In a hot, lucrative real estate market like Los Angeles, the competition is crazy. There’s a dizzying array of properties, neighborhoods, trends, clients, and agents. The luxury market is particularly tough, with T.V. “agents” and serious brokers vying for celebrity clients.
The Wall Street Journal’s annual The Thousands list divides top agents by sales volume and transaction sides. The average American real estate agent sold between 8 and 9 properties in 2016, while the average agent on The Thousand sold 192 homes. These top agents are full time with the skills and commitment to grow their business every year.
Lots of real estate agents say they’re the best, but what does that mean? A top producer has insane sales numbers, hot listings, and impressive clients. But it’s more than that.
Common Characteristics of Top Agents
To get the astonishing sales volume and big commissions, agents need to maintain strong skills and habits through every transaction:
- Commitment: Top producers show up and follow up. They are emotionally and mentally present for their clients and customers. They get the sale because they quickly follow up on inquiries.
- Adaptable: Super successful agents can work with anyone. They perfect their scripts, memorize objection-handling tactics, and study personality types.
- Perseverance: Top agents master the necessary systems and stick to their schedules. They don’t let challenges and setbacks derail their progress.
- Service mindset: You need an unwavering service mindset to succeed in any market.
- Focus on what matters: It can be easy to get distracted by things that in the end don’t really matter. Successful people focus their energy on what matters, like lead creation and follow up, presenting, and negotiating.
- Creative: Top agents have absorbed industry best practices and then created new methods to identify and implement the solutions for success.
Above all, expect the best from yourself, your assistants, and your team. You may sometimes fall short, but that constant drive to improve will propel you to the top.
Here are some of the best agents working in the business:
- Aaron Kirkman: Specializing in architectural homes and the most expensive properties in the world, Kirkman’s 2016 successes include the second-highest sale in Beverley Hills ever for $65 million.
- Joe Babajian: Properties include a $49 million piece of land in Beverley Hills and Dean Martin’s old home.
- Santiago Arana: Boasting some famous properties and clients, Arana has sold $20 million estates to people like Lady Gaga.
- Ernie Carswell: While he has the celebrity clients, Carswell has no interest in the fast construction/fast money trend. He’s interested in classic, well-built properties that stand the test of time.
- Tomer Fridman: Specializing in gated communities for celebrity buyers, he’s sold hot properties in the Hidden Hills and Calabasas. He has his eye on the increase of foreign investors, too.
- Sally Forster Jones: The president of the luxury properties division at John Aaroe Group, Jones represented the final buyer in a $70 million bidding war for a property on Hillcrest Road.
- Ben Caballero: From HomesUSA.com in Addison, Texas, Caballero ranked at the top for sales volume and transaction sides in The Thousands list.
- Tracy Tutor Maltas: While she has the celebrity clients and high dollar listings, Maltas is attracted to properties with unique architectural stories, such as Frank Gehry- and John Lautner-designed houses in Brentwood and Malibu.
- Kofi Nartey: A former athlete and actor, Nartey’s inside knowledge helped him launch his firm’s sports and entertainment division and rack up more than $100 million in active pocket listings.
- Tami Pardee Team: With $629 million in sales last year, Pardee has become a Venice specialist.
In a high stakes market like luxury homes, agents have to be better at everything than everyone else. When tens of millions of dollars are on the line in one transaction, mediocrity is not an option. Tweet: Sustaining a high level of performance year after year becomes a habit. Agents striving to become top producers perfect industry best practices and learn and derive inspiration from others. Click To Tweet Study the careers and habits of real estate rock stars and pick things you could use in your business.
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