8 Characteristics of Real Estate Listing Masters

Jul 18, 2013 12:14:58 PM

Matt Fetick, a top producing agent with the Brandywine, (Pa.) market center, has been on an aggressive path toward becoming a $1 million annual GCI agent. Asked about his motivation, he says, “It’s not about something specific I want to have in my life; it’s more about sensing the feeling of freedom I will have as I get to my goal.” He continued, “It’s funny, when friends hear about what I am doing personally to accelerate my business — the coaching, the education, the prospecting — they say it must be a pressure-cooker life. My answer is no, it’s the opposite. The further I progress toward the mastery I seek, the easier everything gets for me.”


Mastering the business of working with sellers begins and ends with mindset. It also involves acquiring, fine-tuning and continuously improving a knowledge base, while simultaneously building a surrounding set of skills and practice that can form powerful habits.

This portrayal of mastery grew from the ideas and practices of scores of top agents across the Keller Williams family — people who have chosen to focus on building a seller-based business.

They have come to this place in their business in different ways. Some chose to focus on sellers from the outset. Others began working mainly with buyers and evolved toward a seller-based practice as satisfied customers generated seller referrals, and past buyers became sellers.

When it comes to the real work world of top performing listing agents though, they all possess the following traits and behaviors. They are:

1. Driven by a Big Why

Throughout discussions of mastery with mega agents and top coaches, there was consistent agreement that the energy, drive, and determination that power all the other commitments are supplied by a Big Why, a concept introduced in The Millionaire Real Estate Agent. It is the overarching powerful motivator - a vision, whether fanciful or highly pragmatic, of the life you want to create for yourself and for your loved ones.

Some agents are powered by their children’s education costs. Some dream of a real estate portfolio, vacation property, a luxury yacht, or a trip around the world. Still others envision the opportunity to support charitable causes that reflect their values and life priorities. Your Big Why will supply all the power you need, if it is meaningful enough to you.

2. Time Block to Focus

Developing mastery takes time, energy, attitude, and focus. When Chris Heller (now President of KW Worldwide) stood at the helm of his San Diego, (Calif.) real estate team, he would describe his day as “totally time blocked.” He says, “My days [were] very structured, and everyone knows my schedule. I have a person who helps protect my time and I do certain things too. For example, when I [was] prospecting my cell phone [was] not even in the room. I [gave] it to someone else to keep until I [was] done.”

3. Committed to Practice and Coaching

Having set aside this high value time in your universe, how do you use it? Most listing masters say that practicing skills and scripts, along with prospecting, are the vital few activities in their business lives. Many rewards, both financial and personal, have their origins in practice. Gary Keller, in talking about objection-handling scripts, has said that continuous, endless practice “makes you fearless (in the face of objections) - you get to a point where you feel there’s nothing you can’t handle. You just say ‘bring it on.’”

4. Create Energy and a Great Attitude

The kind of drive and dedication that powers focus comes from a reservoir of resources that top agents own and build from within. Many say they receive their energy through prayer and/or meditation. They also appreciate improvement, love to feed their soul and consciously strive to be of service to others. They schedule time for consistent physical activity, and expose their minds daily to books, recordings, people and environments.

5. Thirst for Knowledge

This essential ingredient is built continuously over time through a commitment to personal growth through learning - from peers, coaches, mentors and clients.

When asked for his definition of mastery, mega agent Martin Bouma, associate with the Ann Arbor, (Mich.) market center, answered immediately saying, “I have a 6:30 a.m. treadmill work out that I’m very committed to. On the treadmill, I tend to listen to new scripts I’ve found on CD, and work on memorizing them.” Bouma listens in his car too. “Sometimes I’ll pull over by the side of the road in my car and make notes to remind me that I’ve just heard something on a CD - usually a script or a marketing idea - that I want to bring into our business.”

6. Employ Great Tools

Those who seek mastery have many planning and action tools at their disposal in Keller Williams University, kw | Technology, KW MAPS Coaching curriculum and accompanying toolkits. And there’s the digital delivery system for most of these resources called KWConnect.

For broad business planning, the GPS (goals, priorities and strategies) approach described in the KWU course Leadership and Motivation, lays out the foundational thinking that can create a powerful annual plan. And to truly commit to being a successful listing agent means to commit to a lifetime of learning, practicing, and business building that begins with daily and continuous lead generation.

7. Organized

Being organized is not about having a neat and tidy desk. Top producing listing agents need the organization and tools that come with having efficient, documented procedures and checklists for each stage of the process so that they can manage an increasingly complex business without dropping a step or forgetting an important detail. It’s about knowing what to do, when to do it, and having the tools at hand to accomplish it.

KWU has created checklists, including a Listings Change Checklist, Listing Change Notice, Listings Checklist, Contract to Close Checklists for every stage of the listing cycle based on the systems top agents use. Copies are available on the KWU Website.

8. Give, and Get, the Mastery Feeling

Agents have also expressed their definition of mastery, at least in part, from the customer’s point of view. Heller explains that, “Mastery happens when the customer feels totally at ease with the agent — when they feel they are truly in the best possible hands.” For that to be, he adds that the agent must have total belief that they are “100 percent the best person for the job” with that customer.

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