As I was being interviewed on a radio program last week, the host posed this question, “what does it take to be a real estate agent?” You would think that I’d have given this question a great deal of thought since I’ve seen so many agents come and go…but I hadn’t. And now I had to think of a response on the spot.
Patience is a Virtue
One of the first things I thought of was patience. Helping a client find just the right house doesn’t happen overnight. The same is true for getting a house sold. We can’t control how long the process takes. The buyer changes their mind numerous times or they lose out on a house they really loved. In either case, the search continues. Perhaps the seller is taking their sweet time making the improvements we suggested in order to get their house on the market. All we can do is be patient and encourage them to move forward.
Be a Good Listener
Real estate agents not only have to listen to what their clients are telling them, but we have to listen to what they aren’t telling us. Stop thinking about what you are going to say next and take in what your client is telling you…or not. Sometimes you’ll need to read between the lines. It is to our benefit to understand their ideas, needs and concerns. We will save a lot of time and energy by listening to what they are saying and acting on it appropriately.
Communication is King
You must be an effective communicator if you want to be a successful real estate agent. We must interact with far too many people, delivering critical information that is extremely time sensitive. Being an effective communicator also includes negotiation. A good negotiator communicates the needs/desires of their client so the other party will understand and accept their offer. This is played out over and over again as the negotiation goes back and forth. Poor communication skills tend to turn people off and the end result is your client doesn’t get what they want.
Other Useful Traits
These are my top three attributes of a good real estate agent. I am sure there are dozens of other traits that can be included in this very small list, so please help me out. What do you think it takes to be a real estate agent?
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As an active Realtor licensed in three jurisdictions, I approach real estate training from a different perspective. With over 18 years in the real estate business, I teach agents what it’s really like to be a real estate agent.