We all get stuck in a rut at some point in our lives. Setbacks, disappointments, and missed opportunities are all par for the course. If you’re hungry for success, but it seems to keep eluding you, you are already on the right path. You just need to keep going.

Whether your challenge is prospecting, sales, or simply time management, you need to understand that failure is an important part of your journey. Failure is natural, and you should expect it. The only difference between you and top performers is their determination to push through failures at any cost – no excuses.

Before I started my own successful real estate marketing business, I had a whole bunch of excuses for my lack of success. Usually, it was always somebody else’s fault for my failure. It wasn’t until I started owning my failure that I began to see meaningful change.

67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

Why Agents Fail To Succeed

sales statistics

Every agent needs the right resources to support and grow their business. Cashflow, credit, listings, software, hardware, a vehicle, insurance – these are the tools you rely on to operate your business.

Relationships, knowledge, expertise, character – these are your inner resources. A short supply of either and your real estate career runs out of gas.

Whether it’s losing weight or building a successful real estate career that gives you more freedom and time with loved ones, you will run out of resources at some point. It’s guaranteed that your car will break down, your software will need updating, your cash flow will ebb, etc.

Circumstances too will, like the seasons, inevitably change. The market will never remain in an optimal state for both buyers and sellers. There will be corrections in the market. Some will benefit. Some will not.

None of this matters.

What really matters, when all is said and done, is your mindset. As Milton’s rebellious leader of the fallen boldly affirms:

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..” (Paradise Lost)

The Right Mental Attitude

I’ve experienced plenty of challenges on my journey as an entrepreneur. My startup is only four years old and still growing. Along with that growth come painful lessons and setbacks that I wasn’t expecting. They didn’t prevent me, however, from reaching my goals.

If you’re struggling to find listings, not getting traffic to your website, lacking a sphere of influence – these are not the reasons you haven’t reached your goal. Success is the product of your determination, effort, resourcefulness, and attitude, not your resources.

As Napoleon Hill explains:

“Remember, the thoughts that you think and the statements you make regarding yourself determine your mental attitude. If you have a worthwhile objective, find the one reason why you can achieve it rather than hundreds of reasons why you can’t”

Of course, we’re only human. We all need helpful reminders to keep us motivated and focused. I established 5 core success principles that became the foundation of my brand.

67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

5 Core Success Principles For Real Estate Agents

1.) When you don’t have the resources, be resourceful.

When you run out of resources, that’s the time to get creative. If there aren’t enough listings in your chosen farm, seek out a partner who would be willing to combine resources. Together, you can expand your advertising, divide and conquer your prospecting efforts, and exchange valuable contacts to generate listings and referrals for both of you!

Evaluate your productivity as well. Perhaps less time on emails and an extra hour of cold calling each day could generate 1 more listing each month. That’s 12 more listings for the year simply by being more efficient with your time.

2.) Top performers work through challenges and obstacles with enthusiasm.

Project confidence even when you’re not getting leads. Connect with your passion rather than chasing leads. If you got into real estate because you’re a people person, or because you love your community, use that energy to fuel your prospecting.

By focusing on your passion for helping people you’ll eliminate the awkward pretense that prevents many agents from making cold calls. Brand yourself as a problem solver, not just a real estate agent. Become the neighborhood expert in your geographic farm, and word of mouth about you will spread locally.

3.)  Agents don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.

It’s surprising how often I meet real estate agents who don’t write down their goals. Sure, we all want more freedom, more time, more money, but these aren’t goals.

Top performers set goals for cold calling, listing appointments, subscribers, and listings. By setting targets, you can measure your results and your performance. Setting daily goals allows you to build strategically.

Research your prospects using NAR’s useful reports. The insights gained will help you plan a strategy for branding yourself more effectively. The right branding will attract the right prospects who can either become clients or valuable referrals.

4.) Give and you will receive.

Give to your community, support local business owners in a unique way that adds value, and you will reap referral business. Rather than soliciting online visitors with your listings, use your blog to promote local business owners. Find unique local products and places to review.

By supporting your geographic farm, you’ll add value and expand your sphere of influence. Promote the business owners and influencers in your farm, and they will reciprocate with referrals.

5.) Quitters never win.

This is probably the most important success principle for new agents to remember and my personal favorite.

Would you be surprised to learn that the failure rate for real estate agents is about 80%? In fact, real estate has the highest attrition rate of any industry. All too often, they quit when they should have renewed their commitment. Rather than convince yourself that you lack resources, resolve to never quit until you’ve reached your goal.

real estate agent turnover by age

Real Estate Turnover Rates By Age (Open College)

Amazing things will happen. You’ll start to focus on the things you can change, rather than the things you can’t. You’ll be more open to new strategies and learning. And you’ll discover resources you never knew you had, both within, and without.

Grant’s Top 5 Priorities For Real Estate Top Performers

If you keep the following priorities I’ve shared below, you too will discover your true potential!

#1) Building Relationships

Real estate is about building relationships, not just selling homes. Top performers focus on actions that will expand their sphere of influence first and foremost.

Why? Because most of your listings will come from referrals in your sphere of influence. Networking events, volunteering, sponsorships – these are the activities that connect you with prospects. So focus on building relationships, every day.

L.A. Realtor®Shelley Cohen, a Parkbench neighborhood sponsor, shares her success building relationships through the local leader prospecting sytem®:

#2) Giving Value

Ya, ya, we’ve all heard the line before. You gotta have a value proposition. Everyone is offering value, but what does value mean to your clients?

Instead of offering what you think is valuable, listen to the people you are serving, and find out what is valuable to them. Ask the people in your network about their challenges, and offer a solution. Do this every day for one person, and watch your success grow.

#3) Exceptional Customer Service

One of the key reasons for the success of my business Parkbench is the amazing customer service we provide our clients. I realized a long time ago that winning clients is important, but keeping them is the real challenge.

For that reason, my mandate to my staff is to exceed our client’s expectations with each interaction. Make it your goal to go the extra mile for your clients and the people in your community. In other words, if someone asks you for a dollar, give them two.

#4) Leverage Your Knowledge

How can real estate agents be of service? Knowledge. For most aspiring homeowners, real estate is the most significant investment of their lives. Buying or selling a home involves so many risks and a single mistake can spell financial ruin. The more educated and informed your prospects are, the less anxious and fearful they’ll be about the final transaction.

ALWAYS be learning.  Know your market and be the first to inform your prospects so you can place buyers with the right home at the right time, and connect sellers with the right buyers every time.

Use your knowledge every day to alleviate the anxiety and fear of your clients. Create content that empowers your prospects.

5) Be A Goal-Setter

A vision without specific goals is just a dream. Top real estate performers have specific goals that they work toward each day. How many transactions do you want to achieve this month? How many leads must you generate to build your subscriber list each day? What is the current growth rate of your email list?

Track your activities and your results like the pros. Hold yourself accountable daily, or you’ll quickly lose sight of what you are working towards.


We each define success in our own way, but the vast majority fall short of their ambitions. New real estate agents have a high failure rate, but you don’t have to be one of them.

Change your mindset and recharge your attitude. Remind yourself of the 5 principles I’ve shared on a daily basis, and your consistency will pay off.

Remember: the air is much thinner at the top of Mount Everest. There are fewer people at the top. And it takes more energy to reach the top, the higher you climb. Sure, you may not be comfortable, but if you give up before you reach your goal, you have absolutely no chance of success in real estate or life.

Build your real estate business on solid success principles, and unleash your true potential!