Unlocking the secrets to a successful real estate career: Characteristics every agent needs

Roncroft Realty
Published on March 2, 2023

Unlocking the secrets to a successful real estate career: Characteristics every agent needs

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to sell houses?

Real estate is one of those fields where everyone thinks they could be good at it.

All one has to do is open a few doors, shake some hands, and presto…instant real estate success.

This post will be part of a series with more information on how to become a real estate agent.

In an age where many people are struggling to find meaning in their daily work, little comes close to helping people find homes and maximize the potential of their homes.

Thirteen years ago almost to the day, I began my journey as an executive assistant in a real estate office.

In 2010, the pace of business was much slower.

Most real estate agents did not have their own website and e-signatures were still not widely accepted yet in New York State.

New real estate agents in the Greater Buffalo Niagara Region have so many chances to make a name for themselves now that online networking has matured to such a high level.

Of course, everyone and their mother knows someone in real estate.

However, the key to evaluating if a real estate career is right for you lies in understanding the three characteristics every real estate agent must possess in order to have a shot.

The Autodidact

There is a saying in real estate that is well known throughout the industry. That is, “Ten percent of the agents in real estate do ninety percent of the business.”

This statement has held merit for quite some time. Essentially, ten percent of the people on any roster of real estate agents close ninety percent of the homes on the market.

The competition in this field is intense.

Agents with a bigger share of the business have figured out that in order to continue to be successful they must be forever open to learning and new experiences.

For those who enter the real estate field with the mentality of someone who expects to be forever trained and taught by others, they will have an extremely difficult time.

We live in an age where almost any daily problem can be solved through a Google search.

Even if the problem cannot be solved in the search, the person running the query will at least find a ton of information relating to the issue at hand.

To be someone who is able to teach oneself is an invaluable skill to have in the constantly changing real estate world.

Thirteen years ago, most agents took home photos on their grainy cell phones.

Mind you, these photos were for homes worth tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Today, in order to have the listing stand out, the bare minimum is hiring a professional photographer to make the house look attractive.

Additionally, things like drones and virtual reality tours help solidify a home sale before the buyer even sees the property.

A few years from now real estate agents will likely be using high powered artificial intelligence with even more capabilities to help sell houses.

In fact, A.I. is helping real estate agents right now and only in its infancy.

Still, it seems that not many realize the true value in tools like automated valuation models or transaction management software.

It would be an understatement to say that the best real estate agents of both today and tomorrow need to be skilled with using cutting edge technology.

In the same light, there are a myriad of other softer person-to-person skills that the best agents possess.

For instance, learning how to communicate effectively and be a great listener is huge, as well as understanding the trends and nuances in the local Greater Buffalo Niagara market.

Many real estate companies devote an exorbitant amount of their time training both new and experienced agents ad nauseam.

However, the ten percent of the agents do ninety percent of the business rule still holds true regardless of the company. Why is this?

The reality is that even though many agents attend trainings, few actually implement what is learned in their daily practice.

It comes down to self motivation, which is a central sub trait of an autodidact, the ability to be at peace with learning on one’s own.

Those who are naturally interested in doing new things and becoming skilled at them in the face of multiple personal failures have a huge advantage in real estate over everyone else.

Resilient #BounceBack

Resilience is probably the central most important character trait to have for any real estate professional.

Can’t handle being told no?

Then, this career path is likely not for you.

Generally for all positions involving some level of sales, there is a numbers gambit that must be run.

In order to sell one house, an agent must talk to a large number of people in order to generate that one transaction.

Aside from the essential processes of helping the public buy and sell homes, the most central task of a real estate agent is connecting with others.

One could be the greatest buyer’s agent in the world, however, without any connections their business would go nowhere.

Similar to any business, building relationships with the general public is a must.

However, in real estate since the agent is the actual product in a sense that the agent’s services are for sale, it can be difficult for some to adjust to the stress of constantly needing to be likable and at the whims of the many.

There will certainly be those who for whatever reason will not mesh well or appreciate one’s message.

The best real estate agents brush off the negativity and get right back up and engage those who do respond well to them.


Of course, integrity is of utmost importance in any financial services profession.

Truly any career path, whether it be a doctor, janitor, airline pilot, or truck driver, should involve the highest levels of integrity.

Integrity is defined by Merriam Webster as “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : INCORRUPTIBILITY”.

Did you know that not all real estate agents are REALTORS®?

All REALTORS®, including Roncroft Realty, are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and adhere to the 17 Articles in the NAR Code of Ethics.

The NAR Code of Ethics guides all actions of REALTORS®, from how they interact with clients and customers, to how they interact with the public, to how they interact with other REALTORS®.

It essentially covers every scenario one could consider and more.

To read the full code, visit: https://www.nar.realtor/about-nar/governing-documents/code-of-ethics/2023-code-of-ethics-standards-of-practice

For us, integrity is about more than simply following a specific set of standards.

Real estate is a way of life, an art form and yet a science.

We’re constantly thinking about how to do things better, how to pull off crisp execution every single time.

Some of our favorite musicians and entertainers are our favorites because they consistently strive to perfecting their craft.

A smile might come to mind when remembering how seamlessly a note was hit, or a brush stroke made, or how a dance move was executed.

Upon hearing the word integrity, this is the truest notion we understand.

New real estate professionals who “get it” can have long and successful careers.

Fun statistics about REALTORS®

from the 2022 NAR Member Profile

  • Most REALTORS® worked 35 hours per week in 2021
  • The typical REALTOR® had 8 years of experience
  • 79% of REALTORS® were very certain they will remain active as a real estate professional for the next two years.
  • 66% of all REALTORS® were female, up slightly from 65% last year.
  • 67% of REALTORS® were licensed sales agents
  • 21% held broker licenses
  • In 2020, 36% of REALTORS® were compensated under a fixed commission split (under 100%), 20% with a graduated commission split (increases with productivity), and 18% with a capped commission split (rises to 100% after a predetermined threshold).
  • REALTORS® with 16 years or more experience had a median gross income of $85,000—up from $75,000 in 2020—compared to REALTORS® with 2 years or less experience that had a median gross income of $8,800—an increase from $8,500 in 2020.
  • The largest expense category for most REALTORS® was vehicle expenses, which was $1,460.

If you or someone you know would like to know more about becoming a real estate agent, call or text 716-218-0015 or email us at [email protected].

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