you when you go out of your way to impress your clients, as well as those in your network. Give them more than they ask for, and aim to do more than any other competing agent in your area.

Make note of your client’s needs as well as their preferences if you want to make an impression. If your client likes donuts, bring them the best gourmet donuts you can find. If you client is interested in taking yoga classes, connect them with someone in your circle who can offer a free class.

Seek out opportunities to be of service to those within your sphere of influence by connecting individuals and organizations. Make this a habit and watch as your influence widens within your target audience.

Bottom Line

A successful real estate agent does not work just to put up a ‘Sold’ sign in the front yards of clients. Instead, they work to connect, promote, and generate trusted clients to establish deep roots in the industry.

By practicing the habits of successful real estate agents you can also strive to become one yourself. Hence by working tirelessly, staying updated with the current market, enhancing your digital visibility, using technology, generating leads, and embracing every challenge the industry throws your way, you can achieve your aim of becoming a successful real estate agent.

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