Real estate is a competitive industry for everyone involved. Sellers compete for quality buyers; buyers compete for the best properties; and real estate agents compete for the most successful sales.

If you have been relying on passive marketing (such as billboards and flyers), and are not creating new leads daily, you have a serious problem. In order to succeed in real estate, you need to start implementing new habits that can help you win more business.

Here are the top 10 ways that the most successful real estate agents satisfy more customers every day:

1. They have a dedicated marketing agency or staff member.

Marketing isn’t what it used to be.

More than 75% of Americans avoid TV commercials by watching shows online through services like Netflix; visual advertising on buses and sidewalk benches is ignored in favor of browsing through a smartphone; and radio and newspapers are also becoming things of the past as our technology offers us ways to access news and music for free.

For these reasons, marketing is all about online presence, but that brings up a new concern: the Internet moves at lightning speeds.

Even logging off for a few days can leave you in the dust and irrelevant. Having a dedicated marketing person or agency is very important for keeping your business as visible as possible.

This person can ensure that:

  • Your blog earns as many views and shares as possible by monitoring and analyzing posts.
  • Create, upload, and curate content that reaches your target audience.
  • Manage social media profiles to the best advantage.
  • Ensure that marketing funds are being spent in the best way by keeping up with trends and new tools online.

2. They have a professional brand.

Branding goes far beyond the logo on your company stationery. In part, your brand informs how you will interact with your clients.

Are you the informative expert real estate agent, focused on numbers and nitty-gritty information; or the fun, upbeat real estate agent, focused on connecting buyers to their dream homes?

Or maybe you are the tech savvy real estate agent that focuses on using the most innovative technologies to connect with clients.

A brand is also a tool that makes you instantly recognizable on the Internet. The color scheme, font families, and specific messages you choose to repeat across your profiles and advertisements makes you more memorable.

Choosing the right brand is the best way to target a specific audience, so it’s important that you give this a lot of thought.

3. They have a business plan, with marketing and advertising strategies.

Just having a marketing agency or staff member is not enough. The most successful real estate agents plan their attacks months, or even a year, in advance.

They leave room to take advantage of new developments and trends, but within a framework that clearly shows how their efforts will lead to new leads and more success.

4. They know their ideal client.

We’ve spoken on this topic before, but it’s such an important point. The most successful real estate agents know exactly who they are selling to, and they don’t waste their time reaching out to buyers who fall outside their target.

If you work with rural properties like ranches and cabins, and your brand is focused on presenting homes as part of a holistic, natural life, why would you attempt to sell your product to buyers who want to live in the heart of downtown San Francisco?

Here are some questions you need to answer to understand your ideal client:

  • Where do they live?
  • What does their family look like?
  • How old are they?
  • What does their job and salary look like?
  • What do they do for fun and relaxation?
  • Do they hang out online, use email, rely on social media, or get their news through mobile devices?
  • What search engines do they use?

All of this information can help you understand exactly who you are selling to, and how to reach them.

5. They have excellent listing packages with contracts on hand at all times.

Giving buyers who are on the fence time to second guess themselves is a disaster waiting to happen. The most successful real estate agents keep dedicated packages, with tons of information and, most importantly, a contract, on hand.

6. They maintain a wishlist of local clients in the area that meet their ideal client profile.

Not only is this a great way to keep your ideal client archetype firmly set in your mind, it offers a go-to list for hunting down leads at a moment’s notice.

7. They use a CRM to manage leads and their sphere of influence.

A customer relationship management software, or CRM, is vital for ensuring happy clients. CRM software ensures that you can offer a client custom service, based on their needs and preferences, at a moment’s notice by maintaining a database of knowledge.

8. They don’t work with just anyone.

The most successful real estate agents know that choosing the best partners is key to winning more business. Whether it’s contractors that you recommend, banks that you work with for loans, or local businesses where you advertise, be sure to choose partners that meet your standards for customer care.

9. They have a team.

Successful real estate agents don’t do it alone, even if they operate a one-person team. There are always partners behind the scene, such as marketing and online presence managers, local business partners, and others who are all part of the success of the business.

Choose your team carefully, and value their help and experience.

10. They are consistent in their marketing and sales efforts.

Just like any other marketing avenue, efforts made online need to be consistent and regular to stick in the minds of viewers. As part of your long-term marketing plan, you should include consistent, ongoing efforts to make your brand recognizable.

Even putting two or three of these practices into place can help you win more business, and create more satisfied clients.