You don’t necessarily have to possess a certain personality type, come from a particular background, or even have the same goals as the people around you to succeed in real estate. It’s a profession in which many different kinds of people have found success. But despite their differences, successful real estate agents have often mastered similar skill sets that give them an advantage over their competitors.
Just what are those skills, exactly? Keep reading because we’ve compiled the 10 most important ones for you.
Client happiness skills
First, let’s start with skills one to three. We call these the “client happiness” skills.
“Buying and selling houses can be stressful, and it’s important for the agent to make sure that the client is feeling supported and happy,” said real estate agent Lucy White in an interview on RealEstate.com. Our first three skills center on how to do this.
Develop expert communicating skills. Every client has a different preferred method of being in touch. Text? Email? Phone calls? Whatever it is, ask your client at the start of your relationship so you can make sure you get it right. Then, make sure you’re proactive when it comes to getting in touch. Don’t leave your clients wondering, “What should I do next?” Or “When should I do it?” When it comes to real estate, there’s a process involved: forms to complete and documents to sign. Make sure you communicate enough to guide your clients through the process.
Grow your teaching skills. When it comes to real estate: you’re the expert. Elements of the process might seem mundane or second nature to you, but might be completely foreign to clients who are new to real estate. If you can be patient enough to anticipate what they might not be aware of and slowly educate them on real estate, then you’ll reap clients who trust you and are grateful to you for mentoring them through the process of buying or selling.
Find your homegrown touch. Everyone has his or her way of letting clients know they care. Think of it as your “homegrown touch.” We’re talking about the kind of people skills that include remembering birthdays or special milestones in their lives, giving them tips in a new neighborhood, or sending pizza to their house on move-in day. Whatever you do to let clients know you care, do it consistently. As the saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Executive functioning skills
The next set of skills we like to group under the umbrella of, “executive functioning skills.” These are critical to your success on the organizational side of your real estate business.
Adapt to new technologies. Real estate agents who stick around in the long-term have mastered the art of changing with the market. Don’t be afraid of new technology; adapt to it. One of the new advancements in technology that is aiding real estate professionals right now is cloud services. You can save yourself money and often a huge hassle by sharing your documents over the cloud.
Be on time. This one sounds simple, but it’s important for real estate professionals because you’re often dealing with so many different parties. Whether it’s showing a house to prospective buyers or meeting with clients who will hire you to sell their home, time management is critical to your success in making sure all your customers walk away happy.
Hone your negotiation skills. “The most powerful word you can utter in any negotiation is “no,” writes Peter Economy for Inc. “If you’re not satisfied with a proposal, then don’t hesitate to use it.” The truth is—you might be good at negotiating, but being a successful real estate agent also means you have to educate your clients on how to negotiate. Review with your clients all the different aspects of an upcoming deal. Prepare them for what a best-case scenario would look like for them, and also make sure you discuss the worst case scenario that they are prepared to accept.
You might be a great negotiator, but if you don’t prepare your clients for the realities of negotiation you’re going to be facing unnecessary pressure.
Know real estate
Last, but not least, the final group of skills in our top 10 are all about knowing your industry.
Stay abreast of local knowledge. Real estate professional have a better chance of success when they have an intimate knowledge of the neighborhoods in which they work. You should familiarize yourself with schools, new zoning laws, bylaws, local businesses, bus routes, and other elements that would be necessary for people moving in, out, or within your neighborhood. In this way, you can position yourself as someone your clients can trust—not just an outsider looking to profit off them.
Stay updated on industry trends. Make sure you’re staying updated with what’s happening in your industry including mortgage rates, laws that affect real estate agents, and everything in between. The best way to do this is to commit yourself to reading trade publications daily. Here are a few that are highly regarded:
Inman News: This site covers marketing, industry regulations, mortgage news, and general updates on the industry.
Realty Times: This publication covers real estate news and has an advice section for both consumers and agents.
Network, network, network. You hear this word all the time, but often it’s misunderstood as a method of getting something from the people around you. Networking is a way of contributing to those around and building a community of like-minded individuals who will give back to you in times of need. Network with your fellow real estate agents. Help those coming up in the industry around you and seek out people with more experience from whom you can learn.
Continue your education. The best in their field are always learning. Take a look through our topics and keep diving deep into whatever interests you. Real estate is a professional that is always growing.