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What it Really Takes to be a Top-Selling Real Estate Agent

By Lori Weaver | December 15, 2016

Becoming a top-selling real estate agent may seem like nothing more than a numbers game: the more appointments you set, the more listings you get, and the more sellers you eventually bring to the closing table.

But numbers are only part of the story. For successful agents who are posting impressive production figures year on year, those numbers are a reflection of a complex business strategy of multiple planned actions that eventually lead to desired results.

Top-selling agents approach real estate as business owners. They understand that to build a lasting career as a successful real estate agent, you’ve got to think like an entrepreneur and make decisions that support success of your business long term.

Real Estate Agent

Successful entrepreneurs in any business, including real estate, are known for identifying opportunities that others might overlook. They know how to build value on a daily basis. Here are some business-minded principles to guide you on your way to becoming a top-selling real estate agent:

Be a customer-centric business

Becoming a top-selling real estate agent takes more than good customer service. Transforming your real estate business into a customer-centric operation means always striving to provide a positive customer experience, before, during and after closing. This approach drives repeat business, creates loyalty and ultimately, boosts your bottom line.

Most of your clients are going through the biggest financial transaction of their lives. Their stress levels can run high and sometimes that stress can overflow into crankiness and rude behavior. No matter how poorly clients may be acting, never lose sight of the fact that they are your bread and butter. Strive to give them a positive experience regardless, and the growth of your business will reflect it.

Create a business plan and use it daily

As a business owner and real estate agent, you have the opportunity to set your own goals for your business. Most people find this to be more motivating than working as an employee to achieve someone else's goals.

While you may have a sense of how many closings you would like to achieve over the course of the next 12 months, have you actually put your business goals into a formal written plan? Have you considered the actions necessary to get you to the desired financial outcomes? A business plan provides a roadmap for your real estate business. Just like other entrepreneurs, you should have your business and financial goals written down. Be sure it is in a form that allows you to review it on a regular basis. Analyze how you are spending your time and what actions have contributed most to achieving your business goals.  Be ready to adjust your plan, if necessary, as your business and market change.

Take intelligent risks

Entrepreneurially minded people understand that not only does it take time and resources to build a successful business, but it also takes the willingness to accept a certain amount of risk. Without risk, there is no opportunity. Without opportunity, there is no potential for growth and expansion.

Most real estate agents are familiar with some of the risk inherent to real estate. Sometimes a contract falls apart, for reasons beyond your control. Or, what seems like a good lead never becomes qualified.

But the kind of risk necessary to grow your business may take you outside your comfort zone. Thinking like a business owner will train you to see beyond immediate risk to ask the kind of “what if” questions that can make you a top-selling agent. What if you hired an assistant? What if you changed real estate teams or brokerages? What if you started farming that neighborhood on the cusp of renewal? Stay business-minded in your decision making, and you will build the skills necessary to accurately assess risks and opportunities.

Approach real estate from a business standpoint, and you will find that you become less bogged down by unimportant, time-consuming tasks. Instead, you will become more aware of factors critical to your success, like industry trends and achieving your financial goals.


Lori Weaver is a writer and licensed real estate agent in Lexington, Ky. With over 25 years’ experience in communications and marketing across a number of business sectors, she provides content marketing, writing and social media services to a variety of B2B and B2C clients, with a focus on real estate., real estate investments and new construction. In her spare time, Lori enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
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