Improve Your Social Skills; Improve Your Real Estate Career- By: M Shane
While knowledge of real estate, your market and the laws governing your area is of prime importance in your career as a real estate agent, social skills are just as valuable when it comes to attracting and retaining clients and encouraging good relationships with colleagues. Your ability to build a rapport with your clients and colleagues will have a material effect on your professional life.
Clients are looking for someone knowledgeable about their real estate transaction; they don’t want someone who does not appear to listen to them or who they think is talking down to them. Practice effective listening behavior – paying attention, acknowledging what they are saying and giving feedback that proves that you have been hearing and digesting what they are saying. Colleagues, too, deserve this behavior, as they are important people to your business. Listening carefully to colleagues can net you valuable information and leave a good impression that may net you referrals one day.
Showing empathy for a clients’ or colleagues’ situation is a great way to emphasize that you are an ally. Taking the time to say a sincere “I’m sorry to hear that” or a “Wow, that’s great!” can go a long way to making them feel that you care about them and their concerns. While you may have seen this particular real estate situation four dozen times already, it’s important to realize that to your clients, it may be completely new and a little (or a lot) scary. Treating their concerns as important and reasonable will go a long way to assuage their fears and strengthen their confidence in you.
Building rapport through body language can be easy if you pay attention to what your client is saying and how they are reacting physically to you and their surroundings. Imitate their rhythms of speech and mirror their body language. Subtlety is the key; don’t do this so often that your actions seem forced or mocking. Make casual eye contact with them as they or you are speaking.
One of the best things you can do to further your social skills with clients is to watch a successful agent interact with their clients, colleagues and leads. Ask to shadow them for a day or two to watch what they do and how they do it. No doubt, you will pick up on things that even they miss as they interact with people in the course of their work.
Social skills can take some time to acquire and apply successfully, but they are imperative for a successful real estate career. Listening, empathizing, building rapport and being open to what your colleagues can teach you will take you far in your career and, indeed, in your life.
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