Personalities: Listing Agents vs. Buyer’s Agents

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“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” --Shannon L. Alder

Personality is such a fascinating thing. We all have specific traits that stand out more than others in the way we live our lives. Our values are certainly important, and our goals are important – but often, the best thing we can do for ourselves is discover our real personality and live in harmony with that.

Wizehire, a software company that specializes in helping brokers grow their teams, did an interesting study this spring. They administered specific profile tests to over 8500 agents. They found that certain personality traits correlated with being a very high performing listing agent, and others with being a high performing buyer’s agent. I’ve listed some of their finding below. Where do you see yourself?

Qualities of High Performing Listing Agents

In the study, Wizehire administered tests to 3237 listing agents. They determined that 21% of them were high performers, defined as having more than 50 transactions in a calendar year. Here were the traits shared by those high performers.

More Decisive. Top listing agents were significantly more aggressive and assertive than top buyer’s agents. This works both for them and against them: while they are great at tracking down leads, they are also less patient with indecisive buyers. This higher decisiveness means that top listing agents are always actively selling, looking for customers instead of hoping others find them.

Less Stable. Buy this, I don’t mean listing agents are crazy, although they can seem that way sometimes! It’s just that they can thrive in much less stable, more unpredictable situations. Top listing agents are able to wing it and fly by the seat of their pants much more than top selling agents.

Less Detail Oriented. The study also found that top listing agents are less attentive to details than other personality types. They are less concerned with how something happens, are merely focusing making sure that something happens. As a result, they can be poor about the follow-through once a deal is made. This means that top listing agents do best when they have a team around them to finish the deals they start.

Qualities of High Performing Seller’s Agents

Wizehire administered personality profiles to 5554 buyer’s agents. 17% were top performers, defined as having more than 25 transactions in a calendar year. Here are the traits that were dominant in top buyer’s agents.

More Relatable. Top buyer’s agents were found to have a high score in areas related to interaction. They are thus able to more easily connect with and build relationships with others, especially their clients. However, this interactive trait is also linked with disorganization, so paperwork and organizational tactics may not be a buyer’s agent’s strong suite.

Moderately Dominant. One interesting trait is that top buyer’s agents were moderately dominant. This differs from the listing agents’ strong scores in this area. Wizehire analysts noticed that this trait translated into an agent patient enough to deal with tentative buyers, but strong enough to push when it was time to make the purchase. This balance helps buyer’s agents excel.

Highly Stable. The best buyer’s agents are great at making their clients feel comfortable, secure, and supported. They have a natural ability to calm those who are anxious, which makes buyers eager to work with them. The downside of this trait is that buyer’s agents are less aggressive. Prospecting and proactive lead-gathering are not nearly as easy for them as customer service and support.

Obviously these are not the only differences between great listing agents and buyer’s agents. However, these were the traits found to be the most different in the Wizehire study. Do you see yourself in these traits? Are you surprised by any of these? Let us know in the comments below!!


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Nadine Larder

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