Characteristics of a Pro by Tom Hopkins

Learn the traits common among true professionals in the field of real estate and how to develop them.

There are many traits or attributes common to those who can be called professionals in the field of real estate. A particular quality that separates the average from the great can be expressed by one simple word– discipline.

Years ago, I taught that one of the top qualities separating the average from the great was desire. However, I have since met and observed many students who had the overwhelming desire to succeed, but lacked the discipline required to design their paths to success, stay on track and ultimately fulfill their potential. So, your desire to achieve must be tempered with your ability to discipline yourself to do what’s necessary at all times.

Most of the great ones have an overwhelming desire to prove something to someone. They know they can be the best in their field and are out to prove it to the world, or maybe just to themselves and their families. This desire burns so strongly within them that it keeps them moving in the right direction. It keeps them positive on days when things don’t go just right. It keeps them cheerful to their clients and fellow salespeople. It makes them more efficient and professional in their day-to-day activities. It’s the fuel that keeps their engines running in top condition.

The desire they have to succeed is not wholly selfish either. In their quest for success, they sincerely want to find those people looking for a new home and fulfill their needs in relocating. Their success is brought about by bringing happiness to those people they come in contact with and serve.

Now I can’t tell how much desire you have to make it in this field. Only you know that. The answer comes in knowing how much stress, anxiety and pain you can handle before you call it quits. Are two rejections and three No’s enough to send you looking for another profession? If so, you have a low threshold of desire and a high one for rejection. Think about what you’re willing to give or do to achieve what you really want.

Desire without discipline leads to disappointment, disillusionment and despair.

Here are a few other characteristics that separate the average from the pros.

Professionals pay close attention to details. They ask questions that help them get a better understanding of exactly what their clients are looking for in a home: location, schools, shopping, the airport, the freeway. They have their paperwork in order–properly filled out, recorded, and filed. They return phone calls promptly, even if it’s just to leave a quick message that they’ll be in touch with further information later. They keep their promises and have answers ready when questions are asked.

They are highly goal-oriented. They are striving for a certain number of homes sold each month, a certain income, a trophy or an award. They know exactly what they’re working for and have a plan detailing when and how they’ll achieve it.

Do you have your goals in writing? If not, you are a wisher, an undisciplined dreamer. You haven’t really committed yourself to achieving anything. You’re like those average people in your office who say, “Sure, I want to make more money, but after the day I had yesterday, I’m not leaving the office today.”

The true professionals begin where the failures stop.
They do what the failures are afraid or too lazy to do.

The great ones understand that they must strive daily to improve their skills. They have jumped in with both feet and are willing to pay the price of learning what they have to know to be a professional in this business. They’ve committed to real estate as their career. They are constantly striving to improve themselves by attending real estate seminars and functions, listening to and reading industry information and staying abreast of new technology that will assist them in serving their clients more effectively and  efficiently. 

They live by this motto: “I must do the most productive thing possible at every given moment.” Those simple twelve words literally changed my life and my real estate career decades ago. Whenever I felt doubt about what I was doing I would glance at these words hung by my desk, get re-focused and do the next most important thing. 

Another characteristic of the top people in real estate is that they give excellent service. They know they are paid in direct proportion to the amount of service they give to their clients. They understand that we are in the people business. We don’t sell homes.  We get people happily involved in owning property by satisfying their real estate needs.

I hope you’re not one of those people who is “just giving real estate a try.” People with that attitude have a plan of action for when they fail. You’ve heard it, I’m sure. “If I don’t make it in this, I can always…” They have a plan for failure. They’re anticipating it, and will probably get it. Planning to succeed is so much more exciting than planning to fail.

Don’t let yourself be disappointed. Develop the discipline you need to succeed.

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