HOW DO YOU MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS?.....Many Real estate Agents Measure It only through their commission checks!!!

Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896

HOW DO YOU MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS?...Many Real Estate agents measure it only through their commission checks!!!

We are in a very different profession today--after this recession, tolerance for the abusive agent who thinks they are better than anyone else is GONE! No more room for ill-treatment of agents who work so hard for the sellers; and no more working for sellers who are not happy about paying the agents

No, this real estate market is like no other!  Short-cuts don't work; give-away fees are no longer the way you survive. Good, hard work is what is needed now--A good reputation, a positive attitude and an abundance of local knowledge are the ONLY assets that will pull in business in today's market.

It is a very dangerous thing indeed, for me to look at my real estate business as a success only by the commission checks that I get! I say this because from day one, when I asked my manager how much I couldDON'T MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS BY YOUR INCOME IN REAL ESTATE count on making per year, he said: "Don't ever consider your commission as a way to measure your success in this business; if you do that, you will close up shop tomorrow--success is "cumulative" in real estate and if you think otherwise, you will fail!"

So, since that day I have never thought about my commission on a deal--only when I see the check do I count on it. I never calculate a commission before I see a signed contract and then I am careful not to count my chickens! I have A PRISONER TO THE IDEA OF HOW MUCH THEY CAN RELY ON EARNINGseen agents who have become prisoners to the idea of how much money they can rely on making--as a result they have very little flexibility when they are dealing with the public, and the public knows the reason...nothing turns people off more than a real estate agent who is counting their money before they earn it....Both buyers and sellers are tuned into the signs of what they view as a "Money Hungry Agent". Once that client is finished with that agent--they are done!

  • I measure my successes by the number of repeat customers I have--no matter if they are renters or buyers or if they are low end or high end--they all get treated the same way.

I measure my successes by how people treat me in the process of a deal...If they are nasty to me, demeaning to me or even resentful of me in any way, I do not pursue them after wards. I try to cut down on the stress of my job by clearing that kind of "clutter" from my life as soon as I reasonably can. I have never had a repeat customer from that group anyway; so why harm myself and my attitude for that kind of treatment?

I measure my successes by how I feel after a deal is done--was it worth my time and effort? Was the SUCCESS IN REAL ESTATE IS CUMULATIVEclient/customer satisfied? 

I try to measure my success in real estate by following a very strict set of rules. I make sure that I follow them to a TEE, so that I don't fall into the trap of psychologically trying to make a deal go my way--it is the buyers and the sellers deal--not mine!!!


  • I Never count on getting a listing or making a sale..let the situation unfold at it's own pace with it's own results---I always thank them for taking the time to talk to me and then I leave it up to the "Forces".
  • I remain a neutral party to the deal from the first showing to the closing table.
  • I KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT! The only time I talk is when I am giving information to the buyer or seller. Other than that, small talk and personal tid bits only.
  • I Never calculate a commission to see "How much am I going to make on this one?" You will only be disappointed when and if it closes. NOT ONLY THAT, IT COULD JINX YOUR DEAL!!!
  • I am always available to answer the phone as much as possible.
  • I Take a day off a week without exception.
  • I find that a happy agent is always with happy clients and customers--that is a "can't miss" for closing a deal and getting more business from that person.
  • I never allow a client or a customer to miss-treat me in any way. If they do, I resign immediately--there  is only more of the same coming my way if I stay!

DON'T COUNT YOUR CHICKENS BEFORE THEY HATCH!I wanted to share these things with all of you because, after this recession, we are in a very different profession. It does pay off to review the things that work and the things that don't so that we can narrow our focus to the important things it takes to be successful.

Can you share what you find is essential to your success in the real estate profession today? What do you do differently now, to build a successful real estate business?



Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Mary Ellen Tulloch 08/21/2011 02:34 AM
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dont count your chickens
success in real estate is cumulative
happy clients are with happy agents
illtreatment of agents is unacceptable

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Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN
HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578 - La Quinta, CA
I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN!

I too NEVER work off what my commission is "going to be".  There are NO certainties in life or in this business.  The only thing I know for sure is that I enjoy my life and my business and hope my clients/friends do also.  I WILL and have walked away from a client that probably bought from someone else..I am ok with that.  I do not believe that every single person I meet will want to work with me..nor that I will want to work with them.  Real Estate is a very personal relationship and must be treated like one.  I know that for me, when the sale closes, my relationship with my clients do not.  I treasure them and I believe they treasure me.  I intend to keep it that way!  Great sound like a very good person and agent.

Aug 21, 2011 06:30 AM #62
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Kimberlely: You are probably way ahead of the curve with that attitude; I do find however, that in that frame of mind I do have a way of trusting that I will go forward and I will continue to do deals, other wise I would give up, and I never give up.....Good luck!

Aug 21, 2011 06:54 AM #63
Dick & Sandy Beals
Wilmington Real Estate 4U Wilmington, NC - Wilmington, NC

Desperation does show!  I have been in this business 22 plus years, I work along side my wife, we enjoy what we do, and we spend a lot of time together.  I have found that the one thing that is most important (other than actually working) is your reputation.  You are selling yourself, and if your peers are saying you're honest, hard-working, and ethical...well it will happen.

Dick Beals

Aug 21, 2011 06:57 AM #64
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Dick: Good for you! It definitly helps if you have the good word of your peers too! 

Aug 21, 2011 07:02 AM #65
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I chuckled when I read that calculating your commission before the sale COULD JINX THE DEAL.  I have always felt that way too!

Aug 21, 2011 07:19 AM #66
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Paula, I very much believe in the commission jinx: If you count it up early, it won't be there. And you are right because it doesn't feel like it is yours until it actually is. I like the neutral part too.

Aug 21, 2011 07:42 AM #67
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

I measure my success with satisfied clients.  I am careful to not take on clients that I do not want to work with.  Certain red flags and it's a adios. 

Commission checks should NEVER be counted on.  When I take a client, my whole purpose and drive is to take care of their business the way that I would take care of mine...   The golden rule. 

I've been known to do freebies if I feel I want to make a donation to someone's cause for an important reason, I've been known to do reduced commission for the same reason, I have some fee for service clients.  It's not about the commission at all.

That said, I consider my work to be of great value and I don't negotiate my commission.  If I see a need and I offer - that's one thing- if someone else wants to de-value my work and negotiate - NOPE!  Not going to happen. 

When it's all said and done.. I want to have a satisifed client and I want to be satisfied with the transaction, the way that Ihandled it, etc.

Aug 21, 2011 07:58 AM #68
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Paula,  Such a well written post and great that you stand up for doing the right thing !  There are many of us who feel that way and you nailed it !  Your comment" ...-it is the buyers and the sellers deal--not mine!!! "  is so true.

Aug 21, 2011 08:01 AM #69
Sarasota & Manatee Counties FL
SaraMana Properties - - Bradenton, FL - Listings In Paradise

First and foremost, I measure it in light of the following question, "Am I living my life on my own terms?"

  1. Am I walking in integrity?
  2. Am I honest and fair in my dealings?
  3. Am I doing what I want to do, or am I subjugating myself to the whims of others?
  4. Am I working smart, and efficiently?
  5. Am I continually open to learning new things and new ways?

Making as much money as humanly possible, or getting "awards" simply isn't a part of my equation . . .

Aug 21, 2011 08:30 AM #70
John Marshall - FORE!
LoKation Real Estate - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Specializing in Golf Course Properties

Paula, great post, it is amazing how quickly you can find out the other agents motives when presenting an offer to them. Those that talk about getting paid from the transaction are surely going to screw things up, but those that are all about their clients are not only great to deal with, but doing justice to the industry, my hat is off to you, and here's hoping this current perfect storm will clean out the rest of the "me me me" mentalities.

Aug 21, 2011 08:31 AM #71
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Margaret: It Does! I have had deals thatwent South when another agent in the deal calcualted the commission!!! It is the onething that always works to the negative and I won'thave any part of it!

Sandy:It doesn't feel like its yours until you get the check because it isn't yours until you get it!! It's as simple as that and the longer I am in this business, the more I see that is is true!

Judi: Good for you and I am sure it shows in your level of success too! I find that there are people who are satisfied taking in just enough to get by--then there are the others who want to rake it in in barrells full! I am happy to earn what I get when I get it and then I figure out how to make it go the distance--it has always worked and I have NEVER calculated a commission before contract signing at the earliest---usually not until I have the check.... 

Bill: Thank you! I try to stand up for the right isn't always easy but it does work; in fact it's the only way it works!!!

Aug 21, 2011 08:34 AM #72
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

John: Sounds like you have it handled! I love how you laid it out with integrity first---that says it all!

John Marshall: I have been thinking the same thing---after the incident  I mention in #4, I think the time is near--this individual that I mention used to me ,my hairdresser---a quiet, lady-like individual who got into real estate maybe 8 years ago and has turned the business into a stinging, abusive and money oriented carnival---8 years ago she could not get hired by anyone becasue of a breakdown of sorts---now we have her in this business and it is not good...


Aug 21, 2011 08:52 AM #73
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Paula, what I liked best about your Rules was the statement, "I never allow a client or a customer to mistreat me in any way". 

I've never seen anything in a contract for representation which gives a client or customer the right to abuse an agent.  Some members of the public need to learn that we are not responsible for the current state of the market, no matter how bitter or disappointed they may be.

Aug 21, 2011 05:56 PM #74
Jesse Madison
One Point Plus Real Estate - Laguna Niguel, CA
List For Less...Sell for More | 1% List Fee!

Terrific post. i think you have your priorities in order. The market has changed and those of us still here do need to dig deep and find out what drives us. 

Aug 21, 2011 08:36 PM #75
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Hi Eric! I know, and the public certainly does not know the dirty little secret--many agents ARE abused by their clients and their customers--if we accept that then we can expect more of it. Where did it start anyway? How did it come to be acceptable to miss treat anyone in a professional position??? Thanks for stopping by!

Jesse: You can say that again! I do believe that if we are still here and doing business, that means something! It helps to know that others are going through it too!

Aug 21, 2011 11:12 PM #76
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Well-Well-Well Paula will you look at that, "The Gods" have woken up! Congrats on your feature my friend and keep them coming ...

VB ;o)

Aug 22, 2011 05:44 AM #77
Amy Robinson
London Pierce Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Realtor, Scottsdale Arizona Homes For Sale

Hi Paula,  I really enjoyed reading your post.  You are a really great writer. I am new to AR and I have never really blogged before so it is nice to get all sorts of ideas on topics from great posts like yours. Thanks

Aug 22, 2011 10:24 AM #78
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Robert: Thank you! And thanks for the feature in your group too!!

Amy: Please read as many as you like! ..and good luck with blogging here on AR. It has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done because it is a creative avenue that I really need in this business (that can be less than creative if we let it!!!) I look forward to reaading your  posts!

Aug 22, 2011 11:31 AM #79
Ana Hitzel
AccentPositives Home Staging - Corona, CA
Professional Home Stager Inland Empire

Great post and you seem to get it. I have been on the abused end and I have seen agents I know take it just for the check.  I guess it's the way of the world, if you take it there are always going to be those that dish it out.  In my business, I go for the client I know I can work with and try to screen as much as possible.  It has saved me more than one headache and money down the drain.

Aug 25, 2011 10:35 AM #80
Peter Michelbach

Hello Paula -- I agree, success and struggles are closely linked together and form part of the universal human experience: respect and love for people.  As real estate agents we all face a multitude of multi level dilemmas. Paula  - THANK YOU for sharing "My rules doing business successfully".

I believe your rules are based on possible consequences of actions -- for example, 'do the right thing' , 'do not lie', 'be loyal', 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'  etc, embracing moral rules that are universal, and will apply across all cultures and times; embraced by the work of Immanuel Kant, and I believe it is called 'Kantian ethics'.

I just love how you expressed the spiritual context: let the situation unfold...and so I believe we all learn the lessons our Soul has committed itself to learn for planetary growth, for universal success on all levels.

Thank you for sharing, awesome Post. Can you please send me automatically your great posts at Thank you. Peter


Aug 27, 2011 02:52 AM #81
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...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons
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