6 Skills You Need to Build a Successful Real Estate Business

The last 13 years in real estate (RE), I have dabbled in residential, commercial, industrial, and special-use real estate. When I lived in Austin, Texas I worked with a national commercial RE firm that specialized in tenant leasing and management for office and industrial buildings. When I eventually moved to Portland in 2011 I began working for a firm dedicated to distressed property acquisition. Finally in 2012, I transitioned to residential real estate and dove into local philanthropy, working with a few Latinx and women’s organizations, which shaped me as an agent and PDX community member.

Today, I’m reflecting on the past 13 years in real estate—everything I’ve learned along the way, and condensing it into the top 6 skills needed to build a successful real estate business!


1. Carve Out Time For Your Passions

Discover and embrace what you are truly passionate about. When I moved to Portland, in addition to continuing my real estate career with Living Room Realty, I got involved with the Women in Insurance and Financial Services & Women’s Council of Realtors. I discovered my passion for supporting business women and Latinx people in my community. As a busy agent, I strived to find a way to incorporate community involvement and philanthropy into and around my work.


For example, I attend classes and conferences through local organizations whenever I have the opportunity. I always come home with great new ideas and a refreshed passion for my community. During the busiest RE seasons when work takes up most of my time, I listen to a lot of podcasts! Some of my favorites are NPRLatino USA, and Next Portland


2. Address YOUR Communication Preferences

With every client, I aim to connect on a personal level and provide communication in the best way possible. However, the first step to effective communication is addressing your own communication needs. My end goal as a real estate agent is not the sale, it’s client relationships. I am not a “sales-ey” type person and I find that I connect well with folks looking for a more personal experience.


Based on this, I’ve learned I prefer talking on the phone or face-to-face during the beginning stages of working with a client. Hearing their voice and tonal changes allows me to tune into their non-verbal cues! What are they excited about? What… not so much? Sometimes tone and expression say far more than words alone!


3. Address YOUR CLIENTS’ Communication Preferences

Once your personal communication needs are addressed, you can adjust to your clients’ needs. The most important element between real estate agents and clients is open, clear, and efficient communication. Discuss communication preferences first thing during the client [onboarding] process. Does your client prefer email, phone calls, casual texts? In line with their preferences, make sure you continue to advocate for yourself and set healthy boundaries. Some agents strictly do not communicate via text to allow healthy space and the ability to actually turn off after the work day is done!


4. Become an Expert in Real Estate Rules & Regulations

A successful agent is not just a guide, they are real estate experts —  on the local and federal level. This means continuously educating yourself on real estate laws and regulations. Make it a priority to stay updated and well educated with these resources:


  • National Association of Realtors — Offering online courses, certification training, newsletters, podcasts, and membership opportunities.
  • Oregon.gov — Keep updated on Oregon’s revises statuses for property and agency regulations
  • Realtor.com — Provides countless resources, filtered by roles and topics!


5. Embrace Your Niche!

There’s a reason why many real estate agents are well known in a particular community. For example, if an agent represents multiple clients in the Pearl District, not only are they establishing themselves as market experts of the area, but they are benefiting from local word-of-mouth referrals. The more trust you gain in a community, the more fortuitous your business will be as you branch out into the wider community!

6. Nurture Your Clients: Current and Former

This year, one of my largest successes has been nurturing client relationships! I’ve had the opportunity to work with repeat clients, selling a home we previously purchased together, buying a new property, or helping them build their investment empire! Not only have I gained loyal clients and formed family-like relationships, but these clients are responsible for so many of my referrals.
Are you considering a career in Real Estate? Or, has business lulled and you’re looking for advice from a fellow agent? I would love to chat with you. As I said, supporting the Portland community and my fellow peers is one of my top passions. Let’s support one another!
Reach out here and follow my Instagram for more RE tips — I look forward to connecting with you!