New research reveals key characteristics of top performing buyers agents.
Recently our company, wizehire.com, conducted a research study seeking the natural traits and strengths of top performing real estate buyers agents. Using a battery of validated personality profiles we sought to identify what – if any – characteristics correlated only with top performers in a variety of real estate roles.
We studied Listing specialists, buyers agents, administrative assistants, transaction coordinators, and inside sales agents. While we discovered some interesting things in each role, here I will only dive into the specific findings of the buyers agent. In subsequent articles I will cover each of the other roles studied.
The more motivated and excited people are for their culture and work, the better they perform.
The profiles used in the research were the DISC Index and Values Index profiles. The DISC Index measures an individual’s natural behavioral style, which directly affects their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to tasks and actions. It can be seen as “How” someone gets the job done. The Values Index, on the other hand, measures one’s motivational preferences or passions, which affects how engaged they will or will not be in a given role. The more motivated and excited people are for their culture and work, the better they perform. Plus, they’ll have more satisfaction and longevity in that work.
- Over a period of 6 months, we administered DISC and Values profiles to 8,791 total agents.
- Of those, 5,554 were primarily buyers agents.
- Of those, 944 (17%) were “top performers” (i.e., >25 transactions in a calendar year), with 4,610 (83%) constituting the control group.
The Findings: We found statistically significant correlations in only the best performing buyers agents in the following areas:
- More relatable. They had higher levels on the “I” dimension (Interactiveness). This allows them to more easily, and effectively, connect with clients. This dimension could also be called the “Influence” dimension. This brings with it a natural strength for being an extrovert, engaging new people, being outgoing and very social. When this trait is low, agents struggle with proactively meeting new people or comfortably socializing. Down side: the higher the “I” dimension goes, the more disorganized and unstructured someone becomes. So, many times the best buyers agents are the worst at paperwork and organizational detail.
- More stable. The best buyers agents also had higher levels of the “S” dimension (Stability). This means they are naturally very good at making others feel comfortable, safe, secure and supported. In other words, the best buyers agents are very good at dealing with people who are feeling somewhat stressed out. They have a natural ability to calm them and provide stability – which helps them make the buying decision. Down side: the higher the “S” dimension goes, the more problems they have with aggressive sales activity. The best buyers agents are great at customer support and relational selling, but struggle with prospecting and proactive lead generation tasks. They tend to do better with providing awesome support and service to their clients, than hunting those clients down in the first place. Therefore, they rely more on passive lead generation where clients come to them.
- Moderately dominant. Unlike the best performing Listing agents, the best buyers agents have a moderate level of the “D” dimension (decisiveness). It’s a sort of Goldilocks range (i.e., not too high – not too low). This helps them to be more understanding and patient with indecisive buyers, yet decisive enough themselves to push when need be. Down side: while this level of “D” does help in dealing with the tasks of a buyers agent, it can be too low to support more aggressive lead generation and aggressive closing.
- Low attention to detail. Since no one can have everything, here in the “C” dimension (Conscientiousness), the best buyers agents consistently score low. This means that their level of attention to detail, ability to be organized and accurate is naturally something they aren’t good at… at all. This fact allows them to be flexible enough to respond to the never-ending ebb and flow of the buyer’s will (e.g., I must have a pool, well a basement, no we can’t live without… ). It also frees them up to be more creative and free flowing, which translates to adaptability in an always-shifting target environment. Down side: the best buyers agents do much better when they have some external support from an administrative assistant when possible. They can manage the details themselves, but it requires significantly more conscious effort. It also creates a greater psychological drain, and in the end they still struggle to be as accurate as other personality types.
- Super Economic motivation: The single most significant correlation seen in the study, across any role, was the degree of one motivational dimension called the “Economic drive.” With a Pearson’s correlation (i.e., a fancy statistical word for “how related or dependent” two things are) of 0.86, the best buyers agents across the board are motivated by one thing more than any other. That drive is economic gain. Put differently, the best buyers agents are more motivated to earn commissions than to learn new things, serve mankind, be in charge of their own destiny, achieve security or any of the other drivers we measured. Obviously, this works in their favor given the nature of the role. If you succeed – you earn money. If you don’t – you don’t. Seems like a real “Captain obvious” statement, but you’d be surprised how many buyers agents don’t have a significant drive in this area, and thus aren’t as intensely focused on making the sale or closing the transaction. Much of their satisfaction may come from another aspect of the job (e.g., those driven by the Altruistic dimension are satisfied having just helped someone, regardless of whether or not they buy). Traditionally the job of real estate agent isn’t marketed or seen as a traditional sales job per se. Many get into it with thoughts of having fun in their spare time, being their own boss, socializing with their network, etc. They fail to understand that it is very much a traditional sales job and thus, requires sales activity. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to find that those who performed the best, are those who are motivated like a traditional sales person – they seek financial reward from the hunt and close.
Those who outperform the rest are more motivated by the sale
All agents are – it turns out – not created equally. There are indeed significant and demonstrable personality characteristics that differ between different roles in real estate. Some are ideally better suited to work with buyers, others sellers, still others inside sales. Of these differences, there are distinct traits that predict superior performance in the role of buyers agent alone. The best here are more social, more stable, more supportive and a little less aggressive. Those who outperform the rest are more motivated by the sale and commission – as all good sales people are – but do better with sales leads generated for them or indirectly, compared to the typical hunter/gatherer sales model. As such, teams or brokerages may want to consider supportive measures to drive more sales, like an inside sales agent and administrative assistant. This will free the buyers agents up to do what they do best, which is support the buyer through the process to find the right house and close.
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