Real estate agents who earn $100,000 or more a year seem to be of a different breed than the rest of the pack, according to a study by  InmanNext, a website operated by Inman News.

Surveying 1,300 real estate agents who earn at least $100,000 a year, the study found that these agents tend to close more deals. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said they closed 20 or more transactions in a year. Compare that to about half of those who earn $30,000 to $50,000 and say they closed fewer than ten deals.

These high earners work longer hours. Forty-two percent reveal that they work between 40-50 hours a week; 41 percent responded that they work more than 50 hours a week. They also spend more on marketing and technology. Sixty-three percent said they spent $5,000 or more per year on marketing. More than half said they spend more than $2,500 or more on technology every year; a quarter of them spend $5,000 or more.

There are ways to join the six-figure club once you set your mind to it. Here’s a brief checklist to get you started:

Set a goal
Nothing gives you more direction than a goal to accomplish. Instead of wishing and hoping for the best — and to simply work harder — write down a specific number that you want to achieve and then work backwards: figure out how you can achieve that goal.

Deposit your commissions in a separate business account
When you work solely on commission, this is difficult to do, but this process helps you keep track of exactly how much commission you are earning, week to week, month to month, and quarter to quarter.  If you deposit your commissions into a traditional checking account, your total commission amounts will become hazy as automatic deductions and service charges happen. By setting up a separate business account for your commissions, you can set money aside for taxes, living expenses and savings. This way, you’ll easily see how much more you’ll need to earn in-order to stay ahead of the eight ball.

Put closure on each commission
When you’re starting out, it may seem impossible to think that you would ever miss a commission check. However, as your career grows and you become busier, it’s easy to miss a check coming your way. Also, you may have to give each check a second look (with a calculator) and make sure any splits haven’t been forgotten or brokerage/marketing fees weren’t made in error. Set up a chart on your computer to keep track of every commission you’re expecting, and when (and how much, to the penny).

Put a motivator in front of you
Sometimes a visual aid can trigger a whole lot of motivation. If you’re working harder to afford a trip for the family, place a souvenir on your desk that will remind you of your vacation destination. Sometimes, even your first commission check tacked to a bulletin board could be enough motivation for you to work hard to earn more.

Get competitive
If you have a friend in the business, see if they would be willing to compete with you to achieve your commission goal. Sometimes a little friendly competition is the fire that needs to be lit underneath you.

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