Of all of the skills a real estate agent needs to have, perhaps none is more important than communication. You will need to be able to both listen and speak effectively. Communicating is also much more than just being able to pick up the phone to tell your client the other party accepted the offer. Read on to learn more about the communication skills you will need in order to be a top real estate agent.
Listening. Actively listening to all of the parties is more important than just about anything else. Plowing through your ideas without really hearing the other party doesn’t help them – or you. They are likely to go to another agent who will listen. Take the time you need to really understand what is important to them, ask the questions you need to clarify any points that are unclear, and let them finish their thought. Interrupting or going off on another subject will convey a sense that you are not interested in serving your clients.
Translating the technical terms. You need to be able to read and understand documents and terms, and then make them make sense to your clients. A Craftsman with a partial basement next to an easement might make complete sense to you, but to a buyer, it can be as foreign as another language.
Interpreting what your client means. Some people are uncomfortable talking about money, but when it comes to making the biggest investment of their lives, they have to talk money. You need to know what they can actually afford, so they don’t get into a situation that is over their heads. They may not be able to express what they really want in a house, either. Some folks are better able to communicate using images or are just not sure how to put in words what they want in a house, so having pictures handy and letting your client show you what they want will help clarify their desires.
Speaking. You have to keep your clients up to date on what is happening with the sale. But it’s important to be tactful while still being realistic. Telling the other party that you think they are mad for the offer they are making is not going to endear you to them, nor will they trust you to be reliable. You must be able to effectively express your information and do so in a calm, professional manner.
Negotiating. There is truly an art to negotiation. You have to know what both sides want, and bridge the gap between them. It’s more than just throwing out new offers – it’s all about being persuasive, and that takes a little psychology. You have to get both sides to concede something, so making them both feel like winners takes practice.
So how can you improve your communication skills? Assess your own current levels and see what you need to do first. If you need to work on your reading or writing, your local community college will have courses you can enroll in that will enhance your skills. Other skills like negotiating and active listening are often available through professional development organizations. If speaking makes you anxious, try signing up at your local Toastmasters group. Then, practice, practice, practice – it always makes you better!