“You’ve got to use my agent as your realtor! He really knows what you’re looking for, but the best thing is that he is super easy to talk to. He really understands what I’m going through!”
“I had such an awful experience with my real estate agent. She just talked about herself and her family. I don’t think she heard anything we said.”
How do you become the realtor whose clients refer their friends to with enthusiasm? How do you position yourself as the agent who is in high demand? Conventional wisdom says the ability to move a home quickly and secure a good price for the home is paramount in attracting clients, but studies show that an agent’s ability to form trusting relationships and develop a personal connection are actually more important (Market Leader). Very simply, those skills are two of the characteristics that describe high emotional intelligence or emotional IQ.
The way someone chooses an agent in connection with buying or selling real estate is almost always based on emotion and ability to relate to others.
Not surprisingly, studies show that a person’s emotional IQ is the key to forming solid and meaningful relationships with others. Generally, a person who possesses a high emotional IQ is someone who can easily relate to others, is able to understand and interpret other’s feelings, use intuition, and empathize with others. Slow to anger and low impulsivity are also instrumental in a healthy emotional IQ. These characteristics are critical success factors for professionals who work closely with others in stressful situations.
Trust is key.
In addition to having high emotional intelligence, clients want to be able to trust the agents they deal with. Some agents may be inclined to play games, but clients are quick to pick up on this behavior. An attorney friend shared a story about her experience when she inquired about two different homes listed for sale. In both cases, the listing agent claimed that she needed to move quickly because “a doctor from out of state” was also looking at the house and close to making an offer. It actually became a standing joke between my friend and her agent that there would always be “an out-of-state doctor” looking at every house
they visited. Another friend, in this case a doctor, tells a similar story – but in her case, it was an out-of-state attorney who was also interested in the same property.
It should be obvious that agents who engage in such behavior will not be viewed as honest or trustworthy. This makes a huge difference, both in terms of a particular transaction and the likelihood that an interaction might result in future referrals. What tactics or strategies are you using that may come off as disingenuous, or worse? How likely is it that people you deal with don’t notice?
An emotional connection fosters trust.
Real estate transactions typically involve significant amounts of money. A party engaged in such a transaction, whether as buyer or seller, wants to believe that everyone involved, especially their agent, is reliable and trustworthy. In order to establish those parameters, an emotional bond is required. Is this a person who will be honest with me? Is this a person who will go to bat for me? Is this a person who will truly understand my and my family’s needs? Successful agents comprehend and embrace the objectives of their clients, even in circumstances where a client has difficulty articulating those objectives.
How can you secure that emotional connection?
First, and most importantly, you must listen – and then listen some more. People want to be heard. They have specific desires, both large and small, that are important to them. Acknowledge that you have heard what is important to them – and then acknowledge some more. You will be surprised how far this can take you in terms of establishing trust.
Next, read between the lines – and listen behind the words. A client may use words like safe, artsy, or kid-friendly which could mean one thing to you, but something different to the client. Dig deeper to understand exactly what this client is looking for – your willingness to spend the time and effort will set you apart from your competition.
Asking open ended questions will allow you to get a better understanding of your client’s desires and dislikes. The more the client talks, the more information you will have about what they truly want, and this will put you in a better position to satisfy, and hopefully exceed, their expectations. Clients want to be assured that
you understand them and their desires. Talking too much about yourself and your accomplishments can be a turn-off. Before telling a personal story, ask yourself: Does this story serve the purpose of furthering my relationship with this client?
A Good Fit
We all are aware of circumstances in which we meet someone and there is no connection. There isn’t any obvious ill will or conflict, but simply no connection. This can happen with business, as well as personal, interactions. It is a factor in how we choose our doctors, hairdressers, or realtors. Some clients are looking for an agent who has folders of stat sheets ready to distribute, while others are looking for someone who is more down-to-earth and folksy. Personality styles are not usually discussed openly, and because of that you may not know why you weren’t chosen to represent a particular client. Everyone brings different qualities to the table. If you have done your best to establish a good working relationship, but it’s still not working, then something intangible may be involved. Accept this and move on to find your next client. If you find yourself in the position of frequently losing clients for unexplained reasons, ask a trusted friend or co- worker for advice on how you could improve your approach.
Asking yourself what kind of energy you are putting out into the world can lead to insights that will help you achieve your objectives. If you would like to explore this, a quick test called an Energy Leadership Assessment (TM) can tell you how you react under stress and how you function in typical day-to-day circumstances. The results will help you understand how others see you, and how to develop an attitude for success, both personally and professionally. Coaching can also help you to gain awareness of how you show up and communicate with other professionals.
For more information, contact Arlene Schneider at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
her website at www.schneidercoachinggroup.com
Arlene holds a Master of Social Work degree and worked as a therapist for 14 years. She now has a life coaching practice in the Braesheights area.