AgentBrokerageIndustry Voices

20 steps to a $1 million year in real estate

For some real estate agents, a $1 million year may sound like a pipe dream.

But here’s the breakdown: $1 million gross commission income is equal to 100 transactions at $10,000 average commission, based on the national average of $400,000 sale price.

If your average sale price is $750,000 then you’ll need 55 transactions. If your average sale price is $1 million, you’ll need about 40 transactions.

Here are 20 steps to help you get there.

1. Accept the fact that your success is up to you

“If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.”

It’s not up to your broker, your market, the interest rates, or who’s president. It’s up to you. Be responsible for your own success. Own it all. There will be at least $4 million in sales this year. How many will you be involved in? The path to a $1 million year is up to you.

2. Invest your time before you invest your money

People invest four years or more in a college education, only to graduate (sometimes), with student loan debt and a job that they could hate for the next decade or more.

You can’t skip learning and be earning at the level you desire. Work sporadically and you’ll get sporadic income. Work consistently and you’ll achieve momentum faster.

Your stages of learning should be as follows:

  • Formulation. (Getting ready to get started, creating your plan)
  • Concentration (Doing the actual work, learning and using your skill)
  • Momentum (Repetitious, predictable success)
  • Breakthrough (High-level implementation without getting bored and falling back to the first stage)

3. Be prepared with these four necessities

You must have the following, immediately. Failure to be great at these four things will handicap your success.

  • Scripts: Proactive lead generation scripts, open house scripts, lead follow-up scripts, basic conversations with your sphere of influence, prequalifying scripts, and closing scripts. Scripts are simply questions that lead to a close.
  • Pre-Listing Package: Not your broker’s, not something you found for free online. A proven, powerful, and personalized pre-listing package.
  • Listing Presentation
  • Buyer Presentation

You must invest your time in these items before you spend your money on anything else!

4. Embrace your inner salesperson

You cannot be weird about being a salesperson, about talking about real estate, about talking to people. Don’t be a secret agent, it’s not profitable, and it certainly won’t result in a $1 million year.

This is a contact business. It will require meeting face-to-face, voice-to-voice and being on video with multiple viewers.

5. Choose the right broker

You’re going to invest your time, effort and money in real estate. You must own part of the brokerage. You must monetize your broker relationship in multiple ways, not just one.

Have maximum ownership and maximum benefit in what you’re building. Your brokerage has to be a wealth-acceleration vehicle.

6. Have and follow a business plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Create a personalized life and business plan. You should be able to answer the following:

  • Why are you in real estate? What must it accomplish for you and your family? Establish your goals in five areas of life.
  • Where will you get your business from? Understand lead generation.
  • What is your “magic number?”
  • Your profit-driven, powerful ideal schedule. How will you invest your time?

7. Define what makes you unique

Can you answer the question: What makes you different? WHY should I hire you?

Sellers ask for a reduced commission because they don’t know any other way to sort agents out. Buyers ask for agent kickbacks for the same reason.

It’s your job to show your own value. Start with your pre-listing package.

8. Get into momentum and stay there

Once you have mastered lead generation, set specific financial goals, established your magic number and created your daily schedule, it’s time to move on to execution. Now you have to do the work.

Drill down and get to work.

9. Track everything

Make use of visual accountability aids. Invest in a coaching program that will push you to track your progress.

Know where your business is coming from, what your personal average sale price is, and if you’re on track, ahead, or behind. Tracking everything is key to your success.

10. Strategically build your business

If you’re pursuing a million-dollar income, pursue a million or million-plus-dollar business. You can only have a fantastic average sales price in four ways:

  • List more expensive expired and withdrawn properties. Find builders who build spec homes in the luxury market.
  • Socially network your way into that market. Move and live in that type of neighborhood. (This takes both time and money).
  • Have the listings that luxury clients wish to buy.
  • Market your way (both online and old-school print) into the neighborhoods you wish to dominate.

11. Be relentless in your pursuit of a $1 million year

Your No. 1 job in real estate is to constantly, consistently generate new business, while still providing the best experience to your existing clients.

This is the most critical skill to perfect, or you will never get to the seven-figure income, ever.

12. Invest

You must invest 10% of every commission in your savings, 20% in taxes and the rest in your operations account. Do not mix taxes and savings.

Glen Sanford famously (and accurately) stated that agents are terrible at two things: paying taxes and saving money.

13. Follow the Spokes-in-the-Wheel model

There is no silver bullet, easy-button to lead generation. You must have multiple spokes of lead generation on your wheel.

Create your wheel, and include both pro-active and passive spokes, but lead with the pro-active since it’s much more predictable and duplicatable.

14. Be absolutely listing-focused

Listings drive everything. Buyers drive one transaction at a time, sometimes. Know your magic number and relentlessly maintain or grow it. It’s the engine that fuels your business.

15. Up your social media game

Learn YouTube first and post short videos which highlight your expertise.

Amplify your personal brand through social media, once you have defined what makes you different. Stick to your message.

Social media is an addition to — not a substitute for — proactive lead generation.

Social media, when done correctly, can reach multiple prospects and lives on longer than your individual calls. It is evergreen and works when you’re not working.

If you are uncomfortable on video, you must overcome this. Video is becoming more and more important. Since video is free, it evens the playing field. You must accept that video and AI are the future.

Your videos need to be specific to real estate, and to your exact market areas. Think about how a buyer or seller searches for an agent in your town.

16. FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Successful

Be fanatically consistent with your profit-driven schedule. What should your schedule be? Follow your real estate treasure map to find out.

Around 80% of your day must be spent generating new business and 20% servicing existing business. If you expect instant success, and instant gratification all the time, you’ll be consistently disappointed.

Consistent success comes only from doing what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it at the highest level. Doing that now and then is not FOCUS.

17. Don’t get bored and wreck your momentum

Repetitious boredom pays off.

In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear writes, “The greatest threat to success is not failure, but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us. The outcome becomes expected. And as our habits become ordinary, we start derailing our progress to seek novelty.”

Yes, it’s crucial to develop good habits and work discipline in the first place, but most importantly, you must actually stick to it even when you’re bored!

18. Invest along the way, as early and as frequently as possible

Look to invest in rental properties and develop a three-fund portfolio.

A three-fund portfolio is a portfolio that uses only basic asset classes — usually a domestic stock “total market” index fund, an international stock “total market” index fund, and a bond “total market” index fund.

19. Don’t do it alone

Don’t navigate the real estate wilds by yourself. Shorten your learning curve and strengthen your earning curve through premier coaching.

20. Rinse and repeat

Go back to point No. 1 and systematically implement this outline to hit a $1 million year. You can do this.

Tim and Julie Harris host a podcast for Realtors called Real Estate Coaching Radio. They’ve been professional real estate coaches for more than 20 years, helping agents succeed in many different market conditions.