How to be a Professional Real Estate Agent

Some would argue the question of the professionalism of a Real Estate Agent is obvious. But with surveys suggesting only 7% of the population think that real estate agents are honest and ethical, it is time to explore why?

Whilst the industry has undergone a huge transformation over the past few decades, we can only continue to improve the integrity of our profession by understanding how and why consumers continue to see real estate agents so poorly.

Historically and unfortunately, some continue to think that real estate agents are unethical or dishonest because:

  • Real estate is highly competitive and results-focused with huge financial gains.
  • Sometimes agents don’t treat the role as that of a professional industry.
  • Depending on the agency, new recruits to the industry may not receive proper internal training resulting in a lack of skills and understanding of processes.
  • Real estate can attract big egos resulting in some agents focusing on themselves rather than on the client.

But overall the real estate industry today is of a high standard. So, let’s examine why Agents are all too frequently viewed unfairly in a negative light …

What would cause Buyers to be unhappy with an Agent?

  • If buyers or tenants miss out on a property, they may blame the agent instead of the circumstances.
  • Agents may be blamed for pushing prices up in an area, however, it is the sellers and buyers that ultimately make/choose the price/offer decisions. At any time depending on supply and demand the market can change regardless of what an agent does.
  • Some agents have been reported to treat buyers like they are a distraction. This is something I have never understood, and I never will. Without buyers, amongst other things, agents do not have a second side to their transaction.  Why would agents treat buyers poorly?  Without buyers agents have nothing. This is not the case with the majority of agents, however a few of these may still be around.

What would cause Sellers to be unhappy with an Agent?

  • Seller may feel their property is worth more than it is. As they have an emotional attachment to the property, it is harder for them to objectively look at situation.
  • The market fluctuates depending on supply and demand and the property may have been worth more 6 months ago than it is today at no fault of the agent.
  • Salespeople may feel massive pressure to perform and to make sales from their Agency and fear losing their job if they don’t. The seller may feel that their interests are not being treated as the priority in this circumstance.
  • Lines can be perceived to be crossed working for the seller and the buyer.
  • Consumers don’t see the value that agents bring and think the job is easier than it actually is.
  • Agents can be viewed as too pushy and don’t listen to the client.
  • Some agents don’t communicate enough, or too much, to the seller.
  • Some agents appear to only care about themselves – they are seen as not being transparent, not punctual, don’t return calls and too busy for their clients.

Why would Landlords and Tenants be unhappy with Agents.

There are all sorts of ‘go wrongs’ with rental properties:

Landlords can be unhappy with agents if:

  • Tenants destroy or damage the landlord’s property.
  • Tenants continually complain about the property and want repairs.
  • Tenants fall behind on the rent.
  • Tenants do not keep the house in the same standard of cleanliness as the Landlord did when they lived there.

Tenants can be unhappy with agents if:

  • Landlords are slow or refuse to make repairs to the property.
  • Landlords want to increase rents at the end of leases.
  • Landlords have high expectations of “general maintenance” and cleanliness of the property.

Property Managers often find themselves caught in the middle which can be frustrating, acting as a mediator and continual solution solver for their portfolio of properties.

What makes a professional Real Estate Agent?

Now that we have looked at the reasons why Agents may not have a good reputation, let’s look at what a true professional Agent does look like

  • Professional agents communicate to the level their client wishes.
  • They do the right thing by the sellers and buyers.
  • They are honest.
  • They listen.
  • They care.
  • They are punctual.
  • They demonstrate their value.
  • They are courteous.
  • Their client’s interests are put above their own.
  • They leave their ego at the door.
  • They train to be a professional.
  • They display professional etiquette.
  • They respect other agents – they don’t let other agents walk all over them and never go out of their way to hurt another agent.
  • They try not to involve the seller in a disagreement with another agent.
  • They don’t target other agents listings.
  • They try their best to be happy and positive.
  • They do their best to keep their energy levels high.
  • They look to offer guarantees to the seller.

Risk Reversals

Whilst the Real Estate Industry in general today is ethical and filled with talented people, there are still a few non-professional Agents who ruin it for the rest of the profession.

That being said, sellers who are still skeptical of agents may find peace of mind and confidence in an agent offering a risk reversal proposition.

A risk reversal is a promise that you will do the right thing by them. It’s a risk-free guarantee that if you don’t do certain things, the seller can cancel your agreement.

You as the agent can be penalised if you don’t fulfill your obligations.  You have more pressure to perform and therefore more incentive to do what you promise. Risk reversals make it hard for a seller to say no to you.

What do YOU need to do as a Real Estate Professional?

You are going to choose to be Professional above all else.

Because YOUR Reputation is Everything!

In addition to the what makes a professional Real Estate Agent as listed above, you should always…

  • Be clear with buyers that you work for the seller.
  • Position yourself as the industry expert. There are ways to achieve top of mind awareness in a professional manner without being rude or arrogant.
  • Be ethical. Don’t do anything questionable. Know your duties and legal responsibilities. Disclose everything you need to. Be a good example for others.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Be reliable – do what you say you were going to do, maintain your composure.
  • Be organised and always on time.
  • Be accountable for your actions and for your mistakes.
  • Keep your work and home life separate. Don’t air your dirty laundry to potential clients. You might want to keep separate social media profiles for work and your personal life.
  • Return all calls in a timely manner.
  • Respect boundaries – don’t be pushy or annoying or too familiar.
  • Always act like you have a TV film crew following you.
  • Be able accept feedback or rejection positively.
  • Have fun, enjoy what you do.

The last thing I will say is that in real estate, ALWAYS BE PROFESSIONAL!


Founder of Lisa B Media, The Real Estate Training Community and The Real Estate Hotline, Lisa has been in real estate since 1993 owning multiple Real Estate Businesses.

She is a 5 x Best Selling author and Named by Elite Agent Magazine as Top 50 Influencer in Real Estate In Australia. She was also listed by REINSW as one of the Top 24 female coaches, speakers and trainers in real estate.

You will find Lisa every day at sunrise on her kayak where she enjoys magic moments, shark and dolphin spotting.

Now that you have your real estate qualification with Validum Institute, are you looking to join a community of like-minded individuals and looking to continue your education in real estate?  If so, join us at or call Lisa B on 0412 210 558.