4 Types of Agents – Which one are you?

Posted by Peak Realty on Monday, May 30th, 2016 at 6:20pm.

Key Takeaways:

  • On a basic level, one can argue there are 4 types of real estate agents:  1) The Skeptic, 2) The Perfectionist, 3) The Dabbler, and the 4) The Warrior.  At first blush, which sounds like you?  Be honest.
  • When we become more self-aware, we can make adjustments to our mindset and improve our performance
  • As agents, we already have everything we need to be successful. We just have to learn to be more resourceful in gaining knowledge and knowing how and when to implement lessons learned. How we view the world…our mindset…can help or hinder this growth process
  • Self-awareness and a winning mindset is followed by action, results, then evaluation and refinement.  Rinse & repeat this process and we’ve got a recipe for continuous improvement
  • Success always starts with a better Mindset, a better version of ourselves; we take the “right” actions at the right time for the right reasons
  • Mindset Truth: if you believe in something, you’re right
          o If you BELIEVE you’ll succeed, it’ll be tough for you to fail
          o If you BELIEVE you’ll fail, what you think will likely happen?


When starting a business training class I usually begin with mindset since actions are always preceded by our thoughts and emotions. If we have a negative or limiting view of how to create value for others, something has to change internally to “get right” in our own heads before the right habits naturally begin to take hold. 

At the risk of oversimplifying a discussion on mindset (I’m a simple guy) I’d like to consider lumping real estate agents (or anyone in business, for that matter) into 4 main types: 1) The Skeptic, 2) The Perfectionist, 3) The Dabbler, and the 4) The Warrior.  

The 4 Types of Agents 

The “Skeptic”
These agents acknowledge that a goal can be accomplished, yet they’ll usually come up with reasons as to why a set of actions that worked for someone else will not work for them. Their belief system causes them to not believe something at their core. The problem with this mindset is that the agent is more focused on setting self-imposed limits; essentially, they’re coming up with reasons as to why things won’t specifically work for their situation. 

This may be a subconscious belief, a set of expectations and beliefs they’ve learned over their entire lives, or simply a direct doubt in themselves due to past failures.  Usually, these agents are giving power to another person (ex. parent or someone else) or to some idea about what they cannot be. In many cases, they haven’t yet chosen to believe in themselves, or at least a different version of themselves (ex. their future success). They simply haven’t yet “broken through” their entrenched belief system.  This is a problem for someone in a 100% commission sales position, or an entrepreneur.

If you believe in yourself, others will believe as well…it’s human nature. If you believe you’ll fail, others will believe this too. We create our own reality.

The “Perfectionist”
Boy, I can relate to this one!  Nothing can be more dangerous to an entrepreneur moving toward their goals!  These agents who are seeking perfection often times won’t take action until they have definitive answers, and I mean definitive! 

When these agents cannot decide if anything is 100% correct, they’ll continually keep searching as if they’re going to finally discover the magic “answer” to their business. At times, they may take no action at all and remain paralyzed…this lack of executing on the key activities that lead to business can also take the form of chasing idea after idea, trying to “perfect” new ideas along the way.

This habit of chasing rabbits (aka pursuit of perfection with negative results) could be a result of upbringing, or perhaps the person is just wired this way…who knows. In my experience, there’s usually a fear of something (ex. fear of being wrong or  disappointing someone) and often these agents experience a ton of guilt if they don’t perform at whatever preconceived outcome they’ve deemed “perfect” well in advance…it’s a vicious cycle. If someone is chasing perfection and never achieves it, we just have to ask if they’re getting results in their journey and whether or not they're happy?  If not, perhaps defining a new outcome may be in order.

In the real estate world, perfectionist agents have the tendency to create built-in excuses for not taking action on important items that would otherwise result in increased business. Sometimes, it’s tough for these agents to move forward on the most important items (ex. lead generation and developing relationships with new people) if the least important items aren’t 100% in order.

In reality, there can be a variety of positive outcomes with buyers & sellers and numerous ways to get there, yet it's difficult for a perfectionist to see the forest through the trees.  An array of positive results awaits the perfectionist, in various forms of beautiful simplicity, yet this peace eludes the perfectionist since he has taken his eye off the ball and has forgotten how easy it is to simply make a personal connection (and land some business $$).

Every day, Realtors are bombarded with new information about what’s working, and so an agent who's a perfectionist may easily be tempted to start working toward “perfecting” the next new idea again & again, completely abandoning the activities that matter most.

Often times, perfectionists find it difficult to accept that “good enough” is acceptable. While these agents are often times the smartest people in the room, they are usually their own worst enemy because they keep working on making things better that don't matter...building relationships and trust takes a back seat to being right about lesser endeavors.

The “Dabbler”
I love the Dabblers, and there are many of these folks in our industry.  They get excited about jumping from one thing to another. 

These agents are often so excited about learning, they sometimes don’t go in-depth with their learning at all. Rather, they stop pursuing an idea after several short attempts at learning various topics and ideas.

I've seen these agents getting a “high” from jumping from one thing to another. They tend to believe they’re so resourceful and talented that they can learn whatever they need on the fly, and don’t believe they need to commit to any long-term systems or processes for growing their business.  Ever meet someone like this? 

These agents believe their intentions are pure, and that their learning approach is all they need.  They may be right somewhat, yet usually they can benefit from additional systems and structure. 

As much as I love working with the Dabblers (I really do), sometimes their underlying motivation can get them into trouble. If the agent jumps from one activity to another only to keep their “high”, from their perspective there’s no real risk of failure since they never really intended to finish anything. This is classic avoidance; I've seen this approach with agents who perpetually go to CE credit classes yet never close any business. 

At times, the Dabbler mindset can get agents into a different kind of trouble. When an agent goes very shallow with their knowledge (because they’ve been jumping to various topics), they fool themselves into believing they know all of the answers, when in reality they’re guessing and not relying on true experience.

In my humble opinion, these agents need to be around seasoned Realtors who are taking daily action of the kind that is long-term and sustained. This way, the agent who’d otherwise “dabble” can glean useful knowledge from the experienced agent and develop long-term lead generation habits.

Just remember that Dabblers often “invest in the jump” (i.e. pay for the next class, search for the next big thing, etc.), and do not focus on building deeper understanding of topics, that is until they realize this is happening. Dabblers need to slow down to speed up, take time and learn the material.

I can usually identify a Dabbler when I sit down with the agent and see their reaction to our 60-day training program. Some Dabblers don’t want to follow a process that will take too long, that is until they realize and accept the value behind following a process. Once the agent sees that “dabbling” doesn’t work in the long run, they'll often change their habits if they’re serious about their career. 

The “Warrior”
Another name for this type of agent might be the “Tortoise” (reliable, steady, etc.) yet since it’s Memorial Day at the time of this writing I’m going with the term Warrior.

Here are some words that come to mind when thinking about a business warrior, otherwise known as a pure-bred entrepreneur.

  • Steady and true; finisher; consistent; disciplined; acknowledges fear, yet takes consistent action anyway; doesn’t give power to other people; takes responsibility; doesn’t judge others; seeks understanding of the big picture; frequently steps out of the business; has fun

Like a military commander in the field, entrepreneurs (aka "warriors") make decisions and take action without 100% information. An entrepreneur doesn’t have all of the answers, yet they keep moving forward…they just have to be as resourceful as possible, listen and take actions based on what they do know. If something isn’t working, they make adjustments, reassess and re-engage.

Business is a competitive landscape. Entrepreneurs think strategically and take action toward goals.  This approach sounds simple, yet is illustrative of the silent warrior mentality.

What type of agent are you?  Be honest...

Final Thoughts
We all have limiting beliefs and mindset challenges that hold us back from reaching our full potential. Knowing that actions stem from mindset, beliefs and emotions we can do a quick check-in on our mindset with our mentors, seeking guidance on areas to improve. If we’re not getting the results we want, the first step is acknowledging where we are, develop greater self-awareness, leverage our strengths and take new action that may be uncomfortable. It all starts with mindset!

Considering a career in real estate?  Please consider calling - confidential:  303-709-8778

Take care,
Keelan McCamey
Managing Broker, Peak Realty

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