It’s really difficult to be a successful real estate salesperson.  And I’m not saying that because of the market and the bailout, etc.  I’m saying that in general, it’s not easy to be a successful real estate salesperson.

Really, it should be.  If agents were trained in sales and time management, then we all would come in, do our work efficiently and sell a lot of homes.  We’d come in early and practice.  We’d prospect for leads.  We’d follow up on leads.   We’d return calls and/or do administrative work.  We’d prepare for appointments.  We’d go on appointments.  We’d get contracts signed.

So, here’s why it’s not that easy: you get in your own way.  Plain and simple.  You get in your own way with what you do (or don’t do), what you think about, and who you are being.

What you do (or don’t do): I have coached hundreds of agents who all seem to have the same problem – lack of schedule, or bad time management.  Let’s face it, you probably got into the business for the freedom of scheduling with no boss.

For my thoughts on scheduling go back a couple of weeks in this blog and read all about it.  For now, just get the main point: you need to have a schedule to be successful in real estate sales.

I find that most agents, and offices, tend to be way too busy for the amount of production they don’t do.  You know what I mean.  You don’t come in Tuesday, but you show up at 10:30am on Wednesday with the phone strapped to your ear, loudly handling some menial contract issue on your pending deal.  Then, when you leave at 1:15pm for the day, conveniently with a couple of file folders under your arms, while you’re again on the phone, everyone, including your broker, marvels at how busy you are.  Never mind you’re at 4 deals closed and pending year to date.

No schedule equals not a lot of deals.  No schedule equals lots and lots of distractions.  Not having your own schedule means you’re on everyone else’s schedule, like that buyer who calls at 8pm on Saturday night, or the seller who just shows up wondering what you’re doing to get their home sold, or that neurotic agent who needs to track you down on your cell phone four times to find your office fax number to bring you an offer that’s $100,000 off of a $190,000 home.

It’s extremely difficult to do your job and sell a lot of homes if you don’t have a schedule and you let yourself get distracted.

What you think about: Well first of all, unless you are someone who writes goals and affirmations and reads them daily, and visualizes achieving the goals, then you most likely won’t be thinking about positive things all day long.  Our minds are hard-wired to survive, not thrive, so we’re always thinking about what could go wrong so we can avoid it.

There’s an old saying in real estate that goes something like, “Don’t count your deal until you’re holding the cash from the commission check.”

What a horrible, play it safe, survive-if-you-can thought process!  What a way to promote thinking extremely small, focusing on just that one deal, and being horribly, desperately attached to the outcome!

Add all that to thoughts of insecurity, I’m not worth it, I’m not good enough, I don’t know what to say, my competitors are better than me, etc., and you’ve got a recipe for, well, 4 or 5 deals a year which just happens to be the national average (yeah, the average agent in the country sells only about 4 to 5 homes a year!).

And, now you have the bad market, the bailout, etc. all to occupy your mind with negative thoughts.

So, if you go into a normal real estate sales day thinking about how bad the market is, hoping you don’t lose that deal, worrying about where the next deal might come from, all in a total survival mentality, don’t you think you’re kind of setting yourself up for bad times?

If you ask a professional athlete or coach/manager about the upcoming game or series, what would you think if you heard them say, “We’re probably going to lose.  We’ll try, I guess, but that team over there is really good and we’ve been playing badly.  Smith’s in a slump.  Jones has no confidence.  No one wants to practice, and we do it half-heartedly.  I don’t even really want to show up to the stadium most days.”?

And, would you think they were going to be successful?

Of course not.  Yet, that’s what most of us metaphorically sound like in our heads virtually every day.

By the way, as an aside, one of my clients told me he read a stat that nearly 85% of all the fears we think about never actually come true.

Seems like a hell of a waste of time, don’t you think?

Who you are being: When I talk about who a person is being, it gets a little confusing.  However, it’s kind of simple if you take this approach:  When someone is mean to you, typically you might ask, “Why are you being mean?,” or, “Why are you being a jerk?”  Likewise, if someone is nice to you, you might think, “That person is being nice.”  Sounds simple, and it is.  Who a person is being is exactly what you might think.

So, if you take the above “What you think about” thoughts and put them in your head, you might find that you are being any combination of scared, frustrated, desperate, dramatic, neurotic, upset, angry, etc.

But “who you are being” goes much deeper than that.  True, your prevailing thoughts affect who you are being at any given time, yet there is a much deeper way of being that you have going on that I promise you is getting in the way of you selling a hell of a lot of homes, and having wonderful relationships, and having a generally happy life.

You became who you were at a very young age based on snap psychological decisions you made in response to certain stimuli you received.  All that mumbo-jumbo means is that you heard, saw or read something that had an affect on you and quickly, subconsciously became a certain way based on it.

The biggest scam perpetuated on you is that you think that who and how you are is the way you’re supposed to be and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Not true.  Who and how you are is a habitual way of being based on those decisions you made early in your life.

So, if you’re quiet, or aggressive, or loud, or energetic, or arrogant, or humble, or any other way of being at any time, that’s only who you have become, and you can change it if you choose to.

So why would you want to change it?  What if you like you?  Good question, but you don’t matter in this equation.  You need to see how you affect others around you, and the sad fact is that your way of being repels most of the people you come in contact with.

Hate to break it to you like that, but it’s true.  You don’t realize it, because you don’t think about people who aren’t in your life (because they were repelled by you).  However, if you’ve ever not set an appointment, if you’ve ever lost a listing, if you’ve ever had a buyer leave you, that’s because you repelled them.  Hell, if you’ve ever managed to get a client despite yourself and then end up fighting with them….IT’S ALL BECAUSE OF WHO YOU ARE BEING, and you have repelled them.

You want more sales?  Adapt who you are being to suit the people you come in contact with.  Just an idea here, as we’ve touched on matching people for rapport before in this blog: people like people who are like themselves.

So, for example, loud people like loud people.  Loud people don’t like quiet people, and they certainly don’t like quiet people who think that loud people are obnoxious (remember, how you think affects how and who you are being).

Remember, you repel infinitely more people than you ever know.  You just don’t think about them because they’re not in your life anymore.  Shame is they could be your next deal.  Shame is they could your soulmate.  Shame is they could be someone who will give you friendship, business, referrals, etc.


Monitor what you do all day, every day.  Get a schedule.

Monitor your thoughts, and start focusing on what you want to accomplish.

Monitor your way of being, adapt to others so you don’t repel them.

That is how you get out of your own way, and that is how you’ll sell more homes.

Scott Friedman