By Tom Landry
Like any industry, real estate has its own terminology, culture, documents, vendors and tools. New agents have to be patient, learn from others, gain experience and go through successes and failures. Experience is paramount. To be truly successful, agents must possess a set of foundational skills common in any top salesperson.
1 Be available
Answer your phone, your email and your social media messages. If you wait, your client could reach out to another agent and you’ll lose a possible sale and future business.
2 Create a strong, personal brand
Associate yourself with a company whose brand resonates with you and the clients you want. A brand becomes part of your overall image and identify. It reflects who you are, what you do, and your values. An authentic, recognizable brand helps you attract the right clients and keep you top of mind.
3 Get social
People do business with people they know. To do more business, you need to know more people. Be active on social media, go to community gatherings, volunteer with local nonprofits, and sponsor charitable events. This can be hard to do all on your own, so consider affiliating with a company already heavily involved in your community. Support events the company sponsors, offer content for their social channels or write articles for the company blog.
4 Be a resource
Real estate is so much more than a sale. Help your clients navigate all things home ownership. Maintain relationships with select groups of mortgage brokers, home stagers and contractors. If you give a lot of business to someone, they’re more likely to make your clients a priority. When your clients need something, you’ve got someone that can help them right away.
5 First impressions are everything
Before you list, help your clients focus on improving areas that are most likely to distract a buyer. Before photos are taken, help them organize, declutter, touch up paint and stage. Give clients a to-do list to prep for open houses and showings. This insures that buyers are looking at the home, not distracted by dirty laundry or a barking dog.
6 Be open and honest
Price properties appropriately, taking into account the market and the needs of your seller. Don’t be afraid to be honest and give your clients a lower number than they expected. When a home is priced too high to start, your clients often end up taking less than they would have if you’d started lower. That said, listen to your client’s needs and situation. Maybe, they don’t care if it sits on the market or maybe they need to sell very quickly.
7 Don’t be afraid to change it up
When your listing is not selling, it usually means one of two things, it’s listed too high or it’s not getting enough exposure to the market. So, take a price drop to trigger a new email to buyers. Take new photos that include new elements and are seasonally appropriate.
8 Treat everyone with respect
Sales can get nasty. Don’t get involved in feuds with clients, vendors or other agents. With social media, it’s easy for just one person to hurt your business. Most of your clients come to you by word of mouth, and your reputation is all you have.
9 Be yourself!
Nobody likes a salesperson, right? So, don’t be one — be you. Share what makes you tick, whether that’s gardening, coaching youth sports or brewing beer in your basement. When someone senses you are being authentic, they will be as well, making them more likely to share what makes them tick too. If they like YOU, then they will be more apt to trust you to help them with a sale. And they might just end up becoming your friend along the way.