Look up the definition of professional and you’ll find the following: “A person engaged or qualified in a profession,” and “relating to or connecting with a profession.”
With all due respect to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, those phrases don’t tell us much. As a young adult starting in business, the word ‘professional’ may have conjured thoughts of business suits and briefcases.
And, while it’s important to look the part of a trustworthy agent, being ‘professional’ is about much more than appearance. Let’s review some of the traits that define a professional agent.
Real Estate Professionalism
- Control your emotions. There’s a time and a place for everything and allowing our emotions to enter business transactions pulls our mind from productivity. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take your clients’ emotions into account, because buying and selling homes is intensely personal – but keep your own emotions in check so you can be of best service.
- Schedule your days. To maximize your efficiency, you need to keep a schedule that allows you to diligently undertake all the strategies needed for success in real estate, including prospecting, follow-up with leads, appointments, and administrative work. Not following a schedule, be it through a digital calendar or an old-school analog one, leads to missed opportunities.
- You must have a business plan. There’s a saying that goals without plans are only dreams. We recommend you develop an annual business plan, at the least. That’s a strategic document that reviews what you’ve done in the last year and what you’d like to achieve in the coming year. You might want to think about looking ahead and developing a five-year plan, but whichever path you choose, know you’ll need to review and update your plan periodically.
- Don’t let the ‘nos’ get you down. In now business is rejection more of a certainty than real estate! Even the best agents in the business get shot down from time to time and learning to handle rejection is a great lesson to learn early in your career. A professional realizes that getting a ‘no’ is not a reflection on personal character – business is business – and goes on to the next call.
- Be prepared. The Boy Scouts had the right idea when they made “Be prepared” their motto! For you, this means preparing yourself to make mental switches necessary for every sales situation; to be able to make the flip from buyer’s agent to seller’s and to adapt to market conditions. If you don’t feel like you’re currently prepared, waste no time putting mental systems in place.
Above all, to be considered a professional, you must be disciplined. For without discipline, sticking to any of the strategies discussed will be challenging.