How to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent

by SierraJacobs

The real estate market can provide some highly lucrative opportunities...if you know how to play the game right. Here are our top tips for finding success as a real estate agent.

The foundation of success as a real estate agent is knowledge. That may sound cliche, but besides the fundamentals of the real estate business, an intuitive and derivative knowledge base can be an agents best friend. For example, knowledge about inexpensive, easy-care landscaping plants may help you advise a seller who wants to increase profit by improving curb appeal. Knowledge about creative financing options may help you work out a profitable solution to a buyer's credit problem. Knowing local trends may help you anticipate areas of growth and decline ahead of the competition.


As you develop more experience as an Oakville real estate agent, you will develop some areas of "expertise" which can multiply your client base and generate referrals. If monitoring local trends suggests an upcoming influx of relocators  something as simple as a "local information packet" can set you apart from dozens of other Oakville real estate agents. 

Even lower-priced "fixer-uppers" can be a quick profit source when you have a list of well-financed local investors on speed-dial. Personal expertise and interests can help establish a common ground with both buyers and sellers that can lead to a successful professional relationship.

Most successful real estate agents have extensive networks of personal and professional connections. These can serve as both direct and indirect sources of clientele. Formal business networking options may include the local Chamber of Commerce, service organizations, and landlord groups. Charitable groups, political and religious groups, and community improvement projects can also help you develop a network of contacts. Online social networks also have a local component that you can develop into a referral source.

Real estate is a "people" business, and personality is key to success. It isn't always easy to be upbeat and positive, but it's almost always profitable! Most successful real estate agents have learned to take time to add a "personal" touch to client relationships.

Knowing your personal "style" can also drive your success as an Oakville real estate agent. Whether you're the warm, casual agent who brings plates of homemade cookies to your Open House or the number-crunching advisor to local investors, matching your style to client needs has high potential for a win-win outcome.

A lot has been written about the concept of the "unique selling proposition." While there is a common body of knowledge among all licensed real estate agents, every agent represents a unique combination of knowledge and experience. By properly identifying and using that unique combination, you can set yourself apart from other local agents and multiply your client base.

Should you seek out a mentor? There are both pros and cons to having a mentor. On the positive side, your mentor can help you develop your network of contacts and tip you off to local foibles and trends. On the other hand, the mentor may also be a competitor. Don't fall into the trap of becoming a mentor's unpaid "assistant". And if the mentor's personal selling "style" is different from yours, don't assume you're "wrong". Your mentor's style may not work for you.

As you grow in your career in Oakville real estate, you may develop one or more "specialties." Continuing education classes in taxes, finance or law can help you serve your clients better. Serving as a guest speaker at Home Owner Association meetings can position you as a community "expert" and lead to more visibility.

Personal and professional organization is also a key component of real estate success. Many real estate agents spend weeks or months on one sale. Paychecks may be huge, but they seldom come on a weekly basis. Promptly following up on leads can be the difference between getting a profitable listing and losing it to another agent.

Attention to detail is another important component of real estate success. Paying close attention and taking detailed notes will help you provide a satisfactory experience to both sellers and buyers. It is especially important to be accurate when submitting listing information to the MLS database. For example, an older home with inadequate electrical service is more difficult to finance. If the homeowner isn't sure of the amperage, you may be able to call the electric company to confirm the correct number. Pay attention to deed restrictions and HOA bylaws before selling a client on a home that restricts their pet, their hobby, or their home business.

A career as an Oakville real estate agent can be interesting and fun, as well as lucrative. Keeping up with market challenges and helping your community become a better place are bonuses!

Updated: 01/23/2013, SierraJacobs
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