Real Estate Agent and Trainer, Robert Rico, explains the difference between personality and skill – and what is required in order to be a successful real estate agent. Do you want to see more video blogs? Subscribe here!


Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog! We wanted to share some wisdom with you, and this week it actually applies to more than just real estate.

Rico’s mentor once gave him some wisdom. He said, “Rico, if a client ever offers you a drink, you should take it!” — such as coffee, tea, or even water. Rico didn’t understand why at first, until he practiced saying “Yes” a few times and realized something very important. (Think movie: Yes Man.)

As with so many things in life, coffee is more than what meets the eye – it’s a cup of hot liquid, sure, but it’s also an invitation to be social and talk with someone for a short amount of time. If someone offers you a cup of coffee, they are offering you some of their time to see what impression you make, and how your personalities mesh together. You want to impress them!

Over a cup of coffee or tea, you’ll usually get about 10 minutes of time to make an impression (positive or negative) on the person you’re talking to, and to show off your personality. Now the questions that we pose to real estate agents — is personality different than skills? Which one is more important? How do you set yourself apart from the rest of the pack?


In the real estate world, with a decent education and a license, a lot of real estate agents have very similar skills. They can negotiate offers, sign contracts, prepare listing agreements, and complete everything with approximately the same competence (hopefully). Therefore, what really sets most real estate agents apart, and what earns them their true money, is their personality. It’s what makes them unique, which is crucial in today’s crowded market.

Homeowners and homebuyers share many characteristics when choosing an agent. One of the main ones is really rather basic, but they want to see that you’ll have the personality to stick things through and make a deal happen, no matter what obstacles get thrown your way. Your personality, which shows how you will deal with obstacles or with clients, will shine through if you let it.

Rico grabbed a definition off the internet of the term personality: “a set of habitual behaviors, cognitions, and emotional patterns that evolve from biological and environmental factors.” These are the three key things to keep in mind when presenting your personality. What do you do habitually? How do you approach problems mentally? How do you react emotionally to obstacles in your path?


People want to feel that you can make deals happen – it’s a magical yet essential quality in a real estate agent, since your job is to make deals. Clients will also want to feel that you bring something unique to the table, which is why it’s important to show off your personality rather than try to emulate someone else. Mind you, showcasing is all possible from the “permission” granted to you by offering a cup of coffee!

Between personality and skill, then, which is more important? It’s a hard question to answer, because both are important. In real estate, though, we think a unique personality brings more to the table. However, neither is enough by itself – you have to also be driven. This is the most crucial aspect, because without drive, you will not be a successful real estate agent.

One of Rico’s students in the past, Douglas, was a very shy and quiet person. He would ask Rico for advice, and Rico boiled it down to this – “Douglas, are you driven?” The answer was a resounding “Yes!” so he was willing to do as Rico advised – to simply work at it over and over again, until he could successfully put himself out there. One Monday, Douglas came to class incredibly excited – he had given out his business card! He was in line at Home Depot, and decided to give his card to the cashier. Although he was very nervous, he worked up the courage and did it — and that was the first time of hundreds that Douglas has now introduced himself as a real estate professional!

Although the introduction might have been a little dry the first time, what really matters was that Douglas was able to work at it and put himself out there. It only gets easier after the first time! After he came out of his shell, his personality was really able to flourish, and he is now a successful real estate agent. If you were to ask his clients what sets him apart, they would say that he is meticulous, intelligent, and driven — all part of his personality.

Everyone has their own personality that sets them apart — after a while, some of the skills can really overlap (as we said above). As Bruce Lee, of Karate Kid fame, once said: “Always be yourself. Express yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” The lesson here is to be yourself and showcase what makes you unique, and people will usually receive it very well! And if you don’t mesh with someone, it’s not the end of the world – there are always more potential clients out there. (See Blog: Why Is Rejection A Good Thing?)

To recap, you have to have confidence and be yourself. If someone offers you a cup of coffee, take it! You never know what opportunities could arise from that cup of coffee – and commissions in real estate are often quite large. If a cup of coffee leads to a commission, no matter how long after, you have done a good job of putting your personality out there.

Thanks for joining us again this week. Our mission is to help you think hard about your career in real estate and work on improving yourself. Stand back, take stock of yourself, and make yourself better constantly. The world is always changing, and it’s important to adapt to it by constantly improving. See you next week!


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