Have you ever noticed how most successful people never seem stressed out?

Sure, they have a full schedule just like you do, but they always seem calm, collected, and most of all, happy.

What gives?

Well, most successful people understand that building good habits is more important to getting ahead than talent, luck, or even hard work.

The only problem is that in order to build new good habits, you first need to get rid of your old, bad habits.

To get you started down the road to building good habits, we put together this list of 9 super common bad habits that agents need to break to get ahead.

1. Relying Too Heavily on Texts, Emails, or Slydial Instead of Just Picking Up the Damn Phone

Yeah, we get it. You’re totally hip to all the latest social media and know how to Snapchat Your Instagrams to Whatsapp. Isn’t that what all the millennials love these days?

Well, yes and no. While it’s true Millennials are often loathe to use the phone when a texty alternative exists, there are some conversations that need to be had on the phone or in person.

Just think about how much information you’re missing when you’re texting or private messaging. Was that delay in response because they’re busy or… Wait, was that last sentence sarcastic?! How many times can we go back and forth before one of us throws our phone into a lake of molten lava?

Just don’t call your millennial clients out of the blue. Instead, send a text message asking if they have time for a quick call. This indicates that what you have to say is important and they will treat it as such.

By the way, this tip was inspired by the quote real estate coach and speaker Leigh Brown gave us for our Underrated Lead Generation Ideas article. Check it out here once you’re done reading this.

2. Not Handing Off Leads You Don’t Have Time for to Another Agent

This is a big one that pretty much all agents are guilty of. You get a decent lead from say, Zillow, but you’re just too busy working your referral leads, and closing that deal… You’ll put them on ice and call them later, right? When you “have the time?”

No you won’t. Even if you do, how do you think they’re going to feel about the agent that blew them off because they were “too busy?” Do you think they were waiting by the phone desperately hoping you might call? You SWEAR you’re going to call them just as soon as you’re not so “busy.”

Yeah right.

Don’t kid yourself and think you made such an impression on that first call that they’re going to stop calling other agents. Instead, build a referral network in your brokerage. If you still don’t have any takers, try a referral platform like ReferralExchange.

Or you can leave them a voicemail that never gets returned two weeks from now. Your choice.

A nice problem to have, right? Well, it’s a better problem than not having enough leads… If you need some buyer or seller leads quick, check out BoldLeads. They have exclusive buyer leads and seller leads all around the country. Click below to see if your zip code is available.

See if Your Zip Code is Available

3. Calling Clients, Listing Agents, & Vendors for Literally Everything

At first it’s kind of charming. “Ha, this agent is so communicative, he calls me for every little detail!” after an hour or two? Not so much. Then you start to dread those phone calls and the little micro niceties you have to go through just to get a simple issue settled.

In a previous life I worked on film sets and I distinctly remember a very well known production designer nearly throwing her phone against a wall because her new assistant called her nonstop. “DOESN’T THIS %^$$& IDIOT KNOW HOW TO TEXT?!!”

If this sounds a little too close to home, then you might need to cut back on the speed dial. Instead, learn to send brief, to-the-point texts or emails that give the other person a chance to call you if they want.

If you’re getting nothing but radio silence after a day or so, then by all means, whip out the headset and do your best Jerry Maguire impersonation. Until then, say it with a text!

4. Complaining to Your Coworkers ALL. THE. TIME.

Do you know who the most negative person in your office is? If you don’t, there is a very good chance that person is you. 👀

In fact, one study covered in the Harvard Business Review found that a majority of people spend 10 hours per month complaining about their bosses. Even more amazing, the study found that one third of people spend more than 20 hours per month complaining!

Luckily, if you’re the Debbie Downer in your office, there is still hope.

Instead of griping to your desk mate who clearly has her headphones on for a reason, take a deep breathe and complain directly to the client or Managing Broker or whoever is causing you stress.

It’s not that easy, right? You probably had to think about what to say and how to say it very carefully. That said, you made a step to actually solve your problem instead of letting it fester and grow. You might be surprised at the results you can get from people by being direct.

5. Trying to Convince Buyers to Put in an Offer Without a Buyers Agent

Sure, dual agency will make your commission check a little bit fatter. That said, most experienced agents will agree that the risk to your career and reputation is simply not worth it 99% the time.

The list of potential problems is endless, and the stress it causes can and and will seep into the other deals you have in the works. You haven’t met confused clients until you’ve worked both sides of a deal.

Instead, why not just work the listing you worked so hard to get? Your homeowner will get the same price for their home, but without the angst and drama.

6. Smoking

Sorry, you don’t look cool and you sure as hell don’t SMELL cool. Did you think you looked cool pacing in the street in the freezing cold just to indulge one of the worst habits on earth? Do you think your non-smoking client can’t smell your cigarettes over the cloying air freshener you sprayed before you picked them up?

Want to hear something amazing? Quitting is actually much, much easier than you think. Take it from me, I quit 4 years ago after a twenty year long pack-and-a-half-a-day habit. It was actually very easy. I got a (nice smelling) electronic cigarette and never looked back.

This is a tip that won’t only help you close more deals, but just might save your life. So do it. Right now. Throw out that pack, go buy a vaporizer, and get the nicotine without the smoke.

7. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Let’s face it. “Busy” people love to brag about how little sleep they got almost as much as they love bragging about being busy. Of course, once you tell them about the study below they’ll never brag again.

A study from the UK determined that you essentially lose one IQ point for every hour you miss below eight hours a night. Worse, the effect is cumulative. So those hours and IQ missing points add up at the end of the week.

So let’s say you have an IQ of 115 and miss 2 hours of sleep per night for a week. That’s a staggering 10 fewer IQ points you have to work with on Friday.

Luckily we have a solution for even the most stubborn night owls. It’s a body scanning technique developed by the military so soldiers can fall asleep anywhere. Even better, it actually works. Learn it here.

8. Making Loud Business Calls in Your Local Coffee Shop

Back when I worked as an agent in Manhattan, I frequented a local coffee shop to get work done in between showings. It was quiet, the WiFi was strong, the coffee was great but wildly expensive, and I was on a first name basis with the baristas.

Perfect, right?

Well, it was perfect. That is until a newer, younger brokerage opened up down the block to rent out a dozen or so new luxury developments that sprang up in the neighborhood seemingly overnight.

Then our peaceful little oasis was assaulted by loud, obnoxious, new agents making call after call and making sure everyone in the place knew just how many deals they were closing.

Needless to say, all the regulars who may have been interested in one of those luxury apartments, the baristas, and everyone else was not impressed.

9. Dressing for the Job You Have Instead of the Job You Want

If you’re stuck in a rut selling middle of the road houses in middle of the road neighborhoods, the temptation to give up on dressing professionally can be strong. Don’t give in!

Well, unless you don’t want to eventually work your way up to selling luxury homes in luxury neighborhoods that is…

Instead, keep the T shirts and shorts at home and dress for the job you want. A professional Realtor selling luxury homes to high net worth clients.

Need some inspiration on making the leap to luxury agent? Check out our interview with Luxury broker and coach Michael Lafido here.

Need a refresher course on affordable, stylish clothes or what to wear? Check out our Realtor style guides for men and women.

Over to You

Have a bad habit you’re trying to break so you can close more deals? Let us know in the comments.

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