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Real Estate Agents Are Salespeople

Real Estate Agent with Dirt Road Real Estate SA676002000

After reading the barrage of articles about all the changes or should I say impending doom in real estate such as real estate 3.0, more transparency, etc. the one thing that is not being said or highlighted is:

Real estate agents are salespeople who are licensed!

Pretty simple! And yet, how many real estate agents think of themselves as salespeople?

I remember taking my 90-hour pre-licensing course and the instructor told all those in attendance that real estate was all about marketing and they as real estate agents were marketers.  With over four decades of sales experience, I knew that was false and decided not to engage in a fruitless discussion.

Marketing is about attracting, hopefully positive, attention from the targeted audience.

Successful salespeople understand that sales is essentially a three phrase process. First there is marketing as noted above. Second is selling, securing a successful transaction (sold). The final phrase is Keeping.  Here is where many of the sales referrals originate because of top of mind awareness (TOMA).

Unfortunately, I have heard numerous real estate agents including those I had previously coached make one of these two statements:

  1. I am not in sales.
  2. I am not a salesperson.

And this is the beginning of their downfall and one of the reasons for all this angst in the real estate industry.

No longer can licensed agents:

  • Just open a couple of door and expect to have earned a fee for their limited efforts
  • Do the minimum amount of work for the maximum amount of money
  • Not demonstrate the necessary sales skills such as negotiation including explaining and negotiating their fees
  • Ignore the contract and all require documentation
  • Relieve themselves of all due diligence (putting 100% due diligence on the buyer’s shoulders)
  • Expect the agent on the other side to handle their contractual responsibilities

Professional real estate agents understand the sales process and work through it and not against it. There is one continued outcome from all this change that I do agree will happen.

Real estate agents who are not professional, who do not understand the sales process, who are not actively engaged in fulfilling their responsibilities to protect and promote their clients will quickly fall to the way side. The subset of this fact is recruiting by some brokerages will change and hopefully this change will be for the good. Not everyone has the mental attitude, aptitude nor resilience to be in sales.

When we understand Sales is a people business and have clarity about our roles, our skills, our legal requirements, we will be successful.

Feature Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Any reproduction of Leanne M Smith’s blog for use by any AI or GAI, distribution or reproduction including but not limited to electronic newsletters e.g. PDF’s Internet sites or physical products e.g. newspapers, CDs without prior written permission and consent by me, Leanne M. Smith (Leanne Hoagland-Smith) is strictly prohibited.


Posted by

Leanne M. Smith, MS, GRI, rCRMS

2018 KGVAR Rookie Realtor of the Year-55+
219.508.2859 MST
Life Begins Where the Pavement Ends
Connect with me on LinkedIn:
Katina Hargrove 352-551-0308
Stake Your Land Realty, Inc. - Eustis, FL
Broker/Owner, SFR®, e-PRO®, GRI, AHWD, REALTOR®

Leanne Smith 

Well stated, continue selling and all the best!

Apr 21, 2024 06:03 AM
Michael Elliott
Fathom Realty - Burlington Township, NJ
Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales

Great post, perfectly stated, and super timely as well.  I say bring on the changes!

Apr 21, 2024 06:16 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Leanne... one of my friends here in the Rain gifted me a mug that says "Realtor... because miracle worker isn't an official job title." It's one of my favorite mugs. At the end of the day, we are salespeople, confidants, sometimes therapists, advisors, problem fixers, educators and more.

Apr 21, 2024 06:47 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I am one of those that is not a salesperson but in reality, a service provider.  I have the Knowledge and experience of working in real estate, an offer up answers to issues a client may have. I help with the purchase and sale but still most of my efforts are as a provider.

Apr 21, 2024 07:29 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Leanne and I work on giving client information, my opinion and my knowledge of the business.  I guess I am a teacher.


Apr 21, 2024 07:54 AM
Leanne Smith

Teachers are salespeople as they sell learning, the necessity of education. Zig Ziglar said "sales is the transference of feelings." For me, that means everyone is in sales.  It is just some get paid for transferring those feelings.

Apr 21, 2024 08:36 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Thanks for sharing, enjoy your weekend. Bill

Salvatore Arizona Elite Properties.

Apr 21, 2024 08:18 AM
Leanne Smith

My pleasure and enjoy your Sunday as well Bill

Apr 21, 2024 08:35 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services


Hello, Miss Leanne Smith Sales is certainly a people business. As an independent broker and small business owner, sales is among my many roles and responsibilities. 

In 20+ years in the business, I've never known the list of things agents can no longer ... perhaps that is because I am a professional. 

Enjoy this blessed and beautiful day! 

Apr 21, 2024 09:47 AM
Leanne Smith

Good morning Miss Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist and you are so true about being a small business owner and independent broker with both requiring sales skills.

Apr 21, 2024 09:58 AM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Leanne Smith real estate agents considered sales people but provide information on real estate market.

Apr 21, 2024 08:17 PM
Leanne Smith

I agree and that is part of sales because within that information is often found emotions. IMHO

Apr 22, 2024 05:13 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Leanne - the sales "hat" real estate professionals have is an important one to wear.   Beyond that, interpretation seems to play an accessory role.  The subject is certainly a conversation-starter in the industry.    

Apr 22, 2024 04:26 AM
Leanne Smith

I believe I have a more 360 view respective to sales.  Even managers have to "sell" certain policies.  How well they "sell" is called leadership.

Apr 22, 2024 05:13 AM