People have asked me what it takes to be a successful real estate agent. I found this survey from the national association of Realtors that shows what kind of skills real estate agents need to have. People skills the most important skills. I would put communication skills at the top and they also fall under people skills.
When something goes wrong on the job it is usually because of miscommunication or failure to communicate.
Self-motivation and problem-solving skills are at the top of the list too. As a broker, my problem-solving skills are needed for survival. Higher education is low on the list. I would argue that liberal arts majors may have an advantage as salespeople.
I don’t think most people understand how important financial acumen is. Most real estate agents work on a 100% commission basis. Paychecks can be large but going for a couple of months without a paycheck is fairly common. Money has to be managed, some needs to be set aside to pay taxes, and some needs to go back into business expenses.
Waking up unemployed every day does take some resilience and is higher up on the list than sales and marketing acumen.
Most real estate agents are career changers and start selling real estate later in life. Right now the number of real estate agents is rising. Maybe it looks easy.
Also see: What is a Realtor?