The Key to Success in Real Estate or Anything

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Select R.E. WA State: 75200

Denise Lones, founder of The Lones Group sends out a little newsletter every Friday called The Zebra Report. I've come to value these, as she's typically "spot on" in her assessments of the current real estate market, tasks and practices of effective and successful agents.

Almost immediately after whining a bit in my blog entry yesterday about needing to "reset" myself and get back in high gear, The Zebra Report arrived in my Inbox and, once again, Denise must've read my mind. Here came her advice and thoughts for the week, which were, as usual, exactly what I needed. I'm gonna start with #3!

I touched base with Denise to be sure I could post her thoughts here and with her usual good grace, she said sure! Just be sure they know who wrote it.

So, with that out of the way and much thanks to Denise, below is her great "coaching" tip for the week. I don't coach with Denise, but I love her approach and tips. You can find more of her information at


By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M.

There is one skill that will make you all the money you want.  It is an elusive skill that 95% of the world neglects every day-especially real estate agents.

I can't tell you how many times I've visited an agent's office and the first thing I noticed was a lack of this one skill.  What is it?


Consistency is the one beast that when tamed, gives you everything you want out of life-not just in real estate.  However, it seems that real estate agents have a notoriously hard time with it.

Most agents are very talented at what I call the "Stop-and-Start Syndrome".  This is the disease of stopping projects and then starting new ones. 

When the new project doesn't produce results fast enough, the agent stops and starts something else.  It becomes a vicious cycle.

Consistency is the answer to putting structure on your business-and your income.  I'm constantly being asked by agents, "Denise, is there a way to transform real estate from a feast-or-famine business to a steady income business?"

The answer is yes.  But it starts with consistency.

Here are the four areas in which all agents need to take more consistent actions:

1.  Follow-up.

If you ask the clients of any one hundred agents what kind of consistent follow-up they receive, I can safely predict that over 90% will say they receive nothing consistently.  It may be a flyer here, a letter there, maybe an occasional phone call-but nothing regular.

My definition of a consistent follow-up plan is that you are in regular contact with your clients over an extended period of time.  That might be a monthly mailer about real estate.  It might be a weekly email.  It might be a phone call every three weeks.

But it's something that's scheduled and checked off your to-do list.  Without consistent follow-up in place (for potential, current, and past clients!), there is no way you will ever have a consistent income.

2.  Lead generation.

Lead generation is the area in which real estate agents are the weakest in terms of consistency.  Most agents start a lead generation campaign when they desperately need the money. 

This is the worst time to decide to start one.  The agent is stressed out, not at the top of his or her game, and not in the best frame of mind to begin looking for new clients.

This is why it's so critically important to start a lead generation campaign before you need one.  By the time you need one, you'll already have one in place. 

Something else I often see when an agent starts to do well is that they slack off on their lead generation.  Big mistake!  Lead generation needs to continue in good times or bad.

3.  Taking time off.

I still haven't gotten this point across to many of you, so I'll keep repeating it until I do.  The more regular time off you fit into your schedule, the more money you make as a real estate agent.

Yes, it sounds silly, but I guarantee you that the agents I know who make the most money also take the most vacations.  They are more productive because they are well-rested, recharged, and always at the top of their game.

4.  Paperwork and organization.

I visit many agents whose desks are covered in piles of papers.  I tell them to get rid of the piles.  Then, at our next meeting I notice that not only were the piles not taken away, they're higher.

This is bad.  All agents need to schedule-and when I say schedule, I mean DEVOTE-30 minutes a day to organizing papers and files.  If you're one of the agents with the piles, then maybe you need to spend more time than that on this task.

But you have to do it-because like it or not, paperwork is a necessary evil when you run a business.  Very few agents I know sit down and organize their papers consistently.  These agents tend to do the paperwork the very moment it's needed-instead of having it ready to go at a moment's notice.

When I was an agent, I had systems in place so that if I needed a form it was always clearly labeled and ready to grab.  When you implement similar systems in your business, you'll be amazed at how much new time you have for other tasks.

Consistency in any field equals success.  Finding out what it takes to be successful-and then DOING those things consistently is the key to success in real estate.

Or anything, for that matter.




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Your Dedicated Realtor(r), ActiveRain Blogger, Seller, Buyer, and Short Sale agent working the Auburn, Kent, Renton, Maple Valley, Federal Way, Covington, Puyallup, Sumner, Bonney Lake, Lake Tapps, and north/northeast Tacoma areas. Visit my Web site too!


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Troy Erickson
Diverse Solutions Realty - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Gabrielle - These are all great points, and I feel the main keys to success in real estate is finding the leads.  Once you have a system, then you need to be consistent like you said, but finding that system that consistently generates leads is the key. 

Aug 07, 2009 12:15 PM #1
Jim Valentine
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Gardnerville, NV

You have posted a path to success - congrautlations and thank you.

Aug 07, 2009 04:06 PM #2
Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

Great Ideas!  I just signed up to receive my weekly report!

Aug 07, 2009 04:21 PM #3
Joel Posner
Bridgeway Real Estate Services - Adrian, MI

Excellent advice. I think that I'll start with #3 as well.

Aug 10, 2009 09:24 AM #4
Gabrielle Nemes
RE/MAX Select R.E. - Auburn, WA
206.300.8421, S King & Pierce County RE Advocate

Troy: Yes, finding leads IS important ... but for me that comes about with consistency of contact. Just staying in touch with reasonable, real-estate related information produces enough trust that the referrals come.

Jim: I wish I could take credit for Denise's wisdom. Although the information she distributes isn't "rocket science," she does it so well and in such a timely manner that I get something out of it every time.

Susan: Good for you! If you ever have a chance to attend one of her seminars, you'll like it to.

Joel: LOL! I'm finally scheduled for a full week away and I can't wait! I think I need the breather. I have trouble with #4 too!!!


Aug 11, 2009 03:29 AM #5
Real Estate Virtual Assistant
Christine Wade - San Marcos, CA

Just found your blog today, Gabrielle...and now thanks to you, I have just subscribed to the Zebra Report (cool name).

Aug 31, 2009 08:23 AM #6
Gabrielle Nemes
RE/MAX Select R.E. - Auburn, WA
206.300.8421, S King & Pierce County RE Advocate

Christine: Cool! I love my Zebra Reports! Usually they're "spot on!" as my New Zealand friend likes to say!

Sep 05, 2009 10:36 AM #7
Karen Scott
Prudential Carruthers Realtors - Woodbridge, VA


You are Spot on!! ...Consistency is hard.. I signed up for the Zebra Report, and I am looking forward to getting my first issue. 


Oct 05, 2009 01:15 PM #8
Dean Bergstrom
Bergstrom Realty Inc., Brokerage - Stoney Creek, ON
Broker of Record

This applies to all those things in life that we seem to think will happen eventually. Nice of you to share these points. Thanks

Jan 30, 2010 01:07 AM #9
Gabrielle Nemes
RE/MAX Select R.E. - Auburn, WA
206.300.8421, S King & Pierce County RE Advocate

Dean: If you've not visited The Lones Group yet and signed up for your Zebra reports, RUN, don't walk. Yes, there's sometimes a bit of self-promotion at the end, but after all, one needs to make a living, right?

And if you ever have a moment to attend one of Denise's seminars, do so too. She's fun!

Jan 30, 2010 03:31 AM #10
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Once you have an engine in place to process transactions from leads, the focus must be on lead generation to fuel the engine!

Nov 23, 2010 06:18 AM #11
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Gabrielle Nemes

206.300.8421, S King & Pierce County RE Advocate
What's My House Worth?
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