7 Habits of Successful Brokers

To ensure the longevity of your business, it’s time to start healthy routines.

Every broker has a style of doing business. But to be successful, it takes a strong set of positive habits to get you where you need to go. Whether your company is in a small town or a big city, these practices can help you be a top performer year after year.

Habit 1: Communicate Effectively

Becoming more relatable to customers has been easy for Tami McHugh, broker-owner of Heritage Real Estate in Meridian, Idaho, because she uses the “FORM” method of conversation, a technique encouraged by some coaches to help people with the art of conversation. “It’s important to develop a level of comfort and trust before asking hard questions about finances,” she says. That means she begins a conversation by talking about “family,” then moves on to “occupation,” then asks about “recreation,” and finally, she’s set the stage to discuss “money/motivation.”

Habit 2: Stay Organized at Work and at Home

“At work, my desk is cleared every evening, and at home, everything from receipts to reports is put in its proper place before going to bed,” says 2014 NAR President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate Inc. in Dayton, Ohio. “I know where everything is and, because of that, I have less stress and more time to relax and re-energize.”

Habit 3: Make Business Planning a Daily Activity

Joe Pryor, broker-owner of The Virtual Real Estate Team in Oklahoma City, follows the 1-7-90 day plan. In addition to his longer-term planning, Pryor starts each day by choosing one task or goal he wants to accomplish. He sets up a business plan for the week, as well as for the quarter. He’s also continually measuring his sales progress. “Gain what control you have in these smaller fragments,” he says.

Habit 4: Always Ask

Ask past clients for referrals; ask buyers if they want to write an offer on that house they raved about; ask that person you bumped into at the supermarket if you can put her house on the market. Successful brokers and agents alike make it a habit to ask for what they want.

Habit 5: Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up

If your company generates leads, don’t let them fall through the cracks because you don’t have a follow-up system in place. Set up immediate and appropriate automated responses when leads come in, and make sure your agents are calling or emailing as needed. To earn and keep the trust of customers, don’t drop the ball at any stage.

Habit 6: Taking Care of Your Body

Regular exercise can boost many parts of your life—including your business. Brown works out four days a week at a gym near his house because keeping a regular exercise routine not only makes him feel better but also helps him sleep better and think better. Pryor starts the morning with 32 ounces of water along with several minutes of meditation. He also breaks up his day with two-minute breathing exercises, which he says helps him stay focused.

Habit 7: Treat Clients With Respect and Warmth

“When people are in despair, they often need more than a trusted real estate adviser,” McHugh says. “They also need reassurance that they won’t be facing the crisis alone.” A crisis can range from foreclosure to divorce or a health issue, so get into the habit of approaching people with empathy and respect.