Get Started
7 min read

Good vs. Great Real Estate Agents

Apr 2, 2018 2:04:54 PM

If given the choice between a "good" real estate agent and a “great” real estate agent, which do you think most buyers and sellers would choose? 

Every commission-based sales industry requires certain skills to be successful.  As the old saying goes, “Great salespersons aren’t born, but made.” Greatness is a developed skill that requires commitment and education.

Real Estate as a People Business

Great real estate agents understand their profession as a people business. Buying and selling real estate puts sellers and buyers into high emotional states. After all, most are making the biggest financial decision of their lives when they buy and sell homes.

The skills required for successful real estate agents include: commitment, communication, negotiation, and problem solving.


The most important characteristic of a successful real estate agent is his or her commitment to the profession. Treating real estate as a part-time job diminishes success.

The real estate profession requires time to succeed. Part-timers fail because of their lack of commitment. Spending time to make your business a success means doing what you need to do.

Becoming a real estate agent is easy — but being a great agent requires work. Performing the necessary tasks to get listings and get them sold involves lots of time. Buyer’s agents also spend tons of time prospecting for good buyers, researching properties, negotiating favorable prices and terms. Great agents do not fear performing extra tasks to close the sale.

Time Management

Commitment takes time. Time management separates great agents from good ones.

Great real estate agents know how to effectively use their time to work smarter — not harder. Numerous free time management techniques, tools and apps exist for real estate agents. Use them.

Great agents plan out each day to save time and focus on real estate business priorities.

Great agents automate their real estate marketing to save time. This allows more free time to personally qualify leads, answer inquiries (emails, texts, phone messages), do personalized CMAs, and follow up on leads. 

Local Expert

Great residential real estate agents become committed local experts.

Residential real estate branding requires knowing your niche community to become its local expert. Buyers moving into new cities or neighborhoods appreciate using an agent who knows the best schools, gyms, shopping, restaurants, parks, and nightlife.

Knowledge of a local community’s culture, history, politics, population demographics, and tone makes it easier for buyers to find the best fit and to adapt.

A local expert must know the current real estate market in order to provide pricing advice to sellers.

Sphere of Influence

Great real estate agents maintain a committed sphere of influence.

Commitment also means reaching out to influencers in your community. Create good relations with people who can refer clients to you. Maintain lasting relationships with influencers and past clients in order to get future referrals.

Expand your sphere of influence to help your business grow. Keep reaching out to them personally, rather than occasional birthday and holiday greeting cards.

Avoid pestering them. Instead, reach out by asking if they have any real estate questions you can answer. Be helpful.


Great agents excel at self-marketing. Efficient inexpensive self-marketing includes active social media and blogging to promote your business. These platforms provide an effective way to become a local expert.

Another old saying, “It takes money to make money” means you must invest money into your business to become successful. Great agents appear to be very professional and successful.

Hire professionals to build your blog and website to make them stand out. The same goes for photographing listings, which must jump out to buyers. Producing first-rate videos for your website, blog, and YouTube account makes you look like a successful professional.

Positive Attitude

Great agents possess a positive attitude toward potential clients. In addition, they project an attitude of caring. When sellers and buyers feel their real estate agent took great care of them, they gladly recommend the agent to others.

A great attitude leads to sales success. Your attitude sets the tone for interactions with prospects and clients. Great agents help clients achieve what they need or want.

Making your clients feel like you will go above and beyond what it takes to get the job done works wonders. Great agents quickly reply to clients’ calls, emails, and texts. Make your clients feel special by educating them about the real estate sales and purchase process.

Honesty and ethical professionalism displays a positive, trustworthy attitude clients appreciate. Great agents project loyalty toward their client’s best interests, while being transparent and genuine.


Great agents possess effective business communications skills.

A great agent’s reputation depends upon positive reviews from clients.   

Read your local Yelp reviews of real estate agents. Notice the agents with consistent 5-star Yelp ratings? That’s what a great agent attains. Positive 5-star reviews in every outlet rating real estate agents validates great agents.

Working with anxious clients throughout the different stages of selling or buying often leads to “breakdowns” in communication. Late replies, additional documents, and other miscommunications leads to frustration resulting in negative reviews.

Future referrals depends on positive reviews to bolster one’s reputation. Happy clients make great references!

Effective Negotiator

Every listing price can be negotiated. Stubborn sellers often reduce their listing price after enough buyers simply ignore or make lower offers. Great agents learn the skill of negotiation.

The best attitude toward negotiating price and terms remains the “win/win” approach. Unlike war, no one wins when the other loses in real estate. Listing and buyer’s agents dread “buyer’s remorse”  — which happens when the buyer feels pressured, gets bad advice, or simply feels wronged. 

The art of negotiation requires the ability to make both sides feel like they “won." This skill requires learning how to make people feel good about their purchase or sale. If a seller refuses to lower the listing price, maybe offering better terms like seller financing or free incentives (new paint, existing furniture, etc.) may make the buyer feel happier.     

Problem Solver

Problems often occur during the real estate purchasing process. A good agent passes the problem to someone else to solve. A great agent makes it look like he or she solved the problem.

Team up with excellent real estate professionals like architects, appraisers, lenders, lawyers, home decorators, general contractors, and pest inspectors. Look like a hero instead of a buck passer when you make a call to one of your “team” members who solves the problem.

Great real estate agents listen to clients’ problems and find solutions to get things done.

Networking with real estate professionals not only helps you to solve clients’ problems but also encourages referrals between team members for future business. 

Educate Yourself

Develop your skills by learning more about real estate marketing and sales. Become an expert on these topics to gain an advantage over your competition.

Great real estate agents excel with listing presentations.

Learn how to excel with your listing presentations by purchasing the complete “Instant Real Estate Listing Presentation” training system. It consists of a 163 page book explaining over 100 sales strategies to close sales. In addition, it offers video training on presenting and customizing listing presentations to yourself and your market. It also trains you how to get accurately priced listings to increase sales.

Click Here to order your winning listing presentation now.


avatar_joeJoe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here