What do your personal habits have to do with how much money you make as a real estate agent? Plenty! If you doubt that, try talking to top agents in your market and at real estate conferences. Ask them what personal habits have gotten them to where they are today. 

What you do on a daily basis reflects your mindset and your priorities. It also has an impact on both, as well as on your energy levels and how you manage your time. 

Personal habits are too important to leave to chance. You’re not stuck with the ones you pick up in your first couple decades of life. You choose the ones you live by. At any point, you can break habits that aren’t serving you and build new ones that make better use of your energy.

Read on to see which habits are worth cultivating and how they can help you reach and even exceed your income goals every year—whatever the market is doing. 

#1—Build and commit to a morning routine

Your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. So, what you do every morning—from the moment you wake up—matters more than you might realize. 

Hal Elrod, the author of the Miracle Morning book series, understands this better than most. There’s a reason Byron Lazine recommended the book, Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents as his first pick in an episode of the Knowledge Brokers Podcast. This is the book he gives every agent when they onboard with this team. 

In the book, you’ll learn about the Life S.A.V.E.R.S. routine and how it can help you achieve “Level 10 success” both personally and professionally. Each letter stands for a specific part of the routine: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing. 

We recommend treating yourself to a copy of the book. We also recommend finding an accountability partner to help you (both) stay on track with your morning routine, or sign up for the 5AM Call for a motivating message to start each day. 

#2—Make yourself uncomfortable

Whether it’s with a cold shower, recording yourself on video, or doing some exercise before you start work for the day, challenge yourself to do something uncomfortable every morning. 

If nothing else, you’ll start each day with the reminder that you can do uncomfortable things consistently. And that makes it easier to jump into situations you’d rather avoid—or pick up the phone and start making phone calls when you’d rather…not. 

Not saying it’s a quick fix. It won’t make you superhuman or erase your personal challenges. But it can serve as a reminder that comfort should not be the priority—either in your personal or professional life. And you can do uncomfortable things.

#3—Use time-blocking to plan your day and manage your time effectively

Time-blocking is a time-honored strategy for making the most of the time you have each day—and particularly every working day. 

If you don’t have your calendar set up with specific time blocks for income-producing activities, chances are excellent you’re spending too much of your time on activities that hold you back from your full potential. 

You’ll want to set up time blocks for each of these activities: 

  • “Do not Disturb” time for making phone calls 
  • Following up with clients and prospects and responding to voicemail messages
  • Responding to DMs and social media comments
  • Responding to emails and text messages
  • Creating one-on-one video messages

If you’re wondering what to schedule first, use the “Eat the frog” method. Whatever type of communication you generally prefer to avoid or “save for later,” do that first while your energy is at its freshest. 

For many of us, that’s making phone calls. And it doesn’t get easier or more appealing as the day wears on. So, tackle that first. 

#4—Make time for self-reflection

The final S in the Life S.A.V.E.R.S. routine mentioned above is “Scribing.” Because getting your thoughts out of your head and onto a page helps you tame the chaos in there and can also result in some helpful insights. 

Writing gets the louder voices in your head down, but it also captures at least some of the quieter ones, which can make you aware of something you’ve been trying to avoid. 

Making this a daily priority gives you a chance to check in with yourself and be honest about what’s going on in your head and your heart, both of which have a say in how you perform as a real estate agent (as well as a person with human relationships). 

Call it whatever you want—scribing, journaling, venting on paper, scribbling… whatever helps you make sense of your inner world and come to terms with what you need. 

#5—Make time for self-care

Everyone needs and has a right to take care of their inner and outer selves, and your morning routine includes some of the daily self-care your personal and professional self needs to perform at its best. 

Short-change your self-care, and it won’t be long before you notice a decline in everything else, including your productivity—even if the sacrifice of your self-care leaves you more time for work. 

It’s similar to what happens if you never get the oil changed in your car, or you don’t take the time to clean up after yourself as you go. 

Things build up, and that build-up weighs you down—until it shuts you down.  

So, when we say, “Take care of yourself,” we really, really mean it! Give your whole self what it needs on a daily basis. And we don’t mean just food, water, and sleep. 

Scribing—i.e., journaling—can help you identify any needs that aren’t being met. From there, you can take action to correct that. 

#6—Prioritize all-in communication with the people closest to you

The people in your life who depend on you for love and support also need regular and attentive communication from you. Make it a priority to spend time with them every day checking in and listening to what they need to tell you. 

Let them know communicating with them is not only important to you but something you look forward to and enjoy doing. Find ways to communicate your connection with them throughout the day in small but meaningful ways. 

Real connections take commitment and energy from both sides to survive and grow. One person alone can’t make a relationship grow or even keep it alive. 

Pay attention to what the people in your life are telling you, with and without words. 

#7—Make reading (or listening to) good books a priority

The books you read are as important as the company you keep. The ideas you pick up from the books you spend time with can influence your thinking, which influences your actions, reactions, and habits. 

If you’re stumped as to what to read, get some recommendations from people you know who read and are killing it as real estate agents. What books have helped them get to where they are? Which books continue to propel them forward? What books have helped them make the decisions that have made the biggest impact on their lives?

Make your list, and work through it. And for each book you read that stands out as the kind of book you need to read, give it your full, thoughtful attention. Some will resonate more now than others. 

When you’ve finished reading one of those books, thank the person who recommended it to you. 

#8—Cultivate a set of habits that belong to the person you want to be

Make a list to finish the sentence, “I like being someone who…” and brainstorm a list of at least 10 things the person you want to be does on a daily/regular basis. 

Then, go through the list and ask yourself, for each habit, why you added it to your list. What does that habit say to you? Or how do you think it will make you more the person you want to be? What will it change about your day, your mindset, and how you respond to challenges?

As James Clear pointed out in his well-known book, Atomic Habits, “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.” 

This is why every habit matters—from what you do when you first get up in the morning to the last thing you do before your head hits the pillow. 

What do your habits say about you? What do you want them to say?

#9—Regularly connect, follow up, and deliver value with your professional relationships.

Follow-up is essential to maintaining and nurturing relationships with people in your sphere. It’s also important to touch base with them now and then to deliver value and let them know you still appreciate them and want them in your circle.

Make it personal with a phone call. If it goes to voicemail, leave them with something worth their time and give them a reason to call you back. 

This commitment to nurturing relationships should also be apparent in your personal life as you engage with family and friends. Technology can sometimes get in the way of that engagement, so make a point of putting the phone away and being fully present when you’re spending time with your people. Re-normalize face-to-face and tech-free communication. 

#10—Build and commit to an evening routine

A good night’s sleep is the foundation of everything else. Get yourself to bed at the same time every evening—early enough to get enough good-quality sleep before your alarm goes off. And start your evening routine an hour beforehand. 

That gives you time for your bathroom rituals (skincare, brushing teeth, etc.), saying goodnight to the people you live with, and maybe doing some reading and yoga or stretching exercises before you climb into bed. That hour passes quickly. 

You can also start the routine earlier to give yourself more time to wind down. 

#11—Make daily self-education a priority

Keep yourself up to date with the information your clients need from you—on the housing market, the economy, the process of buying or selling a home, etc. 

It’s also important to keep learning about other things that interest you—favorite activities and topics of personal interest. Keep getting better at the things that matter to you and to the people you love. Take the time to learn more about your partner’s personal pursuits to let them know they matter to you, too. 

You should be continually learning and improving yourself as well as your skills as a real estate agent. As much as you know now, there’s always more to learn. 

Enlist the help of a coach you can be accountable to for challenging yourself and making progress with your personal and professional growth. 

Own your power—and your responsibility

Habits are about taking responsibility for your impact on the world around you. 

Your personal habits affect your relationships with others (as well as the one you have with yourself), your dominant mindset, your internal dialogue, and how you deal with those epic faceplants that happen sometimes when you’re taking risks and trying new things. 

Habits of blaming and complaining hold you back, as do habits that prioritize comfort—mental and emotional, as well as physical. So, which habit will you work on this week to replace a habit that’s been hampering your growth (or stopping it completely) and keeping you down?

What changes do you want to see a year from now? And what habits are you willing to cultivate to get there?