6 things that make a successful real estate agent

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July 29, 2020
things you need to know for becoming a real estate agent

Passion and a love for helping others is just a few traits needed in a realtor. Curious to learn what are the other things you need to do as a real estate agent?

A real estate agent is someone who has taken and passed all required real estate classes and real estate licensing exams in the state they intend to work. They are industry professionals who represent both buyers and sellers.

Agents are responsible for negotiations between the two parties and deliver offers and counter-offers. They also help their clients with the process of paperwork and any requirements that are needed to complete the sale, such as closing dates and inspections. 

So how are they paid? Real estate agents work for an agency and are normally paid on a commission basis. This means they don’t have a set salary, but are dependent on their sales. They get a percentage of the sale price of a property, so the higher the sale price, the higher their commission and pay.

Pros and cons of becoming a real estate agent

Is it worth it to become a real estate agent and why become a broker? If you’re wondering why many choose this as a profession or are curious if being a real estate agent is for you, look no further. Here are some pros and cons of becoming an agent:


  • You have the flexibility to choose your own schedule
  • You have unlimited income potential and you get out what you put in
  • It can be rewarding to find the perfect home for your clients
  • You can be your own boss, grow your own business, and build your own brand


  • Not having a typical 9-5 job may mean working more hours
  • There is no safety net during the slow seasons of the housing market
  • It can be challenging to work with many different personalities and needs of your clients
  • It hard work with a lot of things to do behind the scenes for your clients as well as building your own brand
how to become a successful real estate agent
This listing is sold by Toni Haber from Compass: 92 Laight Street, #6A Tribeca, New York

Broker vs. real estate agent

While both brokers and agents have similar professions, there is a difference between them. For one, real estate agents’ main job is to assist during the real estate transaction, work for brokerages, and are paid on a commission basis.

On the other hand, a real estate broker is someone who continues their education past the agent level to receive a state real estate broker license exam. 

Unlike agents, they are able to work as independent agents and have other agents working for them. Like real estate agents, brokers are also paid by commission after a sale. However, the amount they receive depends on the contract they signed between the broker and buyer/seller, which lists the percentage of the sale that goes to them.

Best tips for a real estate broker

Being a broker is no easy task. While it may seem as simple as showing a few homes to customers, there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes.

It may seem overwhelming at first, but if you truly enjoy the work, your passion will be reflected in it. If you’re thinking of starting a career in real estate or are a brand new agent, you may be wondering how to become a successful realtor. We have some real estate agent tips for beginners you may find useful while starting this new career path.

1. Network with other real estate professionals

Networking is an essential part of being a real estate broker. By maintaining good business relationships with other brokers and agents, you can more easily find buyers and sellers as needed. By having a group of other realtors to turn to rather than work independently, it can ensure closing deals at a faster rate. 

Networking can also include having a mutually-beneficial relationship with others that are part of the real estate business such as attorneys, inspectors, and appraisers. By allying yourself with the best team, beginner real estate agents can more effectively learn the ins and outs of the industry as well as create good working relationships with those that can help throughout your career. 

Can you be a successful real estate agent
This listing is sold by Ann Weintraub from Ann Weintraub, Ltd.:1 Fifth Avenue, #22AD Greenwich Village, New York

2. Be a problem solver for your clients

Finding the perfect apartment or buyer for your clients sounds easy in theory, but can be difficult to achieve if there are many wants to be met. Due to this, problem solving skills and being able come up with creative offer tactics is needed in a real estate agent.

Rather than focus on the negatives of a certain property, it is important that you are able to approach these problems with offers. For instance, when trying to help a client sell their home, take initiative to decorate and take aesthetically pleasing photos of the space so buyers are able to envision its potential.

Another example would be if your client is wanting to purchase an apartment to live in but is on a small budget. You can look through neighborhoods right outside of the expensive heart of the city, but still has available transportation options.

3. Show proactiveness during the entire home search process

Being a real estate agent is a demanding job. This is due to the competitiveness of the market along with changing supply and demand of the housing market. Not to mention the housing market in each city is independent and can operate differently depending on its own supply and demand. 

However, to be a successful realtor, one must take the lead and be proactive instead of being swept along with the market. This means taking action and looking for opportunities whenever possible. This includes taking leads, sending new listings, and effectively communicating with clients and potential clients.

This includes answering phone calls, emails, and texts in a timely manner. Being proactive also means reaching out to other brokers and agents to see if they have any interested customers for the home you’re trying to help sell or if they have any properties that fit your customer’s needs.

habits of successful real estate agents
This listing is sold by Samantha Behringer from Douglas Elliman: 15 William Street, #43I Financial District, New York

4. Be a good listener

An important part of being a broker and realtor is knowing what your clients want and need. This includes knowing what kind of home they need or how much they are willing to sell their home. In order to achieve this, effective communication and listening skills is needed in a real estate agent.

This goes hand in hand with the proactiveness part of reaching out to clients and potential clients. While answering calls and emails are part of this, it also means to first take the time to hear what your customers are saying to you. 

Take the time to learn about your client and understand the connection to the space they want to buy or sell. For instance, is it a home where they want to grow their family or is it a vacation property? After learning what your customer wants out of the home, you can give them advice to help them achieve it.

By learning about your client first, you can more effectively put your neighborhood, property, and location knowledge to use. Having listening skills means you won’t waste both yours and your client’s time.

5. Make sure you are marketing yourself and your agency

Marketing is another extension of networking we discussed earlier. While networking focuses on professionals within the real estate market, marketing targets clients and potential customers. Marketing is a great way for realtors and brokers to showcase who they are along with their professional expertise.

By showing the person behind the professional facade, people are more likely to relate and feel more comfortable around those who share the same interests.

A few ways a real estate agent can market themselves is through social presence. This includes social media accounts such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Through these networks, an agent can share blogs and photos while connecting with other agents and customers with the same interests. This can include sharing listings and getting more eyes on the properties you’re selling. 

Another part of marketing includes collaborating with other websites, companies, and press to discuss real estate related topics. By doing this, you can get your name out to those interested in real estate and potentially gain new business relationships or clients.

Lastly, marketing also includes maintaining communication with past clients and those interested in your business. You can do this through including an email subscription people can sign up for on your website. Through this email list, you can create monthly newsletters to showcase your reviews, current listings, neighborhoods, and other information to keep those on the list updated and involved.

successful real estate habits
This listing is sold by Toni Haber from Compass: 12 East 13 Street, #8 Greenwich Village, New York

6. Be a transparent real estate agent

Being transparent as a real estate agent is the foundation of trust and integrity you can  bring to your customers. This is because good brokers don’t lie to their customers. Transparency doesn’t just mean telling the truth about the property you are trying to sell to your client, but also to take responsibility for any previous wrong strategies and try to do better in the future.

Being a realtor or broker doesn’t just mean closing sales, but also maintaining integrity and the trust of your clients. By having the principles of transparency in every part of your work, you can ensure your client won’t experience buyer’s remorse and earning the trust of a client means not only will they reach out to you in the future for real estate needs, but may also refer you to others who need your service.

Notable NYC brokers & agents

New York City is filled with hundreds of real estate agents and real estate brokers. Here are just a few notable brokers and agents from different brokerage firms for you to check out:

Thomas Szoeke

Contact: Instagram LinkedIn

Thomas Szoeke is a licensed real estate salesperson at Bold New York. Szoeke originally worked in Vienna with European luxury rentals and has since transitioned into the New York Market and currently lives in the Upper East Side.

He has experience with corporate relocation, professionals relocating to NYC from overseas, guiding first-time buyers, and working with seasoned real estate investors.

habits of top producing real estate agents
This listing is sold by Thomas Szoeke from Bold New York: 882 Carroll Street Park Slope, New York

Samantha Behringer

Contact: Instagram

Samantha Behringer is a licensed associate real estate broker at Douglas Elliman. She is a member of The Behringer Team and has over 19 years of experience as a NYC real estate broker. Behringer works with high-end luxury rentals and new development projects.

She currently has $1,000,000,000 in sales in Manhattan and Brooklyn over New Development and Resales.

Who is the most successful real estate agent
This listing is sold by Samantha Behringer from Douglas Elliman: 306 Gold Street, #16B Fort Greene, New York

Ann Weintraub

Contact: Instagram

Ann Weintraub is a real estate broker with her own boutique real estate firm called Ann Weintraub, Ltd. that opened in 1984. She has been selling real estate in Manhattan since 19882 and has a reputation for selling in the most prestigious doorman buildings in lower Manhattan.

daily habits of successful realtors
This listing is sold by Ann Weintraub from Ann Weintraub, Ltd.: 1 Fifth Avenue, #26A Greenwich Village, New York

Toni Haber

Contact: Instagram Facebook LinkedIn

Toni Haber is a licensed associate real estate broker at Compass Realty and is a native New Yorker and Tribeca resident.. She has been working in real estate for over 36 years and is one of Manhattan’s most sought-after real estate advisors. Currently, she has closed over $2 billion in residential transactions.

successful real estate agent stories
This listing is sold by Toni Haber from Compass: 201 West 17 Street, #6A Chelsea, New York

By putting these six tips into practice, beginners and current real estate agents can elevate their work to another level. The real estate market can be a competitive place, but it doesn’t mean 

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