How To Succeed as a Real Estate Agent: 11 Ways To Success

Updated December 19, 2022

Person stands in front of house with a sold sign in the front yard

If you enjoy working with people and moving around throughout the day as part of your job, you might enjoy a career as a real estate agent. Learning how to become successful in this field can take a great deal of practice and experience, and even the most experienced agents can benefit from learning new ideas and methodologies. If you'd like to thrive in this business, reading about strategies for success may help you do so. 

In this article, we explain what these professionals do, describe how to succeed as a real estate agent in 11 ways and provide information about the job outlook and average salary for agents. 

What does a real estate agent do?

Real estate agents are licensed professionals who act as a buyer's representative throughout both the search and buying processes. Specifically, they might:

  • Help property buyers find options within their price range

  • Lead property tours 

  • Negotiate with other realtors

Agents may specialize in either commercial or residential real estate and perform duties on behalf of either a buyer or a seller:

  • Agents that work for sellers call themselves listing agents. They advise their clients on how to price their property and prepare it for a sale. 

  • Agents that work for buyers call themselves buyers' agents. They look at sales data on similar properties their client has an interest in and compare them together in order to negotiate the best deal.

Read more: Learn About Being a Real Estate Agent

How to succeed as a real estate agent in 11 ways

For greater success and effectiveness as a real estate agent, you can:

1. Improve communication skills

Excellent communication skills are important in the real estate industry, especially as they may help agents work with customers and contracts efficiently. Specifically, agents may communicate with customers by:

  • Advising them on potential options

  • Setting up home tours

  • Introducing them to listing agents

  • Negotiating on their behalf

Read more: The 4 Main Communication Styles You'll Find in the Workplace

2. Partner with other local agents

Having a network of agents to work with can help you manage clients that have needs you're unable to meet, such as those looking for a price point with which you've little experience. Instead of declining to work with the client, you can co-list or co-represent them with another agent that specializes in their interest area. You may then split the profit on a property with the other agent. 

Related: FAQ: What Are Partnerships?

3. Find a publicist

If you're a new agent or decide you might benefit from more exposure, consider hiring a publicist. Local publicists have strong connections with nearby journalists who can name you as one of the top sources in the area on the subject of real estate. Publicists also negotiate cross-marketing deals for your independent agency with local news outlets.

Related: Learn About Being a Publicist

4. Host open-house events

Open-house events are often very important for the success of a sale. Whether you specialize in commercial or private properties, open house events allow the public inside for a free tour without a buyer's agent representing them. This attracts more attention to the property and increases its chances of selling.

Related: How To Start in Real Estate

5. Pitch a realty story to a news outlet

Reporters are often looking for information to share with their readers. If you notice any real estate trends in your area, such as three-car garages or in-law suites, let them know. As payment for your contribution, ask them to introduce you and link to your website in the article for more information

This strategy can both drive traffic to your site and inform prospective buyers and sellers of your knowledge regarding local real estate. This may encourage them to choose you as their agent.

Related: Pros and Cons of Being a Real Estate Agent

6. Use email marketing

Email automation software makes it easy to keep in contact with both previous and current clients. Here are some email marketing tips:

  • Use drip campaigns to teach clients more about what you can do for them as their agent and educate them on current trends and other areas affecting local real estate. 

  • Provide free supplemental guides such as e-books or incentives like special offers. 

  • Pair guides and incentives with call-to-action buttons to monitor which clients are most qualified or most interested in purchasing a home.

Read more: Q&A: What Is Email Marketing?

7. Keep in contact with past clients

When clients find a great home, keep in touch with them after the sale. You can:

  • Send out cards during the holidays

  • Share resources to help them file paperwork after closing

  • Initiate yearly check-ins asking about how much they enjoy their home or commercial property

This strategy lets clients know that you still work locally and are available for assistance anytime they decide to buy or sell again. Sending out friendly communication can also increase the chances of clients recommending you to friends and family.

Read more: How To Write a "Keep In Touch" Email (With Template)

8. Create social media profiles

The internet can be a valuable asset for realtors. Consider creating a real estate website along with social media profiles on some of the more popular platforms. Remain active on these sites and keep your content and tone professional. Encourage your clients to join and share your pages and build your community. Everything you post becomes free marketing, instantly sending messages out to a captive audience of previous, current and prospective clients.

Read more: How To Build Your Social Media Presence

9. Qualify your clients prior to working with them

Top-performing real estate agents know how to get a better understanding of prospective clients prior to their collaboration. Through industry experience and excellent communication skills, agents can sort clients into two categories:

  • Those who have an interest in making a purchase

  • Those who passively search for new properties

Focus on individuals who are most ready to make a sale to ensure your effort amounts to a reward.

Read more: FAQ: What Is a Pre-Qualified Lead? (Plus How To Pre-Qualify Leads)

10. Create a budget

For independent agents, creating a budget is essential for long-term success. You may consider:

  • The price range of properties you want to sell 

  • How long you take to sell a property, on average

  • Other business costs, including gas money for traveling to properties or the provision of food and beverages during open house events

Once you've price points for each category, subtract a small amount from each before setting any official budgets. This ensures that the business remains in a comfortable financial space each month.

Related: How To Start a Budget in 7 Steps

11. Continue learning

Even after completing formal education to become a real estate agent, it may be helpful to continue learning to stay up to date with the latest trends and industry knowledge. This can help convince customers that you're a trustworthy resource to consult and may improve the quality of your services. To do so, consider:

  • Subscribing to a real estate newsletter

  • Following influential members of the community online

  • Finding a mentor

  • Completing additional certification or training programs

  • Joining a real estate discussion group

Related: 15 Certifications in Real Estate

Job outlook and average salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average job outlook for real estate brokers and sales agents is 5% from 2021 to 2031, which represents a slower-than-average rate of growth. The average salary for a real estate agent is $106,574 per year. The highest-paying cities for real estate agents include:

  • Wakefield, Massachusetts: $106,770 per year

  • Houston, Texas: $107,359 per year

  • San Antonio, Texas: $102,253 per year

  • Las Vegas, Nevada: $103,754 per year

  • Miami, Florida: $104,287 per year

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the links provided.

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