The Real Reason 80% of REALTORS® Are Stuck: Breaking Free From the Mid-Career Plateau

In the competitive world of real estate, many of us find ourselves stuck in a particular phase of our careers. Known as the mid-career plateau, this stage sees agents closing between $5.1 million and $15 million in annual production. Despite being a significant achievement, the harsh reality is that 80% of real estate agents are stuck here, struggling to break through to the next level. Understanding the roadblocks and knowing how to overcome them is essential for those of us who want to advance our careers.

The mid-career divide: Upper and lower strata

Just like America’s middle class, mid-career agents can be divided into two groups: Upper Strata ($12-$14 million) and Lower Strata. Despite our proximity to higher success, many Upper Strata agents find it challenging to break the $15 million barrier. This hurdle often stems from a combination of mental and practical roadblocks that prevent us from advancing.

The indecisive agent: A common roadblock

Mid-career agents are often characterized by our constant questioning. We frequently ask ourselves and others, “Should I do this?” or “Should I spend money on that?” This indecisiveness can be paralyzing. For example, we may hesitate to hire an assistant or invest in advertising, even when advised to do so. This reluctance stems from a fear of making mistakes and a belief that we can’t afford to spend money unwisely.

The path to progress: Strategic investments

To break free from the mid-career plateau, we must be willing to invest in our businesses. This means spending money on essential resources, like hiring an assistant, to maintain a high level of customer service. An assistant can help manage the administrative tasks that often bog us down, allowing us to focus on income-producing activities like lead generation and client acquisition.

The crucial hire: An assistant

One of the most important steps we can take to move beyond the mid-career plateau is hiring an assistant. This investment can significantly impact our business, as evidenced by my own experience of advancing within 12 months of hiring the right assistant. An assistant not only takes on administrative tasks but also becomes a vested partner in our success, allowing us to focus on growth.

The benefits of delegation

Delegating tasks to an assistant or a buyer’s agent frees up our time and mental capacity. This allows us to focus on high-value activities and work with our preferred clients. By offloading less enjoyable tasks, we can improve our overall happiness and well-being, which in turn enhances our productivity and business growth.


Ultimately, we must decide if we want to advance beyond the mid-career plateau. Less than 10% of real estate agents reach the next stage, making it a significant milestone. To achieve this, we must be willing to invest in ourselves and our businesses. 

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