How to handle a toxic work environment. A Real Estate Agents Guide

Aug 15, 2022

How to handle a toxic work environment. A Real Estate Agents Guide

Is your work and sales environment a major distraction to success or does it contain the key ingredients to form a powerful recipe to build a successful and financially abundant real estate sales career?

In today’s post we’ll take a deep dive into why your environment is crucial to your success. We’ll also highlight what constitutes a positive sales environment, and how to recognise a toxic work environment. 

We’ll cover what action steps you can take to ensure you foster an empowered positive attitude and how to proactively and strategically choose the right work and sales environment to ensure you build a financially abundant and successful real estate sales career.

You are a product of your environment. So, choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyse your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success – or are they holding you back?

— W. Clement Stone

William Clement Stone was a prominent businessman, philanthropist, and self-help book author. Mr. Stone developed his lifelong philosophy of Positive Mental Attitude (PMA), which he viewed as the cornerstone of his success. He believed in the power of optimism and that even in adversity lay seeds of success.

I speak often about the amazing ability of salespeople to read the undercurrent of energy in any conversation or deal, for some of us the ability to read this undercurrent is natural, its inherent within us, and for other salespeople, it is a skill that has been learned and improved as the sales ability develops.

This ability to read the undercurrent in any sales conversation supports us, in our real estate sales role, to glean what is been held back in the conversation, or, to understand better what is being implied but not said.

We read this under current through watching a person’s body language, noticing points in their conversation which are being emphasised or ignored, we read the undercurrent by listening to the tone and feeling the energy of the conversation.

As we become more practiced in the art of reading the undercurrent of a sales negotiation, we will begin to do it without conscious realization of what it is we are doing, it just becomes a natural part of our sales ability and process

The flip side of this important super ability which develops in all salespeople, is that at times we can become swamped by an ocean of negative energy we are sensing in sales dynamics, such as the sales dynamics of a sales environment or team.

This feeling of being overrun by negative energy can form a massive distraction to building a successful, financially abundant and fulfilling role in real estate sales.  

In our role as a real estate agent, and in fact in the sales world in general, we as sales people, hear a lot of No’s , ‘’no I don’t want to list my property for sale with you, I gave it to the other agent’’, ‘’No, I am not willing to pay your commission rate’’, ‘’No, I am not willing to pay marketing funds for the listing’’, ‘’No, you can not market to that marketplace it belongs to another agent’’ and so on.

Being able to hear No and to let it wash off you just like water off a duck’s back is a skill every salesperson needs! However, every now and again, as we all know, this negative undercurrent gets the better of us and we get washed away with it! We then have to fight and push and pull ourselves out of the undercurrent of negative self-talk and procrastination back into the positive flow of sales life.

It takes absolute strength and courage to pull yourself back into that positive flow and to yet again embrace the willingness to strive for success

In acknowledgment of this strength and courage, in today’s post we will focus on the importance of the environment in which you carry out the business of real estate sales. We will look at how to ensure your environment is an ocean of opportunity that harbours a positive undercurrent of empowerment, success, and strong leadership, rather than ocean swelling with a negative undercurrent that will certainly threaten to sink you and your sales career


Your environment is the surroundings or conditions in which you operate your real estate business.

That can be within in agency/office/brokerage workplace, it can be a home office where you work solo, or as part of a hubby and wife team, or you could be part of an online real estate business model.

The key elements of a positive sales environment are as follows:

  • Sales Team Leadership captained by an achieved and active salesperson who understands the sales process of the team
  • Positively enforced accountability
  • Target driven healthy competition
  • An energy of team comradeship
  • The opportunity for continual learning and development
  • Fair compensation
  • The general day-to-day hum of office communications should have an energy of focus, empowerment, and supportive motivational speak.
  • In general, this type of sales environment will have a low sale-rep turnover.


In comparison, the key elements of a toxic sales environment are as follows:

  • Lacking Sales Leadership, this could also manifest as the wrong department head running the sales team, for example head of accounts being the overruling head of sales. Lacking Leadership could also look like a disconnected sales manager who may set unattainable goals, lack in his/her offering of sales support to the sales team and in the day-to-day sales structure in the work environment.
  • Poor team communication from sales management and amongst the sales team dynamic.
  • A lone wolf or prima Dona among the pack, this will manifest as the top performing rep, not participating within the sales team activities or communications
  • Accepting the unacceptable, for example bad team behaviour, office belittling and gossiping, consistent poor sales performance and attitude

This type of toxic sales environment and sales attitude will cause a swell of negative energy and emotion that can drown the brightest of sales starlings

However, in the spirit of positively enforced accountability its vital when discussing the importance of the right sales environment to ensure success in your real estate sales career, that we also point out the significance of your attitude to your environment. So, lets now look at the effect of a bad attitude and the power of fostering a good personal attitude on your work environment and real estate sales success.

I read a quote while I was preparing todays post which sums up my thoughts on a bad attitude perfectly, the quote reads, a bad attitude is like a flat tyre, you can’t get very far until you change it!

The quote to me is simple and true!

The reason I bring the bad attitude up in today’s post is, because, we are sales people, and part of our reality is we lose deals we have been working hard on for months, we lose commissions unexpectedly, and that can cause us some days to have a real bad attitude  - and in my eyes that’s ok, we have to deal with the swell of emotion and negative undercurrent that is flowing through us when these things happen. However, to ever be successful in any type of sales, including, real estate sales, we must be able to swim our way out of that under current back into positive mental attitude sooner rather than later.

The same can be said for taking responsibility for your attitude towards your work and sales environment.

Ask yourself regularly, are you contributing to your work and sales environment with a positive attitude? Are you looking at your real estate sales opportunities, career, and work environment through a positive lens? Are you being accountable for how positive you feel in your role?

Lets first look at how your positive attitude can bring forth the environment and experience that will excel your real estate sales success, and then in the following section of today’s post, we’ll run through how even with the most positive attitude on the planet, if you still feel the life is being sucked from your soul within your work and sales environment, what action steps you can take to make an empowered, considered and strategic move to a better sales environment.


Take these steps, to improve and engage your positive and willing attitude, to enhance your day-to-day work and sales environment experience

  1. Deal with lacking sales management by:
  • Hiring a sales coach and work with them regularly to develop your sales ability and skills as well as leveraging your sales coach as your accountability partner
  • Read or listen to books on selling, selling techniques, sales strategy, sales success
  • Follow YouTube channels and podcasts of other successful real estate agents who share their knowledge and love of the game on a weekly basis.
  1. Find and leverage an accountability partner:

Getting out of bed at 6am to hit the gym is far easier to do when you have agreed to meet your gym accountability partner there. Having an accountability partner makes you want to do better, often it forces you to do better, because you’ve committed yourself to another who also wants to do better, be better, be all they can be. An accountability partner can be useful for hitting prospecting targets, commission targets, sales targets.

You may find a team mate in your office or sales team who is the perfect accountability partner, or it could be a friend who has a sales role with another company or even industry, you could also find one through real estate sales Facebook groups, or check out sites such as  and again another option is to lean into the services of a sales coach and have them work as your sales accountability partner

Use your accountability partner to help you foster the energy of healthy competition by committing to your sales targets with the accountability partner as your referee. And again, this is also something you can do with one-to-one sales coaching

  1. The biggest challenge to maintaining a positive attitude towards your real estate sales success is getting caught up in office politics, office gossiping, the general bad attitude of the office team. And although I can give you some positive tools here, such as not engaging in this dynamic or conversation in the office, and popping on high vibe podcasts in your earphones to drown out the background noise of the office … if the general bad attitude of the office or your team mates is overwhelming, to the point it simply grates against you to be there, then it may be the time to have that tough conversation with yourself as to the fact it may be time to change teams and offices altogether.

But is jumping ship the right move? What are the pros and cons?

Before we dive down this rabbit hole, let me first clarify, I am not an advocate for jumping ship too often in your real estate sales career, for 2 main reasons,

Firstly, its expensive to rebrand and secondly it looks sloppy out in the marketplace.

And I suppose the other important call out is, if its actually your attitude that is causing your own upset, then the problem will follow you to the next office or team you join.

However, if you have taken positive steps to consistently elevate your attitude and it still feels like your work environment is sucking the soul from your body, then my friend, making the move is the right choice.

An unhappy or toxic sales work environment is simply a major distraction to achieving real estate success!

The simple truth is the right sales environment paired with a willing and positive attitude is a powerful recipe for success.

If you feel you have reached the point where you’re ready to make that move, I suggest the following plan of attack

  1. Do not just jump to the next ship due to a reaction to your current situation. Be strategic in your move, take your time and assess your options.

Consider the key elements of a positive sales environment.

Then take your time and research the environment opportunities available to you in your marketplace.

It will be far more advantageous to your real estate career and success to relieve your frustrations with your current workplace by adopting the positive self-help habits covered in today’s post, while seeking employment or engagement opportunities with offices/brokerage or agencies that foster a sales environment which includes the following

  • Sales Team Leadership captained by an achieved and in the best case scenario active salesperson who understands the sales process of the team
  • Positively enforced accountability
  • Target driven healthy competition
  • An energy of team comradeship
  • The opportunity for continual learning and development
  • Fair compensation
  • The general day-to-day hum of office communications should have an energy of focus, empowerment, and supportive motivational speak.
  • In general, this type of sales environment will have a low sale-rep turnover.

To some up today’s post, yes it can be very true that we are products of our environment, however, in the words of character Jack Nicholson, from the movie ‘departed’ … ‘I don’t want to be a product of my environment; I want my environment to be a product of me’

Team, linked to today’s post you will find a link to my calendar and how to book a free 15-minute strategy call directly with me.

The strategy calls are free and therefore limited. In the strategy call we will run through where you’re at in developing a successful, fulfilling and financially abundant real estate sales career.

We will run through whether one of my online-courses or engaging me as your sales coach, sales manager or accountability partner is the right move for you.

Linked to today’s post you will also find a link to my coaching services and the costs associated.

I look forward to connecting with you one-to-one with you via zoom.