By Ryan Hodge

Industry experts say that in order to do well at selling real estate, you must learn to create relationships. Develop these relationships and you will find success. It is a business with unlimited earning potential, presenting more opportunity than nearly any other profession.

When we begin our careers, we enter this wonderful industry full of excitement and hope that we will find success with a financial gain. We select a brokerage and seek guidance on where to start our training in order to develop our skill set.

Most companies have “in house” training programs that are beneficial in one way or another. The industry is saturated with coaches and trainers like myself who assist brokers and agents to develop new sources of business, systems or accountability. New agents get educated on how to conduct open houses, make cold calls, door knock, work with online leads, brand themselves and use social platforms such as Facebook to generate new business.

So why are so many agents struggling? The majority work well below minimum wage standards. Why are two-thirds of agents exiting within the first three years of being licensed?

Perhaps it’s not the next business solution that we should be seeking, but rather a commitment to personal development and self-awareness.

Here are five principles of personal development to advance your real estate career:

1. You control your time:

There is a massive difference between being a “top producer” versus “running a business”. I meet lots of successful agents making millions of dollars per year, but most of them are not running their careers like a business. They are struggling to find personal time and often their relationships are suffering. They are experiencing success, yet the “peaks and valleys” of the traditional real estate sales cycle are drowning them due to lack of time management and efficiency.

Consider time audits and time studies to measure where you are actually spending your time inside of your career and life. Document your time for one week straight and compare it to what your ideal week would look like. Create a “perfect week”, blocking off every single activity. Measure your commitment at the end of the week.

2. Know your purpose inside and outside of real estate:

None of us are going to wake up on our final day on this planet and say to ourselves, “If only I had sold one more house, my life would be complete!” We will regret the time that we did not spend doing the things we love to do with the people we love.

You may be saying to yourself that you absolutely love selling real estate and this may be true, but I challenge you to consider looking at why that is and what you really love to do. Real estate and success can be an escape, especially considering the fast pace, big money and unique hours. Don’t get me wrong, there is something very rewarding about facilitating the acquisition and disposal of property for people. However, this is not your life’s purpose. Real estate is a vehicle to determine and develop yourself and truly find your life’s purpose. In fact it’s an incredible opportunity if you treat it as one and develop this mindset further.

3. Find your own path of least resistance:

What we resist persists. On average the traditional brokerage model offers limited training and development. Often you will be submerged into traditional forms of business strategy or prospecting that may not suit you.

Modern technology may not suit you either, but I would encourage you to develop some skill sets to advance through technological changes even if they are not your top income source. The world is changing at a fast pace and we must keep up accordingly.

Whatever method you decide to grow your business with, ensure that you enjoy it and can evolve with it. This is the only true way to sustain and maintain success in your career. You need to take joy in what you do. If you don’t like cold calling, then don’t. Just make sure you find something that you can use to create and predict income.

4. Run your business, not vice versa:

We are supposed to develop personal relationships, but often these relationships end up having a negative impact on our quality of life. Are you missing birthday parties or date nights with your significant other because your new clients “just had to see another house”?

Learn how to develop “non negotiable” periods of time that you block off for meeting clients and doing deals. More importantly, block your non-negotiable lead generation time each day.  Book two hours, five days a week that are non-negotiable for developing new business, making sure this time is completely uninterrupted.

We teach others how we want to be treated and your clients will respect you if you treat real estate like a business. Your friends and family will respect you even more.

5. Body, mind and spirit:

Are you so focused on getting great at real estate that you are forgetting to develop yourself? Have you checked in on your health lately from a physical and physiological perspective? Are you taking courses and reading books that are beyond the normal scope of generating more business?

Are you clean and clear in all areas of your life so that you may bring your best foot forward to your career each and every day? Are you singular purposed in that you know exactly why you do what you do and how you’re going to do it?

Ask yourselves these questions and journal your answers. What is preventing you from reaching your highest success and obtaining the highest quality of life possible? I assure you, it’s not a bad client or failed home inspection. Move inwards and discover more about yourself. This is a constant process and a relentless pursuit of self-awareness.

Bonus: Be grateful

You’re in an industry that allows you to make an unlimited amount of income, unlike any other profession on the planet in my opinion. You get to run the business in whatever format you like and on your own time. The opportunities are absolutely endless and the possibilities for you are infinite. If you do not realize this at this point, step backwards and ask yourself why. When you come up with an answer, go further and ask yourself if you are grateful about everything that is appearing in your life right now. If the answer is not yes, perhaps it’s time to move inwards and discover more.

There will always be more systems and strategies with which to advance your career. You can always find new clients. You can always sell more houses. Like anything in life, that is a personal choice. What choices are you making right now?


  1. Interesting approach to the business. 35 years ago I told my wife that I would never work Friday evenings after 6:00pm! That ‘date night’ has stayed with us for all these years. We both have something to look forward to and I have never had a client who didn’t say “good for you’!!

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