The Personality of a Real Estate Professional

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

ExtrovertsThere is a standard assumption about any salesperson, especially in real estate, that they are outgoing, extroverted and able to talk to anybody about anything at any given time.  I never really thought about that image much until I jumped into real estate full time, but when writing my last post to my blog about the secret to a successful career in real estate (, I started thinking about this characterization more.

I am a third generation Realtor® and much of my family does fit the common image of an extroverted and outgoing people-person.  Take for example, my mom (who also just happens to be an interior designer and Realtor®).  She can talk to anybody about anything and loves doing so.  She is one of those personality types that nobody dislikes and with numerous friends and acquaintances.

ContemplationI on the other hand tend to be a bit more introverted.  Though I enjoy people, I tend to be a bit of a thinker and sometimes like privacy and quiet when facing a difficult problem.  The more I thought about my personality, the more I realized that I did not really fit the mold of a "typical real estate agent."

I now realize that it really does not matter the type of personality you have or how you interact with others as much as your genuine understanding of other people, and a simple desire to help others.  As I investigated this discovery more I realized the numerous personality types in my own office.  Sure there tend to be more extroverted, outgoing can be difficult to get started without a lot of close interpersonal relationships.  I have also noticed other extremely successful agents with different personality traits.

When I look more closely at why I got into real estate I was surprised at the answer.  Though I keep my law license and still occasionally practice law on the side, I left the full-time practice of law because I was unable to do what I wanted to do others.  I turned to real estate in part because of my family background (and perhaps some prodding from God), but found another avenue where I could use my knowledge, background and experience to help people.  Thus I discovered that the true discerning trait that most real estate agents have is not an extroverted, outgoing personality, but instead the ability to relate to others with genuine (definitely not false) understanding and compassion (with a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit thrown in).

Comments (21)

Danny Smith
DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES - Round Rock, TX probably are a Low Extrovert with some strong Introvert characteristics. Thus you look and act most the time in familar surroundings as a introvert.
Jan 23, 2007 07:01 PM
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Specialist - Agent

I'm with your Rich.  I was also hoping the slow market would shake out some of the "rising tide" REALTORS when the January dues were due.

Jan 23, 2007 09:52 PM
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
One of the great things about agents is that they can be extremely successful whether they're a
D, I, S or C personality.
Jan 24, 2007 12:13 AM
Steven Holcomb
Keller Williams Realty - Plano, TX
Esq. - BBA, JD, GRI


My wife told me that I am a composite of all four (D, I, S, C) personality types, as in:

  • D - dumb
  • I - insensitive
  • S - self absorbed
  • C - crazy

I studied these a bit and decided that they are just further proof that anyone can succeed in real estate.

Jan 24, 2007 01:36 AM
Steve: Guess that's why God made no two of us alike?  Real estate has often made me feel like I'm a detective, trying to search out property to meet my clients' needs.  Satisfaction at closeing comes before distribution of the checks.  It comes from the satisfied, happy looks of my new home owners.
Jan 24, 2007 03:40 AM
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents
Steve: I really didnt think I was going to do well in this busy, bubbling career because I knew I too wasnt the profile of a typical real estate agent. Much to my surprise, there are still buyers and sellers who seem to like my quiet nature. I am learning to step out of my comfort zone: to learn and grow, yet still preserving the very core that I am.

Thanks for such a great post. Like I said before, we need more sales personalities like you.
Jan 24, 2007 04:19 AM
Lauren Corna
Archway Realty, LLC - Southlake, TX

Steven-  I am alot like you...  I am not extroverted...  I'm reserved and a thinker.  I read alot so I can keep up with a conversation, but I'm more on the quiet side... I'm married to an Attorney, he's the talky one...  He loves to talk.... 

I'm glad to know that I'm not alone....  Thank you for the post !!

Jan 24, 2007 04:48 AM
MaryAnn Morrar ~ La Jolla
Coldwell Banker - La Jolla, CA
Great post Steven - I think I failed the DISC test - But my clients think I'm great
Jan 24, 2007 04:56 AM
Leigh Brown
Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive - Charlotte, NC
CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC
I like it-another reminder that there's room in this business for all types of people-because there are all types of clients. 
Jan 24, 2007 05:17 AM
Gary Urich
Elliott Costal Living / Better Homes & Garden Real Estate - North Myrtle Beach, SC
North Myrtle Beach Real Estate
You need to be likeable. I think its important.Your clients need to be able to get along with you..So I think its very important
Jan 24, 2007 06:19 AM
Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton
Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC - Hilton Head Island, SC
As long as you understand your personality and how you relate to people, you'll do just fine.  Different strokes for different people, right?
Jan 24, 2007 07:15 AM
Kaushik Sirkar
Call Realty, Inc. - Chandler, AZ
Some clients don't necessarily want their ears talked off :)  I always say that we are less salespersons and more service doesn't have to go blah-blah to provide service!
Jan 24, 2007 08:05 AM
Jarrett Hunter
Royal LePage - Toronto, ON
Sales Representative
I feel that the better we adapt to the type of personality we are in front of at that moment - the better! Adapt to what the client wants in a Realtor®
Jan 24, 2007 08:39 AM
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., ABR, GRI, SRES - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty
Steven, there are definitely a lot of different personality types in real estate that I've met and I would definitely agree that they are all not extroverts.  In fact, you run across some realtors and wonder:  "How do they get business with that type of personality?!"  Even with all the personalities in the business, there is a common thread: to help people.  It's good all realtors are not the same because different personality types match with different customers better than others.
Jan 24, 2007 09:21 AM
Robert Hammerstein -201-315-8618
Christie's International Real Estate - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

This is another great post!  We are very weary of all those agents out there that claim to be the NUMBER ONE AGENT of all time while the rest of us are doing quite well without all the fanfare.  We like helping people and if we don't make it to number one, well we'll sure do our utmost to make sure our customers feel like they are Number One!  I tend to be more like you and Bob tends to be more of the talkative one.  We sometimes finish each other's sentences but we are definitely not the typical salesperson type and our customers are always refreshingly surprised by that.  Success is really just in the eye of the beholder!

Jan 24, 2007 10:21 AM
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
I agree....although I am introverted slightly so I want it to be I do think that if you genuinely care, it shows through no matter what's going on outside. 
Jan 24, 2007 11:50 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Good post, Steven. I especially liked Sharon's comment and YOUR response. LOL

I tend to be more introverted and analytical, myself, so I understand well. Clearly interacting with some personality types that are dramatically different is more difficult, but I suspect with the ability to adapt one's style to fit with the person you are working it works out just fine.


Jan 24, 2007 01:34 PM
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Better Properties Seattle - Kirkland, WA
Those who know how much people need a guide and not a salesman, do us all proud.  The industry needs more people like you.
Jan 24, 2007 04:23 PM
Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 888.883.8509 X101
eXp Realty LLC - Miami, FL
GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay |

I agree with Ardell!  Thankfully, Active Rain seems to have quite a few folks along those lines :-)

For me, ultimately, it boils down to helping the client and sales pitches don't fall into that. 

Jan 25, 2007 01:14 AM
John Hruska
Homes Charlotte, LLC - Charlotte, NC
I didn't do to well on the Disc test either, but this is my 7th year and still growing strong
Jan 25, 2007 01:24 AM