Whether you’re an agent who wants to increase your production, a top producing agent who wants to develop a team, a team leader who wants to open or acquire a brokerage, or a top broker who wants to become a regional owner, start by creating a life plan.

Where do you see yourself in one, three and five years from now?

Consider goal setting, personal development and your physical health. Review your finances; are you striving for complete financial independence or is it more realistic for you to become debt-free first? Do you want to save more money or give more away? Take stock of the quality of your relationships, both personal and professional.  Scrutinize your time management by considering changes to your schedule in order to maximize those activities which generate the most returns and minimize those which don’t.

Make time for learning

Highly successful people are lifelong learners who continually seek out new information in books, podcasts, educational courses, at events, and through mentors. Real estate agents should be continually working to refine their sales and negotiating skills. If the next stage of your career involves building a team, you  may want to improve your communication and leadership skills. A current or aspiring broker/owner might learn about mergers and acquisitions to take advantage of key opportunities in the market. Those considering regional ownership should learn how to effectively grow a business and how to transfer that knowledge to others. No matter where you are in your career, there is always something new to be learned and mastered.

Keep the right company

An effective way to accelerate learning and open the door to new opportunities is to develop a diverse group of trusted advisors with whom you can consult. Often the best advisors work on the real estate industry but not in it, such as appraisers, home inspectors, and mortgage and insurance brokers. This group of professionals has connections across the industry and can offer a different perspective to that of someone licensed to sell real estate. Develop and maintain these kinds of relationships and regularly engage in a mutual exchange of ideas, insights, and feedback. Remember to give before you take and always to offer to help them first.

Ritualize success

People are a product of their habits, which is why it’s imperative to build a daily routine that favors constructive habits. It’s said that the wealthy spend significantly less time watching television and recreationally browsing online compared to the average person. They prioritize their physical health by exercising at least four times per week and are habitual about when they sleep and wake up, even on weekends. While leisure time is important, deprioritize time-wasting activities to free up time for things that create fulfillment, such as spending time on personal development, meaningful hobbies, and with family and friends.

Anyone in leadership—whether you’re an agent who leads clients through the real estate transaction, a team leader, a broker/owner, or regional owner—must continue to grow or people won’t continue to follow you. Those who are highly effective are perpetually a work-in-progress. And besides, there’s nothing more fun than building a dream.