You could take every real estate license school and sign up for every type of real estate training you can get your hands on, but no matter how much training you have, nothing compares to the real world. Are you willing to do what it takes to become a top producing real estate agent?
In this article, I’d like to discuss the 6 biggest skills that top producing real estate agents have. Truth be told, every top producing real estate agent has their own unique formula of success. If you want to become a top producing real estate agent, you shouldn’t just try to copy someone else. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, so no doubt, you’re own formula for success will be totally unique to you.
However, it still makes sense to look at current top producing real estate agents and find common themes, attitudes, and skills that help propel them into the top 1% of all real estate agents in the country.
Some of the skills on this list will seem simple and obvious, but once again, in the real world, things don’t always go as planned.
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Back when I was an inside sales rep (glorified telemarketer), they hammered this line into us to the point where I think I said it in my sleep. That saying is this…
“People like to do business with people they like.”
As cheesy as this is, and as much as I hated hearing it on a daily basis at that awful job, it’s actually very true. People really do like to do business with people they like. Top producing real estate agents are able to adapt easily.
Say, for example, you are dealing with a very conservative and polite family. You probably wouldn’t use cuss words around them. You would match your personality to theirs and be as polite, if not more polite than they are. Think of who their best friend would be like, then become that person (or at least exhibit that type of personality). If a home has a really nice backyard, you might say something like, “this backyard is just beautiful, isn’t it?”
On the other hand, maybe a client later that day is a bit rough around the edges, makes dirty and even offensive jokes, and every other word out of his or her mouth is the F-bomb. In that case, you would become the opposite personality as you were earlier that day. When showing off that same backyard, you might say something like, “can you believe this fucking backyard?!” and it could be completely appropriate.
Now, I’m not recommending you go out there and act unprofessional, but hopefully, you get my drift. If dropping the F-bomb means your client feels a bond and increased trust with you, by all means, do it.
One of the great aspects of becoming a real estate agent is being able to work with all walks of life and make everyone’s dream of home ownership come true, no matter what type of unique personality they have. Get into it, and take on those personas yourself.
And finally, like it or not, social media and the internet has drastically changed the World and how connecting with real estate clients works. Make yourself available not just through phone and email, but on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and just about any other social media network you can think of. So many agents miss out on so many sales not realizing that receiving messages on social media is a legitimate way that people connect.
Any professional and top producing real estate agent will exhibit the following very basic, yet very important interpersonal skills:
Returning phone calls quickly – The number of real estate agents that take days to return someone’s call is astonishing. Taking a long time to return a call is a sure way to frustrate people, even if they’re nice about it later after you apologize. “Oh, it’s ok, I understand!” No, they don’t. They’re just avoiding confrontation and actually were peeved by it.
Don’t put potential clients on hold for any longer than about 60 seconds – Being on hold for a minute feels like 5 minutes. This is another surefire way to frustrate potential clients. Leaving someone on hold for longer than about a minute says “I have more important things to deal with than you.” If you must take care of something, apologize and tell them you will call them back in “x” number of minutes.
Update your clients on both good and bad news – Have you ever heard the expression “no news is good news”? Yeah, well, that doesn’t apply in real estate. Be completely open, transparent, and honest with your clients. Don’t only share the good stuff, keep them informed of what’s going on. Your clients should never have to call you for an update. I recommend updating your clients at least once per week.
Listen, and repeat it back – So many real estate agents seem to want to do all the talking. You should listen to your clients as much as possible without making it awkward. Don’t interrupt. Instead, take notes, be as interested as you can, and ask follow up questions. At the end of your meeting or discussion, repeat back the main points you covered and make sure there are no misunderstandings. This really shows that you care, and helps to avoid miscommunication.
Under promise, over deliver – One of the biggest mistakes new real estate agents make is that they over-promise what they can do in order to gain a client. When they ultimately under-deliver, clients are left feeling bamboozled. Top producing real estate agents only make promises they know they can keep, and usually under promise. That way, when all is said and done, clients feel they got even more than expected and are happy to recommend you to others.
If you don’t know the answer, say you don’t know the answer – Even top producing real estate agents need to research and don’t know everything. A sure way to make a client unhappy and lose their trust is to lie or give incorrect answers to questions they have. If you don’t know the answer, graciously say you don’t know but will research and get back to them. The, actually research and get back to them!
Everyone makes mistakes. Own yours – Mark my words, you WILL Make mistakes as a real estate agent. We all do. Some of the mistakes can be pretty embarrassing, and some of them you might even be able to hide from your clients. Don’t do it. Come clean immediately. If something goes wrong, apologize and fix the mistake.
Speak in layman’s terms – Real estate agents sometimes forget that everyday people don’t really know the jargon that goes along with the real estate industry. Use laymen’s terms as much as you can and make sure if you use an industry term, your clients are aware of what it means.
Adapt to your customer’s needs – Patience is a virtue, and in real estate, patience is also an eventual commission. Clients will often have an idea in their head about the type of home they want, but as you show them properties, that idea will begin to change. This can get frustrating for new real estate agents, but it’s a totally normal aspect of the home buying process.
Sorry, introverts, but a career in real estate really is best suited for the extroverted ones. Whether you’re trying to gain new clients, learn from others, or cultivate professional relationships, networking is a crucial skill for top producing real estate agents to have.
Many top producing real estate agents are a part of organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, Business Networking International (BNI), etc. They also go to local workshops, networking events, and sometimes travel great distances to attend conferences.
A great place to network is through local meet and greet events with lots of different local business owners. You can find these events on places like Meetup.com or through local small business organizations such as the small business bureau. These events are fantastic for making connections with business owners that can provide you with a wide array of services that you may need in the future.
Another way top producing real estate agents network is by volunteering for local charities, fundraisers, or community events. When you give back to your community, people take notice.
Even if you’re the best at networking, most top producing real estate agents also dedicate a lot of time and effort into marketing and advertising. Many people becoming a real estate agent simply don’t realize how much marketing and advertising is involved and begin to panic once they find out.
The good news is, real estate advertising is actually fairly simple. There are loads and loads of free advertising templates for real estate agents. Just fill in the blanks, and you can submit your ads to any number of places. Newspapers, placards on golf carts, billboards, advertising benches, magazines, etc.
Of course, don’t forget about online resources as well. Many real estate agents don’t like how things have gone online, but learning how to advertise online to targeted clients on sites like Facebook and Google Advertising is growing in importance.
You should also continue to use the “old tried and true” advertising methods as well, such as using yard signs, take-one boxes, flyers on public bulletin boards, etc.
Negotiating is not the favorite aspect for most people, whether you’re a real estate agent or someone buying or selling a home. Like it or not, this is an aspect of real estate that is not going to go away anytime soon.
Negotiating is also one of the toughest aspects of real estate to learn. Many top producing real estate agents have dedicated a ton of time to learn this skill. Others were just seemingly born to be good negotiators.
There are many, many fantastic books out there that can teach you negotiating skills. The skill of negotiating really hasn’t changed in 100 years, so even if you find a book that is 50 years old, it is likely still relevant today.
I’ve already touched on this a few times, but if you’re not using the web to its full potential, you probably won’t be a top producing real estate agent. At least not for long. The internet is going to play a bigger and bigger role in how homes are sold.
Building your own real estate agent website is massive. It seems hardly any real estate agents know how to build their own sites. If you can learn how to develop even a very basic website for yourself, you can begin writing articles for your site and capture free leads through search engines.
From Zillow to social media to online MLS listings, the internet isn’t going anywhere.
This is obviously not an all-inclusive list, but if you look at top producing real estate agents, you’ll notice that they have the above skills and do them well. Becoming a real estate agent is tough. As if obtaining a real estate license, working under a broker, and building a name for yourself wasn’t hard enough, you also need to become a master at negotiation, advertising, networking, and so much more. With that said, you don’t have to learn it all at once. If you’re new to real estate, things may seem really overwhelming right now. Rest assured, even top producing real estate agents were at one day where you are right now. Keep pushing forward, never stop learning, and earn your own spot as a top producing real estate agent!
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