Did you know real estate agents can be divided into 4 main categories or archetypes? Knowing your agent archetype may help you understand why certain types of prospecting and business practices resonate with you, while others just don’t seem to fit.
In many brokerages, agents are trained to engage in a “one size fits all” approach to real estate sales. Some brokerages take a highly transactional and methodical approach to prospecting (“make those calls”), while others focus heavily on building your Sphere of Influence (“Calls, Notes and Pop By’s”). Many agents find themselves being coached to engage in lead generation and prospecting activities that just don’t feel natural. As a result, they experience burnout or a loss of passion for the business.
The four agent archetypes are not just a tool to help you better understand what forms of prospecting and lead generation are a natural fit for your approach to real estate sales, but will also help you gain better traction on the tools and systems you will need to support your unique approach to real estate sales.
How Does Your Agent Archetype Affect Your Business?
To understand the four archetypes, we first need to set the backdrop for the two major styles of sales across the following spectrums.
Warm vs. Cold Leads
Agents tend to gravitate to one side or the other of the “Warm Vs. Cold” spectrum. For some, engaging and working with people within their Sphere of Influence is intuitive and natural (warm leads). For others, it is easier to make a call to a perfect stranger to discuss buying or selling real estate (cold leads).
When you do business, do you prefer to sell to people you already know or to strangers outside of your immediate circle?
Direct vs. Indirect Selling
Sales communication varies based on our personalities and communication styles.
People who take a direct sales approach prefer direct contact in a one-on-one context. Direct sellers aren’t afraid to pick up the phone or talk to someone in-person. Extraverts who like to take an outbound approach to sales tend to employ direct selling strategies.
An indirect sales approach focuses more on inbound opportunities, such as waiting for someone to reach out for help. Indirect sellers are more comfortable answering questions and fielding inquiries than they are initiating contact. Introverts who like to take an inbound approach to sales tend to use indirect selling strategies.
What Kind of Agent Are You?
These are four main agent archetypes:
Of course, none of us are restricted to just one type. We all pull tools and strategies from each to suit different deals. But most agents can identify one archetype they most relate to and which strategies best suit them.
The 4 Agent Archetypes
In this guide, you’ll find a breakdown of each agent archetype, their strengths and weaknesses, the best tools and systems for them and the challenges each one faces. Once you know your archetype, you’ll understand the sales strategy, marketing tactics, and training that work specifically for you.
1. The Prospector
The Prospector lives in the direct selling/cold leads area. These agents are comfortable reaching out to strangers and using scripts and their strong sales and closing skills to make deals. They make use of mailing campaigns in specific areas or even go knocking on doors in a neighborhood. Overall, Prospectors are strong face-to-face converters who aren’t afraid to put themselves out there.
The Prospector is likely to have a proactive and systemic approach to lead generation. This includes:
- For Sale By Owner (FSBO) campaigns
- Expired listing campaigns
- Geographic farming
- Door knocking
- Directly calling people in their networks e to ask if they are planning to move.
A Prospector needs a system that identifies and tracks leads. This CRM also needs to plan, manage and track outbound efforts, such as mailing and FSBO campaigns. Prospectors also typically require extensive script training to perfect their dialogue and sales conversations.
A Prospector only needs a basic website to highlight their experience and metrics. A minimal budget is all that’s required for a Prospector to execute their preferred sales tactics. In fact, a Prospector is likely to consider time and effort a more essential investment than money as they chase opportunities.
Prospectors are restricted by time and effort– they can only generate so many leads in one neighborhood or in one day of door knocking. This can sometimes result in a shortage of leads if the Prospector has limited time or lack of new areas to canvass.
2. The Converter
The Converter lives in the indirect selling/cold leads area. These agents prefer to work with people outside of their immediate circle, but take an inbound approach to selling. They’re skilled at consistent follow-ups, patiently incubate their leads and convert clients through indirect channels, such as email or text campaigns. Converters are adept at using lead capture platforms and open houses to generate clients.
Converters need a source of leads they can depend on because they are less likely than a Prospector to go out and find business. Remember, they’re incubators! These agents thrive with:
- Open houses
- Online third-party sites, like Zillow
- Agent lead sites
- Other agents
Converters need sophisticated CRM platforms that are capable of deploying text and email campaigns, tracking the online activity of hot leads, building long-term follow-up plans and incubation for leads for up to a year or more.
A Converter needs a lead capture website with a good search function and multiple capture points. They may also use social media as a lead generation source (rather than for branding like the Marketer). Converters must be tech-savvy enough to skillfully leverage online platforms and their CRM.
Converters need to have the budget to invest in hard advertising, lead generation platforms and a good CRM that will manage their incubation efforts. They are also likely to become dependent on online third-party platforms which means they can lack control in the volume of their lead generation.
3. The Networker
The Networker lives in the direct selling/warm leads area. These agents excel at connecting with people and building relationships. They use everyday spaces, such as their kids’ sporting activities or church groups, to build their networks and gain referrals. Networkers naturally connect with people and love using direct communication to build their spheres of influence.
A Networker engages in active outbound communication to market themselves to friends and family, stay connected and try to win referrals. These agents should take the time to plan:
- Daily time for calls
- Personal notes
- Lunches and coffee dates
- Several client appreciation parties each year.
A Networker only needs a basic CRM to track relationships and manage communications, mailings to their network and keep track of valuable personal information, such as birthdays and anniversaries.
A Networker needs a basic personality website that shows testimonials from past clients and highlights the agent by telling a story about their love for their clients. Networkers don’t need a big budget for lead generation but should be prepared to budget for social activities, such as client lunches, parties and monthly mailing campaigns. Networkers are “plugged in” and will likely use social media to tell their story and build their identities.
Networkers may face difficulty in scaling their efforts as their networks grow exponentially. It takes time and effort to keep track of all those people! They may also fall into a comfort zone trap– only doing what they’re comfortable with and only interacting with people they already know.
4. The Marketer
The Marketer lives in the indirect selling/warm leads area. These agents like to build their networks and engage with their spheres of influence through branding and marketing. They have a natural affinity for reaching people through social media, video marketing and even traditional advertising, such as billboards and print publications.
The Marketer is similar to the Networker in that they both thrive on repeat and referral business from friends, family and past clients. But Marketers have a knack for packaging and then marketing their unique brands to encourage potential clients to reach out to them directly. They may use:
- Listing marketing plans
- Branding apps
- Social media
A Marketer should use a basic CRM and invest more of their budget in video, design and social media tools instead. These are more useful to Marketers who are building their brands as a means of lead generation.
A Marketer should have a customized website featuring their unique story, client marketing strategies and consumer-focused content, such as a blog or market reports. They need a healthy budget to invest in social media ads, video marketing and design platforms in order to create assets- or pay to outsource it to a freelancer or agency.
Marketers need to be able to deliver expert knowledge in all of their content and communications. They should be willing to invest a significant amount of their budget, time and effort in their branding. Marketers will also face the challenge of building an audience– anyone who uses social media knows it takes time and consistent posting to build a brand!
We don’t all have to approach real estate the same way.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to real estate. Knowing your agent archetype can make a significant difference in the way you do business. Our strengths and weaknesses translate into the style of business and lead generation plan we all thrive with as agents.
Now that you’ve read about the four agent archetypes, which one do you think you are? Think about which lead generation strategies and tools most resonated with you. Are you using that archetype’s systems, skills and tactics now? If so, what do you find most natural about them? If you’re not using your archetype’s lead generation strategies, what is the difference between them and what you’re using now?
We believe there’s a better way to do real estate- a way that fits your unique abilities and personality. We’re passionate about working with agents to discover their archetypes so they can engage in lead generation that feels natural and results in a better business that works for them. If the agent archetype concept resonates with you, we’re here to discuss it further.
Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.