Most realtors believe that real estate is a transactional business.
These agents are members of the struggling majority.
But real estate is not a transactional business; it’s a relationship-based business.
If you want more clients, you must maintain your existing relationships and find ways to interact with more people more often. And most importantly, you need the right skills to develop trust and rapport with others.
The most successful realtors project a harmonious balance between these four key attributes:
When you watch the best of the best, this balancing act seems completely natural, as if they were born this way. But these naturals are exceedingly rare. Most masters of relationship selling have studied human interaction and internalized the techniques they’ve learned until they became habitual and an integral part of their personality.
This isn’t “being fake.” On the contrary, it’s consciously becoming a better version of yourself.
What about you? Ask a close friend for their honest opinion. If you are not clearly projecting all four of the key attributes in your human interactions, consider how you could improve. Most agents are weak in at least one of the four.
When you are honest with yourself, and you work to improve your core competencies, you’ll be surprised how quickly people become drawn to you.
Translation: You’ll have all the business you want without ever chasing it.
Professionalism is not about how you dress or what kind of car you drive. I know plenty of snazzy-dressing, shiny-Beemer-driving agents who are otherwise entirely unprofessional.
Yes, your car should be shiny and clean, and no, you shouldn’t wear flip-flops to your listing appointment. But these things are superficial.
It’s a thousand times more important to consistently maintain a high level of integrity and the burning desire to deliver outstanding results. Having high integrity and being true to your values isn’t always easy, but it’s essential if you want to develop a reputation as a trusted expert. That’s my definition of a true professional.
But how do you achieve this? Professionals place high importance on improving their knowledge and skills to consistently deliver exceptional results. Think about it. Isn’t this the reason why we seek advice from a professional? For their expertise?
If you adopt this mindset, you’ll be paying cash for that new BMW before you know it, rather than stretching your finances to pay a lease you can’t afford merely to give the illusion you’re a professional.
The more knowledge you gain and skills you develop, the more confidence you will naturally exude. However, even if you feel very confident, you must determine if that confidence is coming through in your voice. Ask a close friend for feedback.
Be careful not to overdo it — people are attracted to quiet but firm confidence — not boastfulness.
Here are a few tips to increase your confidence level:
- Always make steady eye contact.
- Listen to learn twice as much as you speak.
- State your opinions with conviction (to do this with sincerity, you must thoroughly understand your craft).
- Prepare and practice. For example, if you’ve got a newly developed listing presentation and haven’t practiced it thoroughly, you’ll probably not sound very confident.
I’m a proponent of the Deep Practice method:
- Practice small chunks at a time. For instance, rather than practicing your entire listing presentation all at once, just practice one segment;
- Repetition, repetition, repetition. Do it quickly, do it slowly, do it differently. But keep repeating the action.
Whenever you are in situations where you’re talking to people, whether on the phone or face-to-face, you want to come across as a friendly person, especially with Amiable and Expressive communication styles (half the population).
(Read more about communication styles here: Why certain people drive you crazy)
This also applies to email messages. Don’t overdo this but sprinkle some friendly into your email messaging, especially near the beginning of your relationship.
When I say, “Don’t overdo it,” I mean be aware of who you’re talking to. Many people do not react well to extremely boisterous overly-friendly people. They see it as fake and off-putting.
That said, your natural friendliness is a key advantage, so use it, but if you want more success, you need to improve the other three attributes as well and constantly seek out that harmonious balance.
By the way, I think of myself as a naturally friendly person, but I’ve been told by friends that I sometimes come across as grumpy and disinterested. This feedback has helped me have better self-awareness, so I’m more conscious about this part of my persona in both work-related and social situations.
Self-awareness is the key to self-improvement. So, ask for feedback, be conscious of your delivery, and make adjustments as necessary.
When you study sales techniques, being “yourself” is not discussed much, but it is highly effective in a relationship-based business, such as real estate. You should always look for ways to better connect with your prospects and clients.
This is why I hate scripts (except when memorizing the critical points of a presentation). No matter how smooth you think you are, your prospects can feel when you’re reciting from a script.
Being genuine can’t be faked. If you’re dead honest and your clients know you have their best interests at heart, and you thoroughly understand your craft, why do you need a script for anything?
It’s much more fun and satisfying to be yourself and speak to your clients in the same way as you would a friend.
In case you’ve never heard this before: People do not particularly like salespeople.
Be a friendly, professional, confident, authentic provider of valuable information and expertise.
After Ted Greenhough’s first year as a Realtor, he earned between $590,000-$865,000 every year for 12 consecutive years, all as an individual agent, without ever once making a cold call, reciting a canned script or doing any other “salesy” stuff. Now he runs Agent Skills, an online learning program for agents across North America.