Dear Zuess,worksmarternotharder

I want 2015 to be a huge year for me. I’ve been working in real estate for four years now, and it’s going okay – but I still feel like I struggle to get deals. I’m constantly worrying about where my next client will come from. I can pay my bills, but I often feel stress about money – I have a little too much debt for comfort. I sometimes find myself working with a client for weeks, or even months, only to have them not end up buying. How can I take things to the next level – once and for all?



Dear Angela,

This is a great time of year to be reevaluating your business model and making important decisions about what 2015 will look like. In order to truly thrive in real estate, you don’t need to do more things – you need to do different things! The old adage holds true: work smarter, not harder. There is only so much time in a week – so you have to make it count.

If you’ve been following me a while, you know that I have five simple steps for thriving in real estate. Here they are:

Take an honest look at what are you currently doing. Stop doing everything that is not contributing to these five steps, and replace time-wasters with activities pertaining to the five steps.

Measure Your Results

Devoting time to activities without measuring their effectiveness is the cause of the demise of many real estate agents. For instance, if the purpose of the activity is to get clients, then you need to know whether or not it is working.

One of the challenging things about real estate is that there can be a long lag time between doing an activity and seeing results (i.e. acquiring a new client). You need a reliable measurement system – and a fair bit of patience!

Assess the Value of Your Activities

As a real estate agent, you get paid for your results. You are your own boss. This means that you need to manage your work activities – because no one else will!

If you want to make a gross commission of $200,000 while working, say, 40 hours a week (and taking 4 weeks of vacation), the math will show that you need to do work that earns you $104 an hour, on average. Administrative work – managing databases, sending marketing material, improving your website – is likely worth $25 per hour or so. For every hour you devote to administrative work, you’ll need to match it with an hour spent on work that is worth $183 per hour.

And what type of work in sales might be worth $183 per hour? You got it – work that is effective at getting clients.


Decide now that you will make that commitment to do what it takes. Earning a six figure income with the freedom that comes with being a real estate agent is not a constitutional right – only a small percentage of agents will be able to achieve this kind of success. You can do it – but you need to commit to doing the uncomfortable work that is required to attain a high level of performance.

Whether in athletics, the arts, or entrepreneurship, the price of success lies deeper within you than you first think.