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5 characteristics of agents who are happy in the middle


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Top agent this! Top agent that! Superstar secrets! What the top 1 percent knows that you don’t! How to build a mega team! Big! Mega!

There are a tremendous number of Realtors out there who tune out headlines that contain these words.

Yes, there are agents in the middle who want the top and will stop nothing short of it, and there are a ton of articles written for them. But in this great big business with 1.2 million licensed Realtors, sometimes we forget the middle.

For just a moment, let’s celebrate the agent in the middle who is actually super happy in the middle. Not every $4 million producer wants to be a $12 million producer.

Just because an agent is doing 15 transactions a year does not mean he wants to double that. That agent may have carved out a nice little business that fits his lifestyle and meets his financial goals. Sometimes, where you’re at is a good place.

What is the middle? For the sake of this article, let’s say it’s anyone netting between $50,000 and $150,000 per year.

Those are arbitrary numbers chosen by me that, in my experience, represent a huge chunk of the full-time Realtor population. And a lot of them are happy in their middle status.

Sure, not a single one would squawk at an extra $20,000 or $30,000 or $40,000 in their bank accounts — but let’s make sure we are reaching the middle agent and not only supporting them where they want to be, but for many, also supporting them where they’re at.

Here are five characteristics I see that a happy middle agent exhibits:

1. They are clear on their lifestyle goals.

Many agents enter this business — and their lifestyle goals are as important, if not more, than their financial goals.

Examples may be the stay-at-home parent, the new mom, the retiree who can’t sit still or the world traveler.

I know a 30-something agent whose primary goal is to travel, to create a business that supports her travel habit.

She works hard for three or four months, then heads to Europe or Asia or the Appalachian Trail for a month and repeats this cycle at least a couple times a year.

Her business supports her lifestyle. She is not winning the top producer awards, but she’s winning the I’m-doing-super-cool-stuff-with-my-life award — which one do you think is more valuable to her?

2. They are clear on their financial targets.

Keeping up with the Joneses is not in their repertoires. They know what they need to live on or are clear that their commission income funds something special in their lives.

The world traveler funds her travel. Or maybe the goal of the real estate business is to fund the kids’ college tuition. Or maybe the retirees earning $50,000 per year in real estate feels that keeping a license works nicely in their lives.

3. They don’t want to be compared to the top agents in their office.

Frankly, they’re over it. Some of them will leave your office if they do not feel valued.

I hear this a lot. Brokers and managers and award-givers, remember this: your $3 million volume producers may be happy with those results and want an occasional pat on the back and training and support that makes sense for them.

And remember that a $5 million volume real estate business is a six-figure income (or it should be), and some of those agents are super happy.

4. Their egos are in check.

This middle group, they’re not winning the top producer awards — and a lot of them are OK with that.

5. They want support from their broker.

Most agents want support from their broker, and this includes the middle agent.

For brokers and managers and trainers, the key task is to understand what is important to individual agents and not assume they want to double or triple their business to a mega level. Some of them would be super pleased to do the same amount of business in less time.

If you’re in the middle, what is most important to you in your business?

Julie Nelson is the chief success officer at The Nelson Project, Keller Williams Realty in Austin, Texas. You can follow her on YouTube or Twitter

Email Julie Nelson.

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