Communication leads everything that you do as a real estate agent, whether you’re explaining the buying process to a first-time homebuyer, negotiating an offer for a seller, or marketing to prospects via social media, your website or your blog. Here are six ways real estate agents can learn to master great communication skills.
1. Consider your body language. Picture this: You’re in the middle of negotiating the sale of a home, and you’re representing the sellers. You tell the buyer’s agent that your clients are open to discussing the offer, but your arms are crossed and you haven’t made eye contact yet. You might be saying that you two can move this deal to the closing table, but your body language is saying otherwise. Remember, you’re constantly communicating, even when you’re not talking.
2. Share your stories and experiences. When you share stories and experiences with your clients, you’re engaging them and building trust. You’re letting them know you’ve “been there, done that” and have the experience and knowledge to guide them through that same experience. You’re also engaging them and bringing them into the conversation.
3. Listen, repeat, and question. Being a good listener is key to communication. Ask questions and paraphrase what the other person has just said. This shows you’re interested in what they have to say and are paying attention. It also helps clarify any points that you may have misunderstood.
4. Don’t be distracted. Put away the cell phone, stop answering emails and focus on the conversation that you’re having. In today’s technology-focused society, this is a common pitfall that real estate agents should avoid. It can be hard to step away from your devices, but effective communication in a face-to-face setting depends on it.
5. Be brief and specific. Keep your emails short and sweet without leaving anything out. Be as concise and specific as possible. That goes for oral communication, too.
6. Make eye contact. Good eye contact is another important skill real estate agents should learn. It can feel a bit strange to look people directly in the eye. But Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” cites several studies that show making eye contact conveys truth and honor. In some cases, over-use of eye contact can unsettle the other person. Do make direct eye contact now and then, but don’t take it too far.
7. Identify the best mode of communication for each client. You may prefer to use email to communicate with clients, but your client may prefer a phone call instead. At the start of your client-agent relationship, ask the client their preferred mode of communication: phone, texts, emails or in-person meetings.
Practice Makes Perfect
The more practice new real estate agents get working with buyers, sellers, real estate affiliates and others, the easier it becomes to communicate effectively. Good communication takes practice, but it’s well worth the effort. Improving your communication skills will not only improve your real estate career, but also your life.
McKissock Learning is the nation’s premier online real estate school, providing continuing education courses and professional development to hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country. As part of the Colibri Real Estate family of premier education brands, McKissock Learning, along with its sister schools Real Estate Express, Superior School of Real Estate, Allied Schools, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Gold Coast Schools, The Rockwell Institute and Hondros Education Group, helps real estate professionals achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their real estate career. Learn more at mckissock.com/real-estate.