Is it just us or do New Year’s resolutions have a strong “should” vibe that, for most people, ends up sabotaging even their best efforts at self-improvement?

We’re not saying there’s no place for “should” or “should not,” but they seem better suited to the realm of moral absolutes—not personal development.  

Use the phrase, “I should,” and suddenly it feels like you’re doing something to please someone else. Goodbye, personal autonomy; hello, glorified to-do list. But if you swap out that phrase for “I’m choosing to,” everything changes. And that’s what this list is all about. 

Sure, it probably looks familiar. Truth be told, the best habits, at their core, don’t really change from one year to the next. But the context certainly can. 

Think of this as an updated version of our list of habits every real estate agent should cultivate to succeed in today’s real estate market. 

Just as 2023 stood apart from 2022 with its own unique challenges and opportunities, 2024 is its own thing, with its own salad of wins, losses, and WTF moments. 

But as Ryan Serhant puts it, “Markets shouldn’t dictate your outcomes. They should only dictate your strategy.” 

Knowing and implementing the right strategies has a lot to do with your personal and professional habits. So, here are 11 habits every real estate agent should cultivate to be ready for the challenges they’ll face this year—and every year that follows. 

#1—Build a strong brand

Establishing your brand is more than creating a cohesive look for your marketing materials—so anyone familiar with any of your content will see a new one and instantly recognize it as yours. 

It’s about creating an experience around your business name. And that goes beyond the visuals to include what your audience feels when another post of yours appears in their feed. 

Some of those feelings will be tied to the visual impact of your design elements, which is why your brand colors are so important. Other feelings will have more to do with the value your audience has gained from your content—or from their interactions with you and your business. 

Here are a few ways to establish a strong and trustworthy brand as a real estate agent: 

  • Create a professional website that is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and contains information about your services, experience, and areas of expertise.
  • Develop a consistent social media presence. Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with potential clients and building your brand. Make it part of your daily routine to post new content, respond to comments, and comment on other people’s posts. 
  • Optimize Google My Business. After creating an account, add photos and videos, ramp up online reviews, and post regularly to get the most out of Google My Business
  • Stay active in your local community. Building relationships with other professionals and participating in local events and organizations helps you establish yourself as a trusted resource in your community.

#2—Implement efficient systems

Having systems in place saves you time and energy in much the same way good habits do. They create a framework that ensures necessary tasks get done without costing you as much time and energy as it took to set those systems up. 

That’s not to say implementing those systems doesn’t require effort because no system works without consistent action. But it’s easier to take that action consistently when you know exactly what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and how often. 

Here are some steps you can take to implement efficient systems as a real estate agent:

  • Use a CRM. A CRM allows you to keep track of your clients and leads, schedule appointments and follow-ups, and manage your communication with them. Choose a CRM that aligns with your business needs, and make sure to consistently update and use it.
  • Automate repetitive tasks. There are many tasks that can be automated in a real estate business, such as sending emails and texts to clients, scheduling appointments, and following up with leads. You can save time and focus on more important tasks by automating these tasks.
  • Set up a system for organizing and managing documents. Having a clear and organized system for storing and accessing important documents can save time and reduce the risk of errors. Be sure you can open and edit all documents on your computer and mobile devices. 
  • Implement a system for tracking and analyzing your performance. Having a system in place to track your performance can help you identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions. 
  • Train your team. If you have a team or virtual assistant, it’s important to provide them with the training and resources they need to work efficiently. Invest in training and professional development for your team to help them perform at their best.

#3—Manage your time effectively

You’re not alone if you often feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to get all the things done—and done well. But deep down, you know that just having more time at your disposal wouldn’t solve the main issue. 

As a real estate agent, you have many so responsibilities, including— 

  • Managing clients
  • Marketing your services 
  • Staying up-to-date on industry trends

It can be easy to get overwhelmed, which is why it’s so important to have systems in place to help you manage your time and stay organized.

One effective way to manage your time is to time block your calendar. And when doing so, be sure to dedicate the majority of your working hours to income-producing activities.

It’s important to eliminate distractions and stay focused on your tasks. By creating a schedule and sticking to it, you will be able to reach your goals.

#4—Provide exceptional customer service

Giving your clients the best possible experience with you as their agent builds trust and loyalty. Exceptional service should be an integral part of your brand. 

As a real estate professional, you need to be responsive, attentive, and proactive in addressing your clients’ needs. Teach your clients to expect exceptional service from you, not because you see yourself as their personal slave but because you know the value you bring, and you know they have a right to expect your best. 

When it comes to servicing clients, it’s important to continuously strive to improve. This may involve seeking out feedback from clients and implementing changes based on that feedback.

#5—Have a support system that holds you accountable

This can be one person or a group of people you report to on a regular basis. These are people you want to share good news with—i.e., real numbers that show your progress from week to week, month to month, and year to year.   

It’s one thing to look back on the week and tell yourself, “Well, that could have gone better,” or “I really should have made more calls.” It’s another to have to tell a fellow real estate professional that you p***ed away your time and have little to show for it. 

  • Accountability is crucial for anyone who strives for continued growth. You can add layers of accountability to your business to ensure you keep moving forward. 
  • Joining a team of real estate professionals can offer a number of benefits, such as shared resources, support, and the opportunity to learn from more experienced agents. With the right team, it also becomes an invaluable source of accountability. 
  • Hiring a coach or working with an accountability partner is another way to utilize a support system. No matter how you incorporate accountability into your daily routine, be sure the people you surround yourself with are willing to have tough conversations and hold you to your commitments.

#6—Stay up to date on industry trends

As a real estate professional, staying informed about trends in the real estate industry is crucial to providing the kind of exceptional service and guidance your clients have a right to expect.

You’re not just a door-opener; you’re an educator. And that means continually educating yourself on anything that could impact your clients, including changes in demand for certain types of properties and shifts in the market. Pay attention to— 

  • Market trends. Agents should be aware of trends in the real estate market, such as changes in demand for certain types of properties or shifts in the balance of supply and demand.
  • Changes in government policies. It’s important for agents to stay up to date on any changes to laws and regulations that may impact the real estate industry, such as changes to mortgage interest deductions or property tax laws.

Here’s an easy way to stay in the loop on the latest developments in the U.S. housing market: tune in for the daily Hot Sheet with host Byron Lazine.

And join BAMx to get free access to the detailed summary Byron uses for each episode, along with downloadable charts—and so much more! 

On Fridays, join us for the Knowledge Brokers Podcast for an in-depth weekly review of the latest news on housing and the U.S. economy. 

#7—Network with other professionals

Building relationships with other professionals in the industry, such as other agents, mortgage brokers, appraisers, and attorneys, can help agents provide a more comprehensive service to their clients.

It also pays to foster relationships with trustworthy movers who can save your clients at least some of their stress around moving—as well as alleviate any worries they might feel about entrusting their possessions to people they don’t know. 

By building a strong network of contacts in the industry, you stay informed about market trends and potential referral opportunities. And you can steer your clients toward related services provided by professionals you trust, ensuring the best possible experience for them. 

#8—Build and nurture relationships with local businesses and organizations

Take a page out of Tom Storey’s book and create a directory that includes information on local businesses you and your clients trust—for all the services your new clients (especially those new to the area) could find helpful, from plumbing and electrical to remodeling contractors to the best restaurants in town. 

Partnering with local businesses and organizations can help agents gain exposure and build their reputation in the community. 

In addition to building relationships with businesses and organizations, local media outlets can help agents gain exposure and establish themselves as experts in the local market. Consider hosting a weekly radio show or connecting with a local journalist

#9—Use a variety of marketing strategies

There’s more than one way to get people’s attention and attract more business. 

Social media can be an effective way for agents to generate leads and connect with potential clients, but it’s not the only type of marketing you should focus on. Here are other marketing strategies to explore:

  • Email marketing. It’s critical to grow your email list because it doesn’t rely on a platform someone else owns and controls. You own your email list. You can’t say that about any social media account. 
  • Geo-farming. Building a geographical farm allows you to target a specific area you want to work in. Try this case study strategy from Robert Mack to attract more listings in your farm. 
  • Sweat equity. There are numerous ways to stand out in your community with a limited budget. Use sweat equity to gain more leads at little-to-no cost.

#10—Continuously seek out opportunities for learning and growth

The real estate industry is constantly evolving, so it’s important for agents to be proactive in their own learning and growth. This could involve—

  • Seeking out coaching or training opportunities
  • Attending industry events
  • Networking and learning from other real estate professionals
  • Staying up to date on the latest trends and best practices

Make sure you subscribe to the BAM newsletter to stay informed about opportunities for continuing education, including BAM events for 2024 (and beyond). 

#11—Stay positive and motivated

We know it’s not always easy to focus on the good that you want more of—and to avoid dwelling on the negative. For many of us, the emotions tied to experiences we don’t want are a lot stronger than the ones tied to experiences you do want. Those negative feelings have a way of dominating your thoughts, especially when you’re about to do something you’d rather not do. 

For example, say you’re about to make another call when those voices in your head start grumbling and suggesting “less stressful” alternatives. Before you know it, the day is up, and you’ve made a grand total of one phone call (that went right to voicemail) and spent hours on activities that do nothing to generate income for the month. 

Even if you don’t believe thoughts become things, they can 100% become your biggest obstacles to success—if you let them. Or they can be the fuel that keeps you going. 

Building habits is about choosing the ones that serve you best—to replace the ones that have been holding you back. None of us is perfect, and no one here is judging you if you still have habits you’d rather no one knew about. We’ve all got them. 

So, if you’re just getting started building better habits, good on you, and here are a couple things you can do as the new year begins:

  • Identify one habit you have that’s been working against you (Habit A)
  • Replace it with a habit of your choosing that will work for you (Habit B)
  • Remind yourself every day: “I’m choosing to do B instead of A because [your reason].

If you’re looking for an accountability partner to help you stick to the plan and make consistent progress, sign up for BAMx to enjoy the most supportive and engaged Facebook community for real estate agents. Or join to take advantage of our growing library of online courses, livestreams, and more! 

Right now, use the code “FROSTY” to save 25% on your annual membership or your first month. Sign up for the sale ends on January 2nd at 11:59 pm ET.