To become a top real estate agent, I’ve had to learn a lot of the same skills that are essential in starting and running your own business. Here are some of my most important strategies:
Make connections. Friends, friends-of-friends, casual acquaintances, that guy you just met at the coffee shop -- in real estate, you never know how you’re going to find your next client. In business, you never know what connection will lead you to an investor, a new team member, or even a sale. That “Aunt Nancy” you’ve known your entire life might be a wealth of information.
Stay focused. In real estate, just like any other business, you need to learn to be your own boss. That means you have to make sure you don’t get carried away with distractions -- or bogged down with trivial details. Your complete focus on each transaction is your key to success. Are you advancing your social media strategy or are you goofing off on Facebook and Twitter?
Grow your team. When you’re running a business, you can’t do everything yourself. You need to build a strong, committed team to support you so you can delegate duties and use their skills to grow. If you don’t have good people to support you, you’re limiting your growth.
Related: 20 Questions With Randi Zuckerberg
Learn from success. Instead of going to the mall on Sundays as a kid, I’d scour the neighborhood and go to every open house I could find. By the time I was in high school, I already knew several top brokers.
There was one broker whose open houses I would always go to because he was just so good. He’s retired now -- and probably living very well -- but at the time I would listen to him talk to potential clients. This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I would go home and practice saying the same things he said. There are probably scripts for your field too -- learn them from the top producers.
Be an expert in your field. How can you develop your business if you don’t know all you can about your industry? A real estate agent needs to know everything about the market they’re working in. Constantly studying the current inventory is essential. If you stay on top of what’s available, when a client calls and asks you for a very specific type of house you’ll already be one step ahead of the game.
I started studying the history of Beverly Hills just about as soon as I could read. I didn’t pick my niche and then start learning about it. I picked my niche because it was what I was already passionate about. Beverly Hills was my first true love, and that’s why I’m successful at what I do.
Keep moving. Do you think a real estate agent who wants to stay on top waits until a deal is closed to start looking for the next one? No! In business, you can’t sit around waiting for success to come and find you -- you need to keep moving all the time, hustling to grow your business and make new connections. Get out there and make it happen.
Don’t be afraid to look for tips in other industries as well -- you never know what strategies might be useful to you.