Real estate is a people business and the way you communicate has direct impact on your success.
You’re there to help people buy and sell their homes, and your attitude and communication skills can make that a good experience – or a forgettable one – for everyone.
Show genuine interest in your vendors and buyers by asking well-considered questions. Find out what they’re looking for – don’t just assume you know. Position yourself as a knowledgeable expert by treating your first meeting with them like an interview. Ask questions to establish specific details about the type of property they are looking for and the time period they think they will own or live in the property. Find out if they have worked with another agent and if they have been satisfied or dissatisfied with their services and why.
Avoid yes/no questions to encourage them to express their opinions and preferences. If you ask vendors “How do you feel about selling by auction?” the answer is likely to tell you exactly what you’re dealing with and what requires further discussion.
Communicating is not just about you telling others what you know or think – it relies on both parties listening to what the other is saying. How else are you going to have any idea what your vendor or buyer actually wants?
Pay attention and listen actively, responding to what is being said. Have your own input but stay on topic.
Find out how your buyers prefer to be contacted about property updates. Some will appreciate a phone call while others will be happy with a text message, email or property newsletter. Remember that your written communication skills are just as important as your verbal communication skills. If you are using a text message or email to communicate with buyers, ensure that all spelling, grammar, sentence structure and information is correct.
Avoid over-abbreviating and respond to messages in an appropriate time frame. Time is of the essence in real estate, and if you fail to keep both vendors and buyers updated in a timely manner they will lose trust in your abilities.
Solid body language
Selling a property can be a lot like dating – first impressions count. Your facial expressions, how you stand and what you do with your hands all play a part in the impression you give. Stand straight, look people in the eyes and relax; drop your shoulders and remember to breathe. If you’re not sure what to do with your hands, carry a clipboard or brochures – just don’t fold them across your chest as that blocks communication.
Likewise, learn to recognise other people’s body language. When people are receptive, they will generally look at you, and if they mirror your body language, the conversation is probably going well and it’s a sign they are interested in what you have to say. If they turn their body away or display closed gestures, you might need to rethink your strategy.
Stay in touch
Good communicators know how much and how often to keep in touch. Jean Gordon from Estate Agent Stars told realestate.com.au that she believes poor communication from real estate agents is one of the biggest frustrations for people who are buying or selling property.
“It’s so important that agents stay in constant contact with their clients and customers,” she said. “What seems like insignificant information to an agent, who’s been in the business for years, can be really important to clients who are new to the real estate game.”
A vendor wants to hear feedback and results, but maybe not every time you receive an enquiry. Buyers and investors are interested in new property listings, so note their criteria and alert them using their preferred medium when a suitable property comes up – they’ll appreciate your attention to detail.
Successful people are often those who make others feel good about themselves, so be responsive to your clients’ needs and questions. Treat everyone with respect and master communication skills that help you build rapport with people.