How to Succeed in Real Estate

An Illustration by Mike Seiler

Whether you've been in the industry for a long time or you're just beginning your journey as a real estate agent, I trust that this article will help you in your pursuit to become a successful real estate agent. One key trait that all real estate agents share is that they have a drive learn and succeed. We're glad you're here!

There are Many Factors to Real Estate Success

To understand why people win or lose at almost anything in life, it's essential to realize that several factors make up any story of success or failure.

A runner, for example, wins a race primarily due to their training, strength and endurance. Still, without proper nutrition and hydration in the days leading up to the race, their performance may be hindered.  Proper footwear and clothing can have a significant impact on their final results.

Same Principals w/ Different Outcomes

Today, I would like to demonstrate how many agents with the same tools and principles can end up with vastly different outcomes. I would like to demonstrate that 'Priorities' are almost everything to succeeding in real estate. It's important to have a strong focus on the things that matter.

We'll start our illustration by showing you how to win in real estate.  The exciting part of this exercise is seeing HOW most people fail as it reveals our own weaknesses.   So be sure to read to the end, where we'll show the typical practices of agents and why most real estate agents fail.   These principles can easily be applied to other industries and even other facets of your life.

The Real Estate Jar

This Jar represents you as a real estate professional.

All of these containers contain various sizes of rocks and sand. The larger the object is, the more critical the principle it represents.

Now let's look at the 'Not so big secret' on succeeding in Real Estate.

How To Succeed in Real Estate

Priorities In Real Estate

The Largest Rock, Real Estate Relationships

The Largest Rock - Real Estate & Relationships

This rock represents Faith, Family and Friends. Regardless of how big your bank account grows in this life, if you are not in wholesome and healthy relationships, if you're not grounded and surrounded by people who love and respect you, you're on the wrong path.

As a new agent, it's important to get this right. This should be your #1 Key Takeaways! Focus on your relationships. Carve out time slots in your day to spend with family and connections. Take a day of the week and treat it as your 'off day'. This 'off day' will turn into your most lucrative day of the week.

From a purely business perspective, your community represents leads and opportunities that you'll only get when you're sufficiently engaged.

On a personal level, your relationships provide meaning and value to your life that ultimately represent some of life's greatest treasures. You were designed to be in relationships.

We're in an industry with Buyers and Sellers that are oftentimes extremely needy. It's important to maintain connections while building relationships during your downtime.

Now pause this video, and go and tell someone that you love them!

The Second Largest Rock - Real Estate & Your Health & Wellness

This rock represents Health and Wellness. Not only does a healthy body and mind allow you to live longer and enjoy your life and successes, but it's the fuel to achieve success.

The Second Largest Rock, Real Estate Health

Taking care of your mind and body is like maintaining your vehicle on a cross-country journey. Your mind and body are YOUR vehicles, and life's journey is filled with all sorts of terrain.

Adding washer fluid ensures that you're sufficiently prepared to wash it when the windshield gets dirty. Oil changes ensure all of your fundamental mechanisms don't seize up. Good fuel and a full tank ensure you're aptly prepared to get where you set out to go.

Top producing agents in your market may not always represent this principle... Successful real estate agents are not only Top Producers but have mastered this one!

When you think about your real estate business it's important to thin about long term success.

The White Rock, Real Estate Training

The White Rocks - Real Estate Training

These smaller rocks represent growth and development. They are the books we read, the real estate courses we take.

The knowledge we gain today represents our patterns and growth for tomorrow. These rocks very much support the growth and development of the previous principles I mentioned. Perhaps you're reading about improving your marriage or your memory. Maybe you're taking a course on public speaking or negotiation fundamentals. To succeed as a real estate agent, you're going to want to invest heavily in learning and personal growth.

Ideas surrounding personal growth and development may include:

Improving your people skills, understanding current trends, studying lead generation techniques.

The Gravel - Real Estate Necessities

This represents the daily responsibilities of your overall business. Paying your bills. Working on your website. Checking the daily listings and previewing properties. Putting money aside for taxes and investing money.

The Gravel, Real Estate Necessities

This represents the daily responsibilities of your overall business. Paying your bills. Working on your website. Checking the daily listings and previewing properties. Putting money aside for taxes and investing money.

These are all essential things to do as a real estate professional, but none of which will propel you into massive success.

These responsibilities should be scheduled into your days and fulfilled in their proper order of priority. It's important to learn to work from a to-do list.

The Sand, Real Estate Fluff

The Sand - Real Estate Fluff

Ah, the sand. Lifes fillers! Cheesecake. Watching Videos and Movies, Travelling, Toys, Big Toys, and Small, Social Media. Fishing.

In the same way that dessert and sugar shouldn't be consumed before your main meal, you shouldn't start your day with fillers.

The cherry on top requires a cake to place it upon, so be sure to build your cake first! Ultimately it comes down to hard work. The most successful real estate agents go the extra mile to create the future they want for themselves.


The auctioneer calls for the first bid and the crowd falls silent. The bidding starts low but quickly heats up as the bidders compete for the opportunity to own this magnificent piece of Owen Sound's history. Within a few short minutes the bidding has reached $900,000, the tension in the crowd is palpable.  You watch the bidding with interest, but it’s quickly approaching your maximum budge of $1,500,000.  As the bidding reaches its climax, and you must make a decision.

Something in your gut is telling you that things are getting a little out of control.  Perhaps you should just pass on this and search for a regular resale home?

It's still early in the game.  Maybe you'll get lucky and your bid entry would stop the bidding frenzy!  Should you bid on the mansion with a nominal increase?

You really want this house.  Even at 1.5mil you convince yourself that it's still undervalued.  Perhaps an aggressive bid will cause the other bidders to stop.

This section is part of our Choose Your Own Real Estate Adventure 'The Old Mansion On 13th' storyline.  If you would like to participate, please start from the beginning by clicking >>here<<

Why Most People Fail in Real Estate

Now here's the telling part of the illustration. Most real estate agents fail to prioritize the fundamental principles of success.

Taking the same illustration, they pursue their profession with their priorities reverses. Doing the least important things first.

  1. Whether that's starting your morning scrolling through social media rather than doing some stretching. Whether they prioritize watching a sports game over a walk with their spouse or kids.
  2. Now that they've gotten their sugar fix and their cortisol levels are peaked, it's time to jump in their cars and head to the office. Maybe they'll write a blog or pay the phone bill.
  3. Because their priorities are out of order, they are often not in the right mindset for completing their responsibilities.
  4. ....It's time to move on to personal development, but it's not usually met with joy and excitement.
  5. ....Well, it's been a long day. I don't feel great, maybe I'll go to the gym, maybe not…
  6. ....And finally… it's time to face the family. But there's no room for family and friends.


This sucks! Real Estate just isn't for me! I quit!

How To Be A Successful Real Estate Agent: My personal Top Tips

To be successful in real estate, you MUST invest in yourself and prioritize your growth. You must also maintain a healthy body and mind so that you can handle the rigors of this career. Invest in your education by reading books, attending courses and learning from the best!

You didn't necessarily come here to listen to that! So let me give you some tips to get some business!

Real Estate Website

Your Real Estate Website is very much like a resume. It doesn't have to be filled with a ton of real estate knowledge, but it should be presented well. If building a website is a bit scary for you, be sure to use the services of some in the field.

If you want to go a step further and build content into your site, don't necessarily think in terms of how-to content for buyers and sellers, rather think about how to can provide valuable local content for your market.

Create A Marketing Plan

Listing homes is the name of the game. To be a great listing agent, you'll want to create a great marketing plan. Not only will this help with selling a property, but will help to secure seller leads when you're at the table.

You can search for tips and resources when developing your marketing plan. It's important to include services that you are comfortable fulfilling should you get the call to sell a property. Your marketing efforts will go a long way to helping you become a successful agent.

Open Houses

Neet buyers (and sellers) at Open Houses. Open houses can be a great way to attract new clients.  If you want to specialize in residential real estate and you don't have any listings, ask Realtors in your office if they would mind allowing you to host an open house on their property.

Providing these services may help the other Realtor, and create bridges between you and them. You can market these listings on your own social media profiles and create an image of success.

Past Clients

New clients and potential clients will never equal past clients! The secret sauce of every successful real estate agent is the art of nurturing their past clients.

We're not in a single deal industry!

After you successfully negotiate a deal on a property, it's your job to take care and secure the future business of your client! Follow-ups, pop-by's, birthday cards, home anniversaries and more! Keep your new homeowners up to date on new properties for sale in their neighbourhood. Everybody likes to know the selling prices of homes, so it'll be welcomed information!

The Right Tools

Every small business needs to follow the current trends and utilize the right tools to succeed in their industry. Whether you're selling a home or helping your buyer client land their next dream home, it's important to be up to date and educated.

A simple search for 'Tips' for selling real estate will turn up many great marketing ideas that successful agents are using. Imitating other agents is important for your own real estate business success.

Ask your real estate broker for help in attracting new buyers.

To-Do List

Do you want to become a successful real estate agent? Really!?

Your real estate career is a business and ought to be treated like one. Every business requires proper planning and marketing.

Successful agents know the value of organizing their thoughts and creating a daily and well-organized to-do list! Start your day off by checking off a few items on your list and you'll be well on your way to real estate success!

Get A Real Estate Coach

Most successful real estate agents will attribute much of their success to the people around them.

Find a person  (or 3) that has experienced success in real estate and ask them questions.  Take notes!

Real estate is more than just buying and selling homes.  We're in the business of marketing too.  We market our properties for sale, and we market ourselves for sale.  Be sure to find a coach that can help you with your marketing.

A marketing coach or business coach doesn't necessarily have to have a lot of real estate experience.

Know Thy Strengths and Weaknesses

In the beginning of our real estate career we may be required to wear several hats.  The reality is that nobody is great at absolutely everything.

The end goal should be to surround yourself with a team that can support your business in the areas that you're weak in.

Consider areas of real estate photography, graphic design, social media, administration and taxes.


The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA