Blog : leadership

NextHome Closes Biggest Transaction in the Franchise’s History

NextHome Closes Biggest Transaction in the Franchise’s History

Orli Rudolph (left) and DJ Khaled (right)

High-profile artist, producer and social media star, DJ Khaled, added another win to his list of successes with his recently purchased 12,750-square-feet Miami Beach mansion. Represented by one of our NextHomies, the hip-hop icon’s new home is the biggest transaction closed by a member of our franchise.

Listed at $25.9 million, the lavish waterfront property features a total of nine bedrooms and 10.5 bathrooms—including a five-bedroom main house, four-bedroom guest house, safe room, outdoor shower, home theater, elevator, and a swimming pool nearly 80 feet long. Khaled was able to scoop up the listing for only $21.8 million.

Our very own Orli Rudolph from the Rudolph & Jerry Team with NextHome Realty Professionals represented Khaled on this deal. Born in South Beach and raised in North Miami Beach, Orli has a keen awareness and unparalleled intuition of Miami’s luxury real estate market.

Orli and her business partner, Matthew Jerry, joined the Ft. Lauderdale-based office in early 2017. Prior to joining NextHome Realty Professionals, the team spent five years building a client base that has resulted in hundreds of happy homeowners and lifelong friendships.

Orli has a strong reputation for professionalism, commitment and has helped numerous clients invest, buy, sell and rent properties.

Please join us in congratulating Orli Rudolph on closing the largest transaction thus far for our NextHome franchise!

Photo Credit: Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Photo Credit: Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Photo Credit: Douglas Elliman Real Estate
NextHome VIP Realty Opens Office Location in Idaho

NextHome VIP Realty Opens Office Location in Idaho

Heath Van Patten

Pleasanton, CA — October 4, 2018 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome VIP Realty. The brokerage represents the sixth location opened in the state of Idaho for the NextHome franchise.

Based in Coeur d’Alene, the company will be owned and operated by Heath Van Patten. The office will have Jessica Skinner as the broker of record.

NextHome VIP Realty will provide real estate services such as single-family residential sales, first-time home buyers, rehab and resale property listings, investment sales, and land sales to the areas of Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Hayden, Rathdrum, and the remainder of Kootenai County.

Coeur d’Alene is the largest city in Kootenai County with more than 45,000 residents. Although based in the state of Idaho, the city is only 30 miles from Spokane, Washington and is considered part of Spokane’s common metropolitan area.

Heath started with NextHome in 2015 as the Business Development Manager for NextHome Treasure Valley in Meridian, Idaho. In mid-2016, Heath and a business partner took ownership of the brokerage and grew the company to 12 agents in the first year under new ownership.

In February 2017, Heath took over as the sole owner of NextHome Treasure Valley. Just a month later, he refocused his business model after attending a conference that shaped a new way of thinking.

“I was able to attend the NextHome Conference in New Orleans,” said Heath. “I had a certain way of thinking when I came into the conference, but after seeing what others were doing with their brokerages throughout the country, I knew it was my moment to run my brokerage with purpose.”

With this renewed focus, Heath brought on six talented agents inside of 30 days of returning from conference. By the end of 2017, NextHome Treasure Valley had more than 20 agents.

With the opportunity to expand into a secondary market, Heath felt it was the right time to make the leap into a new market. With Jessica as the broker of record for the brokerages, he felt very comfortable with expansion.

“Having Jessica as our broker of record, provides a lot of confidence that NextHome VIP Realty will make a significant impact in the Coeur d’Alene market,” said Heath. “As a detailed-oriented broker with over 20 years in real estate, Jessica provides leadership with a helpful attitude that our agents will benefit from.”

Between both locations, NextHome Treasure Valley and NextHome VIP Realty is proudly represented by 36 agents serving various communities throughout Idaho.

Please join us in congratulating Heath, Jessica, and the rest of the team at NextHome VIP Realty on the opening of their new NextHome office in Coeur d’Alene, ID!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

Zillow Group: Friend or Foe?

Zillow Group: Friend or Foe?

When it comes to Zillow Group, there seems to be a lot of fear and anger in our industry and it has been this way since the company launched in 2004. I experienced this first hand while working on the portal side of the business, starting with in 2003 and leaving Trulia in 2014. What I learned during these years has provided me insight into what the consumer needs and demands, as well as the fears of real estate professionals across the country.

Fear in business can be dangerous and detrimental. Some of us pull old quotes from Zillow executives and use them today to justify our concerns. Have we never changed course in our business or personal lives? Is it wrong for Zillow to shift direction? If the plan is not working, then perhaps the plan should change but not the goal.

One thing is certain: Zillow has never been shy about their goal of giving power to the people when it comes to making the best decision on the single greatest investment of their life. It’s not as complicated as we have made it over the last several decades. Instead of seeing them as a threat, why not look at Zillow Group as a way to learn and adopt what is working?

Yes, you could ignore them or pull your data as a way to fight against them. The reality is Zillow Group has captured over two-thirds of the total market share of online real estate shoppers and has more than double the audience of, the official site of the National Association of REALTORS®. We used to pay at least five times more for this kind of reach in print advertising without any guarantees readers would even flip to the real estate section. And don’t even get me started on TV or Super Bowl commercials.

NextHome’s leadership team understands that change is inevitable, but transformation is optional. And we choose transformation.

We are focused on transforming the franchise model into something fun and desirable; our franchise owners and their offices into a profitable and enticing place to work; and our agents into the most valuable part of the transaction, so there are no objections at closing time when the commission is paid.

We are also focused on transforming our relationship with industry partners, such as Zillow Group, so our agents and franchise owners are one of the first to be called upon when our partners want to try something new.

Especially if it means we can hold Zillow accountable for providing a service that will need to be successful if they want to get paid. And why shouldn’t they? After all, they are consuming all the financial risk to position themselves as the most visited real estate site in the world. How is it any different than hiring Cartus or paying another broker for a referral, except in this case the referring company is Zillow?

Is this a risky move? Of course! But it becomes a shared risk and without risk, there would be no progress. And without progress, we will not transform into the best version of ourselves.

NextHome Beach Time Realty Opens Second Franchised Location

NextHome Beach Time Realty Opens Second Franchised Location

Annie Fleeting

Pleasanton, CA — September 21, 2018 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Beach Time Realty – Redington Beach Branch. This is the franchise’s 46th location in the state of Florida.

Owned and operated by Annie Fleeting, the Redington Beach brokerage will provide residential real estate sales and vacation rental property management services to the Pinellas County area including the cities of Treasure Island, Madeira Beach, North Redington Beach, Redington Shores, and Tierra Verde.

This is her second franchised location as she found Fall 2018 to be the right time to expand. Fleeting opened her first NextHome office in December 2015.

“Building on the success of our St. Pete Beach office, we found a location a few beaches north that we felt had the visibility and potential to extend our reach, both for sales revenue and for our property management and vacation rental division,” said Fleeting.

“The Redington Beach area is a large second home and vacation rental market. It is also home to some of the highest single-family home values in our marketplace,” she added.

“It is so exciting to be part of something bigger. We tell people that NextHome is the ‘Google’ of real estate. There is no question the NextHome brand is getting notice in our county with three of the offices in the Top 100 out of 799 offices being NextHome locations – soon to be four!”

Real estate has been a family affair for Fleeting. In 1971, her father started a property management company, Carteret Management Corporation, in the heart of Pinellas County. Working in the family business, Fleeting’s involvement helped grow the company into what it is today. The company is currently owned and operated by Fleeting’s brother, Jim, and is responsible for managing 4,000 units.

As Fleeting was working in the Tampa area, she met her future husband, Robert.

The couple moved to Robert’s home country of Scotland in 1986 and built a successful property development company. Their developments included nightclubs, hotels, and 12 shopping centers. In 1996, the Fleetings sold all of their existing developments in Scotland and moved back to the United States.

In 2001, the Fleetings returned to the property development business – this time making a mark in the northern Florida market. Along with other partners, the couple formed Coral Point Homes – a development group that built more than $100 million in multi-family housing, primarily in Pinellas County.

The Fleetings started a real estate brokerage, Beach Time Realty, in 2010 to service the needs of homeowners who wanted to turn existing housing into vacation rentals. As the market improved, Beach Time Realty helped those same property owners sell and re-invest into new properties. In 2014, Beach Time Realty sold over $12 million in real estate property.

With over 70 properties under property management and sales volume increasing, Fleeting knew it was time to grow her brokerage and franchising with NextHome made the most sense.

“NextHome Beach Time Realty has a level of service that is unique to our market,” said Fleeting. “We help investors evaluate their investment purchase in both rental income opportunities and negotiating a fair purchase price. We are able to help acquire the property, manage tenant relationships, and help the property owner re-sell and re-invest.”

“Our level of service is top notch,” added Fleeting. “In fact, I still have the very first client I ever worked with AND the very first tenant I ever rented to. These relationships are built on a long-term commitment to great service.”

“I have been fortunate enough to meet Annie in person and she is an exceptional addition to the NextHome franchise,” said NextHome CEO, James Dwiggins. “She has a proven track record of running profitable businesses in the real estate space.”

When not selling real estate, Fleeting enjoys spending time with Robert and their four children and five grandchildren. Avid soccer fans, the Fleetings were the owners of the Premier League soccer team, Kilmarnock FC, from 1989-1996.

Please join us in congratulating Annie, Robert, and the rest of their team at NextHome Beach Time Realty on their second NextHome office location!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome 180º Realty opens in Warner Robins, Georgia

NextHome 180º Realty opens in Warner Robins, Georgia

Sylvia and Adam Myers

Pleasanton, CA — August 23, 2018 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome 180º Realty. The brokerage represents the fourth office location opened in the state of Georgia for the NextHome franchise.

The company will be owned and operated by husband and wife team, Sylvia and Adam Myers. Sylvia will be the broker of record and handling all day-to-day sales and agent leadership duties, while Adam will serve as the Operations Manager for the brokerage.

Based in Warner Robins, NextHome 180º Realty will provide real estate services such as single-family residential sales, first-time home buyers, second homes, investment, luxury, veteran and military relocation, and land deals for the cities of Warner Robins, Perry, Bonaire, Macon, Kathleen, Centerville, and the remainder of Houston, Bibb and Peach Counties.

The city of Warner Robins is located 90 minutes southeast of Downtown Atlanta and is home to approximately 70,000 residents. The city features Robins Air Force Base, which is the largest logistics Air Force Base in the southeast United States.

Sylvia is a graduate of Middle Georgia State University and holds degrees in both Business Management and Information Technology.

Licensed since 1997, Sylvia has been a longtime top-producing REALTOR® in Georgia. She worked for 3 years as a RE/MAX agent. In her first full year in real estate, she sold nearly $3 million in volume where the average sales price was $120,000 at the time.

In 2000, she opened Hometown Realty, where she was the broker/owner of the business. After building up a successful brokerage, she sold the company a few years later and moved to EXIT Realty where she served as the sales manager for the brokerage.

Sylvia met Adam in 2004 and the couple married in 2014. Adam is also a graduate of Middle Georgia State University and holds a degree in Psychology and Public Service. With Adam’s background and education, he is excited about leading the operations for the brokerage and helping agents be as productive as possible.

He is also the owner/operator of 180 Home Construction, which will provide inventory for the brokerage. Managing 20 to 30 rehab construction projects a year, Adam’s vast experience in construction will be a huge asset to the brokerage.

When Sylvia and Adam started the discussion of going out on their own, they had already kept an eye on the NextHome franchise for some time.

“I can say that I’ve been stalking NextHome for some time now,” said Sylvia with a laugh. “I loved the branding and saw how it resonates with the younger generation of home buyers and sellers.”

NextHome 180º Realty will be a community resource to not only help people buy and sell homes but offer information on the entire process. The agents will provide valuable education that will make their clients feel knowledgeable about the entire home buying and/or selling process.

Sylvia and Adam are committed to helping their community. They have participated in several Habitat for Humanity home builds and are very active within their church.

When not selling real estate, the two of them are very involved in the world of gaming. They are prominent online players of World of Warcraft and enjoy the online interaction with players from around the globe.

Sylvia is also an author and has a children’s book scheduled to be released in fall of 2018.

Please join us in congratulating Sylvia, Adam and the rest of the team at NextHome 180º Realty on the opening of their new NextHome office in Warner Robins, GA!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.


10 Reasons to Rekey Your Home

10 Reasons to Rekey Your Home

Whether you’re a new homeowner or have lived in your house for a while, your keys represent ownership of the property as well as security for your loved ones and your possessions. Being handed the keys to a new home is a big moment that signals the completion of your real estate transaction. Putting those keys into the lock and turning the knob for the first time as the owner is a great feeling. Or, at least it should be.

For many new and current homeowners, however, keys may be a source of unease, either because of valid reasons to rekey their home or questions about whether they should.

You might consider rekeying your home if:

  1. You’ve just purchased your home or are a current homeowner and aren’t sure how many key copies may be floating around (or who has them)
  2. You’ve lost track of how many key copies have been made and who’s in possession of them
  3. You’ve been the victim of a crime and had personal belongings taken, such as keys, your identification, your purse or wallet
  4. You’ve misplaced or lost your keys, wallet, purse, or backpack
  5. You’ve had a relationship status change
  6. A family member or friend has lost their copy of your key
  7. You’ve changed roommates or home service providers (such as a house keeper, babysitter, dog walker, etc.) who had a key copy or access to your keys
  8. You need or want to have identical keys that work for multiple keyholes
  9. You want to make sure that your home does not have a universal lock or keyhole that can be opened with a master key
  10. You’d like for a contractor to examine the lock cylinder for damage or wear during the rekey process

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog.

NextHome Premier Homes Realty opens in Humble, Texas

NextHome Premier Homes Realty opens in Humble, Texas

(From left to right) Rita Zarghami, Keyvan Zarghami, and Virgie Green

Pleasanton, CA — August 17, 2018 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Premier Homes Realty. The brokerage represents the 20th office location opened in the state of Texas for the NextHome franchise.

The company will be owned and operated by real estate broker Rita Zarghami. Rita will be the broker of record and in charge of all day-to-day operations. She will be joined on the leadership team by her husband, Keyvan, and Virgie Calligan-Green. Keyvan will serve as the Vice President of Operations for the brokerage, while Virgie will be the Office Manager.

Based in Humble, NextHome Premier Homes Realty will provide real estate services such as single-family residential sales, first-time home buyers, second homes, investment, luxury, and land deals for the areas of Humble, Lake Houston, Atascocita, Kingwood, Crosby, Porter, Huffman, North Channel, and the surrounding areas of Northeast Houston.

Humble is located 20 minutes north of Downtown Houston and is home to approximately 20,000 residents.

Licensed since 1994, Rita has been a longtime top-producing REALTOR® in the Houston area. After nearly ten years of high-volume sales, Rita opened her own brokerage in 2003 – Red Stone Realty LLC.

Under her leadership, she built the brokerage with talented agents to see annual sales in excess of $25 million. Additionally, Keyvan also opened a mortgage company, 1st Community Mortgage Group, concurrent with the opening of the real estate brokerage. The mortgage company was just as successful with more than $20 million in volume annually.

During the recession in the late 2000’s, Houston and surrounding areas were hit extremely hard. Pivoting to adjust to the market conditions, Rita agreed to take over as the Sales Manager for the local Humble Century 21 brokerage, while still actively producing as a selling REALTOR®. Managing 20 agents, Rita guided the brokerage to a very productive office in the midst of an extremely challenging financial time for the state of Texas.

In 2013, Rita went back to running her own brokerage. Changing the brokerage name to Premier Homes, she grew the company to 1o REALTORS® and a large portfolio of listings. But Rita knew she needed more to provide to her agents.

“At the end of 2017, I was approached by several local franchisees about merging with their companies,” said Rita. “I really didn’t have any interest in doing that. I personally went out to seek what was available out there to provide more value for our agents.”

After doing her own research and sharing the info with Keyvan, the Zarghamis reached out to NextHome and spoke with NextHome’s VP of Sales, Charis Moreno.

“I was really excited about the NextHome franchise and what the company had to offer Premier Homes,” she added. “I continued to research other companies, but all roads led back to NextHome.”

Rita says the NextHome Premier Realty difference stems from the company’s five core values: Spiritual, Family, Business, Financial, and Personal.

“We truly treat our clients as people and not just a sale,” said Rita. “We want to build deep relationships with the families in our community. Our agents are client-focused and hold the highest standards. Ethics and honesty are key to earning the trust of our clients and community.”

When not selling real estate, Rita and Keyvan look forward to spending time with their family. They have three children – daughter Akila, and two sons – Jeremiah and Keyvan Keyanoosh. They also have five grandchildren – Joshua, Jacob, Isabela, Kaiden, and Jackson.

Rita loves to cook for the family, while Keyvan is a Corvette enthusiast and attends as many car shows as possible.

Please join us in congratulating Rita, Keyvan, Virgie, and the rest of the team at NextHome Premier Homes Realty on the opening of their new NextHome office in Humble, TX!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome City Realty opens second location in Michigan

NextHome City Realty opens second location in Michigan

Paul Mychalowych

Pleasanton, CA — August 3, 2018 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome City Realty – Detroit Branch. This is the second location for owner, Paul Mychalowych. The brokerage represents the tenth office location opened in the state of Michigan for the NextHome franchise.

As a 14-year real estate veteran, Mychalowych is one of the top-producing REALTORS® in the area. He will also serve as the broker-of-record for the company.

NextHome City Realty – Detroit Branch will provide real estate services such as single-family residential sales, first-time home buyers, investment, luxury, short sales, probate sales, and land deals for all areas of Wayne County including the Grosse Pointe Markets as well as every city up the Woodward Corridor to NextHome City Realty’s Birmingham Location.

With a population of just over 4.3 million residents, the city of Detroit is the largest in the state of Michigan. In 2018, Detroit’s economy has seen a huge boost as many of the neighborhoods affected by the 2008 recession are now beginning to stabilize. With a 30% increase in average sales price in the past 12 months, and a successful launch in March 2018 of his first location in Birmingham, MI, Mychalowych felt it was the right time to expand his business into a second location.

“In the last five years, we have seen an influx of Millennial buyers coming into the downtown Detroit area,” said Mychalowych. “There has been a significant boost in housing developments and investments coming from all over the world.”

“With our unique collaborative work environment, we want to be a part of this community as the real estate resource as it continues its growth as one of the fastest growing cities in the nation,” he added. “With offices spanning from Detroit all the way up to Birmingham we can service all the growing communities in between. We have extensive knowledge of these markets and can hopefully help contribute to Detroit’s resurgence, which in turn will filter out into the surrounding areas.”

Before Mychalowych began his real estate career, he spent years as an electrical engineer. As the owner of Advanced Systems & Designs Inc., Mychalowych led a large staff of software and hardware engineers, and a nationwide sales organization including a global network of distributors. He sold the business in 2012.

In 2009, after years as a top-producing REALTOR®, Mychalowych decided to open his own brokerage, Birmingham Realty LLC, in downtown Birmingham.  As the broker of a successful office, Mychalowych did not rest on his laurels.

In 2017, in addition to running a brokerage of associates, Mychalowych closed 64 transactions in excess of $18 million and the brokerage had $26 million in sales volume.

Mychalowych had many reasons behind his decision to partner with NextHome.

“I wanted to provide more value to our agents with better branding, additional technology, technology leveraged training, and tools that would help them save time and make more money,” said Mychalowych.

In addition, “it just made good business sense to not reinvent the wheel and create all this stuff on my own.”

As he was researching franchise options, he was specifically looking for a company that provided a plug and play option that was affordable, yet provided a lot of value.

“NextHome City Realty will bring the features of an office of tomorrow to today’s buyers and sellers,” said Mychalowych. “We have a consumer-centric brand and I value a commitment to education for both our clients and our agents.”

Mychalowych said NextHome City Realty is just the beginning of the expansion of his office footprint. “I see us growing throughout the Detroit area very soon,” added Mychalowych.

When not selling real estate, Mychalowych focuses on family. The Mychalowych’s have been married for 27 years and have two children – daughters Madison (age 18) and Brooklyn (15). The family enjoys spending time relaxing at their lakefront home and in Northern Michigan.

Please join us in congratulating Paul and the rest of the team at NextHome City Realty on the opening of their second new NextHome office in Downtown Detroit, MI!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome Premier launches in Warren, New Jersey

NextHome Premier launches in Warren, New Jersey

John Mangini

Pleasanton, CA — July 31, 2018 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Premier. The brokerage represents the fifth office location opened in the state of New Jersey for the NextHome franchise.

Owned and operated by top-producing REALTOR® John Mangini, NextHome Premier will provide real estate services such as single-family residential sales, first-time home buyers, investment, luxury, relocation, new construction, and land deals for the counties of Somerset, Morris, Hunterdon, Middlesex, and Union.

The township of Warren is located 10 miles north of Edison and is home to just over 15,000 residents. ranked Warren sixth in the nation as “Best Places to Live” in July of 2009.

John has been licensed since 2002 and is a licensed broker in three states – New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. He also holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Metallurgical Engineering and has a background in Commodity Trading.

As a former founder and owner of a local RE/MAX office, John brings a wealth of leadership experience to the NextHome franchise. He grew his previous office to over 60 agents and the brokerage was ranked as of one the top RE/MAX offices in the state of New Jersey with sales in excess of $300 million annually.

Always the entrepreneur, John realized the real estate brokerage business was changing rapidly and the traditional real estate brands were not evolving and adapting.

He researched the various brokerage models and brands and discovered NextHome. With its client centric model, superior technology and empowering environment, John knew partnering with NextHome would be a perfect fit for the Central New Jersey Market.

Currently constructed, NextHome Premier is home to seven talented agents who each have an average of 11 years of real estate experience.

“We are highly selective in the agents that we hire which ensures we maintain our collaborative culture,” said John. “We have high standards of practice for all marketing and we are all about raising the bar for our industry. The office is structured to help our agents be as productive as possible. Our office is centrally located and smartly equipped with the latest technology, and collaborative work and meeting areas.”

“We are committed to helping our clients first,” added John. “Giving back to our community is very important to all of us at NextHome Premier. We have all contributed to various volunteer and charity organizations such as our local soup kitchen.”

When not selling real estate, John spends time with his wife of 24 years, Michele, and their two sons, Matt (22 years old) and Ryan (19). Matt recently graduated from Princeton University and is working as an investment banker in Los Angeles, California and Ryan will be attending John’s alma mater, Lafayette College in the Fall where he will be studying Economics.

The Mangini’s enjoy spending time during the summer months “down the shore” in Mantoloking, New Jersey.

Please join us in congratulating John and the rest of the team at NextHome Premier on the opening of their new NextHome office in Warren, NJ!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.


8 Steps to Long-Term Success in Real Estate

8 Steps to Long-Term Success in Real Estate

No one ever said a career in real estate was easy. But the rewards can be great if you are up for the challenge. Do you have what it takes to stick with it and achieve long-term success? Follow these eight basic steps to help lay the groundwork for a long and successful career.

Are you in this for the long haul? You probably know a number of real estate professionals with long and successful careers. These agents are in an enviable position to achieve their financial goals and maintain a thriving business. But many more agents stop doing real estate full-time after just a short time. In fact, 87% opt not to renew their licenses within five years.* So how do the veteran pros make it work? It all comes down to building a solid foundation and directing your energy in the right places from the start. If you’d like to achieve a long-term career in real estate, here are eight steps that can help set you up for success.

1. Manage your own expectations

Real estate careers offer a relatively low barrier to entry and the perception of easy money. But it takes time, hard work, quite a bit of planning and the right mindset to make significant money. The pros may make it look easy, but building a thriving real estate business means selling yourself and your abilities every day, constantly creating new opportunities and staying ahead of the curve. Successful realtors are tough, fair, knowledgeable, personable, professional and have a thick skin.

2. Have a realistic financial plan

Do the math to set your goals. Figure out how much you need for bills, insurance and living expenses. Also include calculations for the cost of doing business. Real estate agents are independent contractors and typically pay for their own licensing, office expenses, required continuing education, marketing, business cards and E&O insurance. Be sure to have a plan to set aside portions of your income for taxes and savings to cover the slow times or vacation. Calculate what your commission would be for a target home. Based on these figures, you should end up with a realistic goal to make ends meet, and know how much you need to sell each month.

3. Set boundaries

When you start to really get in the groove and get a taste for success, it’s easy to eat, drink and sleep real estate 24/7. But know your limits. Long-term success is defeated by burnout. Make sure you try to protect time for yourself by way of a weekly yoga class, and time for friends and family. Balance will fend off burnout and is a more sustainable career path.

4.  Build your confidence

A successful agent is less likely to quit. The most important trait of a successful salesperson is confidence. But confidence is harder when you are a new agent. The best way to build confidence is practice. A couple tricks of the trade for practice:

a. Role-play with a colleague or friend. Work with a “script” of what you’d like to say in certain situations, such as meeting a prospective customer, and hear yourself say the words again and again.
b. Station yourself at open houses every weekend. This can be helpful to the listing agent and great exposure for you. Practice talking to people about their real estate needs and try asking them questions differently each time.

5. Get a mentor and/or a coach

A role model is worth her weight in gold. Having someone to ask questions, share ideas and learn from their experiences is incredibly valuable. If you don’t know someone who can fill that role, you can hire a coach. Become a knowledge sponge when you are around these people and soak up as much as you can. Also, read or listen to as many trade publications and industry blogs as you can get your hands on. Increasing your knowledge will increase your value to your clients.

6. Routines and checklists

It seems to be a simple thing, but a working real estate professional creates her own structure. Successful people tend to start their day with a specific routine. Some swear by positive affirmations or meditation. Some start by creating a to-do list for the day. Other start every day by looking at the hot sheets in their area to see what’s newly listed, sold, expired, etc., which is what you should be doing anyway. Find the routine that works for you and keeps you productive and motivated.

7. Be the captain of your own lead gen

Don’t just wait for referrals from family and friends. Contact newly expired listings and listings For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) and turn them into clients. Find out what might motivate them. Ask people if you can do a free home valuation or market analysis. This is good practice, too. Cold calling isn’t easy. You will hear far more “no’s” than “yes’s.” But if prospects always said yes, you wouldn’t be a salesperson; you’d instead be an order taker.

8. Never stop believing

Maintaining a long and fruitful career in real estate takes resilience. Even after bad experiences, and everyone has them, you need to find your own personal source for positive energy. Some successful agents use visual reminders of what motivates them. Or perhaps a mentor, coach or friend is just the touchstone you need to restore your faith in yourself.

The key takeaway here is you can do this. Be realistic, be smart and work hard and you have every reason to enjoy a successful career for years to come.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield® Home Matters blog