Idaho Real Estate >> ID Real Estate Specialist


The 4 traits of all successful Realtors

I started my real estate career in 1980 and if ever I have seen history repeat itself it is now, nearly 30 years later.  In 1983 I sold homes with interest rates of 17 1/2 %. Realtors dropped like flies because the attitude was "I can't sell homes with those kinds of interest rates".  Fast forward to 2008 and again Realtors are dropping like flies.  Same result as the 1980's. 

What separates those that succeed in any market and what is the common denominator for those Realtors that hang up their spurs, leave the business and look for other ways to support themselves and their families?  I have decided there are 3 traits common to all successful Realtors that allow them to weather any economic storm that causes real estate markets to change drastically.

The servant attitude

Every truly successful Realtor I have seen have all had what I call a "Servant Attitude".  By this I mean that they truly desire to solve a problem or help someone in need.  They thrive on finding solutions for any given situation whether it is finding the perfect home for a buyer or marketing a home no one else can market.  They are driven by their desire to help someone in need. In contrast, we have all seen those agents that are self serving and are driven by the attitude of "What's in it for me?".  They spend every commission before it is earned and all their advertising and actions are about them.

Vision - Every successful company has it

Ford motor and Toyota don't just manufacture automobiles and hope someone buys them.  They must have a vision of what consumers will be buying 1, 2, 3 and more years down the road.  They try to anticipate what consumers will be buying and why.  When the stock market skyrocketed a few years ago there was no foundation for its record upward movement.  2005 was the same for real estate.  It was an artificial upward swing with no foundation driven by stated loans and greed.  I heard Realtors, lenders and builders make statements that the market of 2005 would last for 5, 10 and even 15 years!  These statements had no statistics to back them up; they were all based on the euphoria that was prevalent at the time.  These agents "lived for the moment" without any regard for what would follow. The handful of Realtors that recognized this false sense of security were busy preparing for what the next real estate market would bring.  Idaho's upper end market is fueled by the California real estate market. When the California market is strong Idaho's upper end real estate market thrives. Through my friends here on Active Rain I kept hearing early in 2006 that the California real estate market was weakening.  There were signs that our own market was changing.  Whenever I suggested that our Idaho real estate market was changing and shared why I believed this I was told that I was wrong and that our real estate market was healthy and strong. All the signs were there that our real estate market was changing but only a handful had their eyes open enough to see it.

Systems put into place

Because of my belief that the real estate market was changing and my belief that Idaho Short Sales and Idaho foreclosures would sky rocket I created short sales pages for my Idaho Real Estate site that would educate the public regarding short sales and foreclosures.  By late 2007 my site was on the first page of Google for the term "Idaho Short Sales", "Short Sales in Idaho" and "Idaho Short Sales Assistance".  By early 2008 my site was number one on Google for these same terms and remains number one today.  I also have taken numerous short sales classes and in June of 2008 became a "Certified Short Sales Specialist". Early this year Realtors were really struggling and many came in to see me and asked what I was doing different. They asked why I was doing well when so many were struggling.  Many of these Realtors had no systems in place and had taken no classes to take advantage of the current real estate market. In fact when I asked many to accompany me to short sales classes in the spring they denied my offer.  They were "hanging on" and hoping that the real estate market would turn back around to what is was in 2005.  They are still waiting but now many are waiting tables at local restaurants.


Without a strong Passion for what we do we might as well find another line of work.  After nearly 29 years in the business I cannot wait to get to work in the morning.  I can't wait to put another system in to place, meet a new client, learn something new. I read everything related to real estate that I can get my hands on and I take many classes every year that are not even required.  This is because I am a spong and love learning everything I can. Passion drives me and keeps me excited about my career.  I can't believe I get paid for doing what I love so much!

Our MLS has lost over 3,000 Realtors and our own office has lost over 30 Realtors from the peak year of 2005. All this is happening while a hand full of Realtors are having great years.

If you are still surviving in this market congratulations! If you are still in business but struggling look at your own market.  What do you see happening and why? What trends are developing and why?  What systems do you have in place to take advantage of your real estate market for the next two to three years and beyond? Are you investing in the right classes to take advantage of the real estate market in your area for the next 2-3 years?


 Posted By: George Tallabas - Boise Idaho Real Estate Agent - Associate Broker 
with RE/MAX Advantage, Canyon Counties #1 Brokerage in sales and listings
specializing in Boise Idaho Real Estate and Southwest Idaho Real Estate

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comment balloon 23 commentsGeorge Tallabas • August 31 2008 11:40AM


The last one "Systems" is the one I find very few agents have.  That is why they come and go.  You also make a good point about training.  Those who don't make it are almost always the same ones who do not take training classes.

Posted by Randy L. Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 12 years ago

Randy - So true my friend. Many don't have the desire or knowledge to put systems into place. They want the market to just come to them without any effort invested.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 12 years ago

George, I have been in RE since 1991 and cut my teeth during the Calif recession.  This post is just so perfect and so true.  Those of us who have been around a while and have a long-term goal of helping others seem to fair quite a bit better.  I keep telling agents in my office that I see this market as an opportunity...I'm getting my Eco-Broker designation, blogging and am working full time trying to make myself a better agent for the future.  Your years of experience and wisdom will make you a success no matter what market we experience. It was great chatting with you the other day!

Posted by Diane Aurit, Lake Norman Real Estate (LKN Realty, LLC) over 12 years ago

Diane -  I agree this current real estate market is an opportunity and many just don't have the vision or the systems in place to take advantage of it. You are an example of one of the few across the country that have had the vision and are successful.  I also thoroughly loved my conversation with you as well Diane.  I hope you are having a great weekend!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 12 years ago

George -- these traits are very important.  I think it is important to have the vision!  Systems also are important.  I think the historical trends in real estate did suggest that we were going to go through a downward cycle.  It is good that you saw the signs and then came up with a pro-active way to position yourself.  It seems as though some segments of the market in So. New Hampshire are starting to stablize, but there are more foreclosures and short sales expected.  It has been a challening market in many respects.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 12 years ago

Fine post, George. It's a bleak sign of the times and is reflected nicely in your thoughts. We've also seen many retire their licenses in Tennessee recently. I'm semi-retired, and actively licensed, but will probably become more sales-involved in the days to come. The situation will improve. I want to be there for my brokerage when it does. Those among us, who have the fortitude to hang on, will do fine.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 12 years ago

George, three very important things to have.  Especially the systems, nothing will keep you more consistent.

Posted by Brian Brumpton, Boise Idaho Real Estate (Keller Williams Boise) over 12 years ago

You hit it out of the park with this one, hardly ever was there a truer statement for the times.

Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) over 12 years ago

Joan - Thank you my friend.  Too many agents "Live for the moment" without any regard to the signs that are everywhere. I hope you are doing well and all is well for you.

David - Good luck to you and I wish you will in your market.

Brian - Thank you

Charles - Thank you for the very kind words. All my best.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 12 years ago

I have only been a realtor for a year and a half and business is pretty good - I am focusing on getting my listings so when the market does bounce back - I will be in the game!!1

Posted by Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team ( Elite Realty Group) over 12 years ago

Norma - Good luck to you and I hop you thrive. Keep looking as signs in your market place and get your systems in place and good things will happen for you.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 12 years ago

I  pay a lot of attention to the vision part.  I have told more than one person how I felt you would do in the future selling certain homes.

Posted by John Walters, Licensed in Louisiana (Frank Rubi Real Estate) over 12 years ago

John - Wow, I had no idea.  Thank you very much.  I hope all is well.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 12 years ago

I agree with Randy (1st post) - SYSTEMS!!!  So many REALTORS (R) do not have simple systems in place to ensure their own future.  It goes beyond training, and includes contact tracking, information management, sales trend tracking, and so much more.  I, personally, don't know why more of us do not put these systems in place...

Thanks for your article.

Posted by Scott Owens, REALTOR (Scott Owens Limited) over 12 years ago

Scott - Thank you for sharing your views and yes "Systems" are imperative.  One however must also have "Vision" in my humble opinion to understand where the market is heading and what kind of systems need to be but in action.  Thanks and have a great week.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 12 years ago

Thanks you for justifying how I feel about the "servant Attitude" I believe in this even though I like to be in control. I know I will not be successful unless I serve my clients.

Posted by Tina Maraj, Celebrating 30 Years of Real Estate Sales (RE/MAX One) about 12 years ago

Tina - Thank you for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts.  Have a great day.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 12 years ago

George--what an insightful post!  Here at the Delaware beach, building and business were booming beyond when the slow-down started in other parts of the country.  We have now joined the trend, but not to the extreme that some markets are experiencing.  One of our biggest challenges as agents is to give positive, honest information to buyers while the national and local media keep playing "Taps" for the real estate industry. One of our local REALTORS wrote an excellent letter to the editor of the local paper last summer that presented statistics showing that our market is not as dead in the water as we have been led to believe.  Still, sales have slowed down some since 2005.  I am using the extra time in the day to keep in close contact with my clients and customers, read industry-related articles online and in print, blog and work toward the CRS designation.  I've been in real estate since February of '05, and plan to be here for a long time to come.

Posted by Dianne Deming (RE/MAX Realty Group) about 12 years ago

Dianne - Good for you, I wish you well in your business and much more.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 12 years ago

Excellent post buddy.
Agents like you remind me why I love this business.
So good!


Posted by Tamara Dorris (Master Your Market Real Estate Coaching) almost 12 years ago

Tamara - Coming from you that is a HUGE compliment! Thank you!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

George I got sent here from a Google Alert this morning on January 19, 2008, Go figure...

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 12 years ago

Missy - Thank you.  You may have placed the term "Realtor" in some terms you entered when you signed up for Google Alert.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago