Top 5 Things You Need to Be Successful

By Maria Kazakos

What is success? “When you try to do something and it works.”

This is the answer my six-year-old daughter gave me when I asked her that very question. The simplicity of her definition perfectly captures the idea that although everyone’s end goal may be different, the means to the end are the same. When studying successful professionals across industries, I often recognize common elements that have contributed to their success.

Successful people have a willingness to outwork others. This grit and hustle is non-negotiable in the real estate world. Entering a field that is 100% commission based takes extraordinary gusto because you can go months without earning income. Excellence is a product of what you choose to do with your time while others are resting. Successful brokers enter the profession with a willingness to invest in long-term outcomes and delay gratification. You are building a business from scratch, so you must be disciplined enough to invest time and money without the expectation of an immediate return.

Industry leaders also exhibit a clear focus on relationships, connecting genuinely with their clients and loved ones. I can’t think of anyone who can get to the top alone, and if you do, it sounds like a lonely place. Your driving force in real estate should be a desire to help people.  Agents serve as trusted advisors and the best way to earn that position is a commitment to developing lifelong relationships. You cannot begin this career with a transactional mindset. The goal is to earn your clients’ trust so that they come to you with related questions way beyond their home sale or purchase. Along those lines, you must block out your schedule for uninterrupted time with family and friends. Hyper successful people plan their vacations at the beginning of the year, illustrating a commitment to the run/rest cycle. When you are working, you are working as hard as you can. In turn, you have intentionally built in rest time to recharge.

Novice agents should emulate those who exemplify a commitment to personal mastery. To become a leader in your marketplace, you must embrace learning and make time for professional development. Study related industries and consider how effective techniques could be applied to your real estate business. This is a dynamic environment, and you cannot afford to become stagnant.

Perhaps the most important quality in confident business people is their attitude of abundance and gratitude. The only person you should be competing with is yourself; consistently working to ensure that today’s best effort is better than yesterday’s. Lean in to who you are, commit to being an expert in your field and stay focused. By providing insight and value to your sphere you will attract business. Do not expect to attract everyone and do not expel energy thinking about deals you lost to a competitor. The more successful you become the more noise and distraction will surround you. Remember, there is enough room at the top for everyone who works hard enough to get there.

The final element that is integral to success is an organized system. A system keeps you on track, but more importantly it allows you to effectively delegate. Being able to delegate and manage your system is vital to continued growth. Your goal is to get busy, but once you get there you do not want your level of service to be compromised. Nor do you want your business growth to be limited to what you can personally produce. If you start out with a system that can be refined as your business develops the possibilities are endless.

Take pride in your work and be grateful for the journey, my friends.

MARIA KAZAKOS is an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty and member of the national REthink Council. Learn more at

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