Overcoming Unpredictable Income

Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Overcoming Unpredictable Income


What's the Number One thing real estate agents don't like about the business? Time and again I hear the same answer: The unpredictability of income.

It doesn't have to be this way! There is a rampant delusion out there that real estate is a "feast or famine" business. Every day agents say, "I don't know if I'll be making any money in March because of the fluctuations in the market."  If you've ever said anything even remotely similar, I have a question for you.

If this is true, then how is it that I know many agents who turn business away because they don't have time to handle it all? It's not market conditions. Up or down, these agents have a steady stream of buyers and sellers. And no matter where the market is this time next year, I guarantee it will be the same for them.

So, what's their secret? Is it a killer marketing software program? Is it power sales tactics that use verbal mastery to sweet talk people? Is it tons of expensive advertising?

It's none of these things. Yet its power is so amazing that universities should offer degrees in how to master it. What is it?


The most successful agents are not necessarily the best salespeople, nor the most outgoing. They are the ones with the most self-control. Self-control governs success. It ensures you do things consistently over time. The size of your goals doesn't matter. The length of your business plan doesn't matter. WHAT YOU DO is what matters.

Here are the five keys to self-control:

  1. Say YES.
    Self-control means saying YES. YES to sending monthly mailings on a regular basis. YES to implementing systems that put your daily tasks on "autopilot". YES to education. YES to your annual client appreciation party. YES to only sending out the very best marketing. YES to sending out an Annual Client Review.

  2. Say NO.
    But mastering self-control also means saying NO. NO to clients that waste your time. NO to ridiculous offers. NO to people who treat you with disrespect. NO to scams, gimmicks, and unethical advertising. No to cutting your commission!

  3. Do What You Say You'll Do
    I'm always amazed that I have to mention this, but the business world is riddled with people who say they'll do something and then don't do it. If you return phone calls the exact minute you promise to, keep appointments on-time, and provide exactly what you promise when you promise it - you're already ahead of 90% of business-people out there!

  4. Follow-Up and Follow-Through
    Do you return phone calls faster than any other agent? Do you send requested information the very same day? Do you make additional phone calls to verify the information was received? Do you provide extra service touches both before and after the sale?

  5. Adaptability
    Self-control also means you don't freak out when something is not working. You just drop it and quickly do more of what IS working. This doesn't mean that your emotions aren't important. They are. But you cannot be a successful businessperson if you are a frenzied wreck every time something goes wrong. Things happen. Life is unpredictable. Plan on unpredictability. Practice in your mind how you'll react on the day when everything falls apart. See yourself with "grace under pressure" as you pick up the pieces and begin to rebuild.

One of the best ways to implement Self-Control is ACCOUNTABILITY. I have clients who call me just to tell me what they're committing to accomplishing by the end of the week. Don't ever underestimate the power of just telling someone what you will do. This means you can't use excuses to yourself-because you've already promised someone you'll do it.

Another helpful measure is to manage your tasks. And I really mean, MANAGE your tasks. Take an Hour of Power, without distractions from phones and clients, each day. Use this time to focus on your business. Use this time to knock out the tasks that need to get done and the tasks that improve how your business serves you.

So, if you've ever complained about the unpredictability of your income, take heart!  You can have more business than you can handle if only you commit to self-control and all its responsibilities. The road to self-control may be rough at times, but the rewards of implementing it are worth it!


By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and agent/broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.



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Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Denise,

Sounds simple.

Dec 02, 2016 08:33 PM #1
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

This is a powerful and true message. Having been an agent, I know how hard it is to keep marketing when you're super busy, but it has to be done. Today, with programs that automate the tasks, there's really no excuse. 

Holding yourself accountable is also something that many agents ignore - much to their detriment. 

Dec 02, 2016 09:45 PM #2
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Denise, thanks for the great YES and No's that affect our income.

It boils down to YES it takes work. No to time wasters.


Dec 03, 2016 05:39 AM #3
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Savings help cushion the bumps in the road of life. Squirrel away some to have peace of mind, less sleepless nights. Being up against it because you did not save for those rainy days is poor business and remember your kids are watching.

Dec 03, 2016 08:12 AM #4
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent post!  I'm surprised there aren't more comments.  I'm making serious changes for 2017 and it's all about automation and getting better with consistency, so perfect timing to read your post!

Dec 06, 2016 10:31 AM #5
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Denise Lones

CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding
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