Entrepreneurial Traits


Inc. and Capital One Bank recently conducted a survey of the traits of entrepreneurs: lets face it, in the real estate brokerage profession we all have to be entrepreneurs to a certain degree, so I thought it would be useful to highlight these traits. In them you can easily see why certain agents are super-successful: I love this checklist as it reminds me of what it takes to be successful…..and its not just one thing. This list may also help you in identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes its a great idea to partner up with someone or hire an assistant who possesses the strengths you may be lacking.

1)   Hard working:  This is at the top of the list. Luck is nowhere on this list. Really hard (smart) work is a common denominator of successful people.

2)   Competitive:  Being an agent requires a definite competitive streak. Its not about winning necessarily, but it is about competing in a highly competitive arena where thousands of brokers are competing for the same business. Every agent has their different style, but most are highly competitive and have a desire to succeed.

3)   Confident:  Confidence inspires confidence in those you work with and for. A waffling, self-doubting uncertain agent is usually not successful. They scare their clients who are already nervous in the highly emotional process that involves buying, selling, renting or developing. Confidence shows maturity and indicates knowledge and insight. Sometimes we have to fake confidence: we owe that to our clients. They want to hear a strong voice.

4)   Problem-solving: each transaction is a different puzzle with multiple touch-points and nuances. Some may call each step a problem, others call them challenges. Focusing on the ‘problem’ with solution-thinking mentality always delivers better results sooner and with more certainty.

5)   Determined: Strong agents don’t quit. They figure it out. Even if they don’t know the answer…..they are happy to admit they don’t know everything….but they will have the tenacity and network to figure out how to achieve the necessary. Whatever it takes.

6)   Leader: Even if an agent works on their own they are the leader of their business, network, clients and customers. Leadership qualities are essential no matter the size of your business or team, requiring vision, planning, action-step-thinking, and execution.

7)   Optimistic: The strongest agents see opportunity in everything. They shift to where the opportunity is rather than bemoaning the alternative. They are always optimistic only allowing very small doses of sadness or hopelessness (which is human!).

8)   Risk-taker: Being an agent in itself is a huge risk, knowing that you are almost entirely reliant on yourself to create your income. Risk-takers seek the help of their company and colleagues to drive this business, but ultimately they are taking the biggest risk of all to make things happen.

9)  Persuasive: I do not know of a successful broker who is not persuasive. Granted its impossible to persuade most people to do something they absolutely don’t want to do, but being persuasive about a whole host of things is critical. Persuasive does not have to be pushy or tacky: its a communication style that is effective in convincing others to do what you want them to do.

10)  Passionate: In sales, people are drawn to those with passion. Passion comes in different forms but an agent without passion will never be very convincing. Nervous clients and customers need to see in us the (genuine) enthusiasm and passion that makes them more comfortable with us.

11)  Creative: No business can exist today in a competitive market without creativity. Each day I am blown away by the levels of creativity by Compass agents. Look around you and be inspired to think harder, more creatively and more intelligently as to how you can propel yourself. Creativity will always be rewarded. Using the spectacular array of Compass tools to fuel this creativity makes being creativity easier for all.

12)  Responsible: Strong agents are responsible and reliable. They take responsibility for their words and actions which requires doing your homework, being truly knowledgeable, and saying and do things that leave you 100% accountable. Responsibility also requires admitting fault and correcting mistakes.