How to Up-Level Yourself as a Realtor There are far-reaching opportunities at the moment for a realtor with a keen mind and the right plan, but what specific steps are needed to achieve takeoff velocity?

By Chris D. Bentley

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Real estate is unquestionably lucrative: a single sale can land you a fortune, and statistics from the National Association of Realtors certainly indicate a robust market. October, 2021 existing home sales were a stunning 6.34 million, with median sales prices up 13.1% from the year prior, and inventory down 12% from October, 2020. Clearly, people are looking for homes and keen to avoid rent payments.

So, there certainly are opportunities to be had, but challenges, too. It can be a tough task, for example, dealing with people, especially since they often purchase homes based on not-well-articulated desires and goals. So, if your aspiration is to be a top realtor, you need to comprehensively understand the market, without question, along with a good bit of psychology, and then need to find the right organization with which to grow — all of these tasks requiring a healthy mind and a proper roadmap to navigate. As one of Dallas's most aggressive real estate moguls, with over 18 years of experience, I've found the following qualities among the most pivotal in order to achieve lasting success.

1. Specialization

To thrive in real estate, you need to choose a niche to work with and stick to it. This might be single-family homes, residential multiple-family homes, condos, duplexes/triplexes or mobile homes and apartment buildings. There are also strategies within these you could choose, such as buy-and-hold rentals or fix-and-flip and development. So do your research and choose what resonates, and keep in mind that when you focus on one thing, you train your mind to grow in that space… can learn the ins and outs of navigating through it as you innovative. Trying different things can be confusing, time-consuming and tiresome. I, for instance, deal with luxury single-family properties, a concentration that has helped me do quality work.

Related: How To Build a Successful Real Estate Business Digitally

2. Networking

This is, not surprisingly, a powerful method of boosting expertise and overall competence, and elites in real estate unfailingly sport an extensive and robust circle of professional colleagues. Networking, among other advantages, puts you in a position to receive free business ideas and suggestions that help a career, so building meaningful relationships with clients, other realtors and business executives needs to become part of your daily job.

Such a professional circle can also grow organically. Creating a great customer relationship inevitably increases the chances of getting additional clients, who might then refer their friends and family. Meanwhile, other realtors might help you close deals by referring clients who want properties in your niche. All these categories of relationships help you grow personally and professionally, and are simply conducive to a healthier mind.

3. Invest in your craft

Related: 5 Foundational Principles of Early Entrepreneurial Success

There is no finite time for learning: it should be an enduring passion. If you lose your inquisitive stride — stop digging for developments and new ideas — you allow others to catch up with you. Every day is an opportunity to grow and improve. I've found that, in this business, you cannot keep using the same sales strategies; as a top realtor, you need to keep plumbing the market and future trends, and hone new ways of winning clients' hearts. So, allow yourself to grow to foster a healthy and productive mind.

4. Strengthen organizational skills

Anyone looking for a home wants to deal with someone who makes the processes easy, and any slight complication is a turn-off, so have your information always at the ready, and make certain it's accurate. Being organized also helps you focus on one thing at a time, which brings both peace and productivity. One method I use is a project management system where work information is kept. With such a tool (such as ClickUp, Asana and Google Drive), it's easier to track what needs to be done at any moment — whether by yourself or team members — avoiding delays or inconveniences.

Related: Run Your Business Better With Enhanced Project Management Skills

5. Invest in marketing

We've likely all heard the saying, "Scared money doesn't make money". In this business, what that phrase means to me is that you can be the absolute best at what you do, but if no one knows your name, chances are you'll lose clients to someone like me that has been putting just about everything I've made into ads, social media campaigns, photography, videos, online leads, call services and just about everything else under the sun to make it easier for people to search me on Google. This money spent over the years has worked in some areas of my career, and failed in others, but at the end of the day, establishing your name and brand will get you much further than spending a hard-earned commission on rounds of drinks or expensive dinners.

Chris D. Bentley

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Award Winning Dallas Real Estate Broker

Chris D. Bentley is an award-winning real-estate broker and owner of Bentley Fine Properties. He is a eight-time multi-million dollar producer, author of four eBooks, was voted D Magazine's "Best Realtor in Dallas" six times, and has been featured in multiple popular magazines.

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