By George E. Zanette

Last year I interviewed a number of managers and salespeople, asking them for the most common reasons why real estate salespeople fail. I listed the top 10 reasons.

Item 2 was lack of good coaching and training.  Many real estate salespeople fail to see that the greatest investment they can make is for their own training and coaching. There seems to be great reluctance to pay for good training, and worse, a lack of engagement when their brokerage offers speakers and sessions about specific topics.

Item 3 was lack of consistent prospecting. This is probably the No. 1 difference between successful salespeople and unsuccessful salespeople. You don’t have to be the smartest, best looking or drive the nicest car. However it is essential to have a system that you work every day to add new prospects to your database. Many people ask me what’s the best system…it’s the one you use, Charlie Brown!

I want to make it simpler for our complicated minds with a few examples.

“What will make me a successful Realtor?” is the question I get asked most often. I can answer that in one word.  I say, “Consistency.” Then I see a frown on the face of the questioner. It seems too simple.

But it is the one action that will pay off more than anything else. Remember the movie City Slickers, when Curly holds up his finger and says to Billy Crystal, “You know what the secret to life is? This.” And Billy asks, “What, your finger?”

And Curly says, “One thing, just one thing, you stick to that and (I’m paraphrasing here) everything else takes care of itself.” Billy asks, “What’s the one thing?” And Curly says, “That’s what you gotta figure out!”

Well, for Realtors, I can say without a doubt it’s consistency. No matter how you feel, what other complications in life you have, get up, dress up and show up, following the system you have chosen. It isn’t fancy and a speaker I have heard often says success looks a lot like work. There is no easier, softer way, no magic bullet, just the daily work of doing the things that count with great consistency.

Most of us need accountability to achieve this. Otherwise we put off until tomorrow what we should do today and tomorrow takes to long to come!

This is where coaching, mentoring and training come in. It’s the best investment you can make, because it’s in yourself. It’s way too easy to get distracted and not focus, without help.

When asked for another way to be successful, I say the one word, “discipline.” I get that same blank stare. But as a wise monk once said to me about his life, the discipline is the freedom. Most real estate salespeople get into the business for the opposite reason – the freedom, which usually means I don’t want a schedule, accountability or have to work when I don’t feel like it. The road to real estate sales success is littered with the shattered dreams of would-be salespeople because they fail to see these two words as the secret to success: consistency and discipline.


  1. Excellent article George, I just said to my workout trainer this am that it’s persistency and consistency that keeps me on track at the gym. Discipline is hard to maintain over the long term and once it wanes that’s when you need a strong habit to keep it going. It’s whether you can get through the period where discipline fails and habits kick in….and of course it’s consistency that will get you through!

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