Career Preference Indicator

Is Real Estate Right for You?

To help you find out, the below Real Estate Career Preference Indicator™ will ask you 6 key questions. After you choose an answer, we provide feedback based on the advice of experienced real estate brokers and managers, and from research of high achievers by the late David McClellan, Professor of Behavioral Science at Harvard University.

The following format is more like an informal discussion than a rigid test, and isn’t intended to predict whether you will succeed in real estate sales. It can, however, give you valuable guidance about how you might best approach succeeding at real estate, and help you foresee challenges along the way.

1. When you face a difficult task or problem that is new to you, which action do you tend to take?

  • I seek the help of a trusted friend
  • I seek an expert for help
  • I work it out by myself
  • I’m not sure what I would do

If your tendency is to ask an expert for help, you have a preferred strategy for solving problems.
Research shows that people with a high need for achievement are more inclined to ask experts for help. They are driven toward their goals, and want the shortest path toward achieving them. There’s nothing wrong with asking inexperienced friends for advice, which can be a comfortable option. And there’s nothing wrong with working out solutions for yourself, because that can give you a sense of mastery. But when you are in a hurry to achieve a goal, an expert’s advice can save you valuable time and frustration. 

2. When working on a project, which would you prefer?

  • I like to be in control, or work alone
  • I like to collaborate as part of a team
High achieving real estate agents know that they need as much control as possible in order to properly service their clients and to reach their career goals. That doesn’t mean they want to dominate other people, but they do want control over tasks and outcomes. 

Some people prefer working in collaboration with others because they enjoy cultivating and maintaining close personal relationships. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you should ask yourself whether you would reach your professional goals quicker and easier by working on your own.

3. What usually prompts you to give advice to others?

  • I wait until advice is requested
  • I give advice when I think it is needed
In addition to being goal-setters, successful real estate agents see themselves as people helpers and advisors—even when help or advice isn’t asked for. 

Because real estate involves helping people, you'll find valuable counseling and sales techniques in our continuing education courses about buyer and seller counseling.

4. Which is the most exciting to you?

  • When the task’s success is almost a sure thing
  • When there’s a 50/50 chance for success
  • When the challenges seem almost insurmountable
High achievers are most energized by moderate risks that offer a 50/50 chance of success. Those odds imply that the person’s efforts and skills can tip the balance in his or her favor.

On the other hand, people who want no or little personal responsibility for outcomes will often either choose the sure thing, or will gamble on getting unlikely results. To succeed in real estate, you'll have to set goals with a moderate chance of success.

5. Which characterizes the way you think about completing projects?

  • I usually set specific deadlines
  • I prefer to let projects find their own best completion time
Research shows that high achievers set goals that are specific and measurable, and time-bound.

A goal without a deadline can cause motivation to falter. While it’s true that deadlines cause pressure, important goals need some self-imposed pressure to achieve them.

6. Which characterizes you when you start projects?

  • I usually start projects expecting a problem-free outcome
  • I usually start projects expecting problems before reaching my goal
Studies reveal that high achievers first decide whether a goal is achievable with effort, and then prepare for the possible challenges: Plan for the best, prepare for the worse. That's not negative thinking, it's strategic planning.

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