If you want to have a long-lasting career in real estate, it’s crucial to improve your social skills on an regular basis. Many agents make the mistake of spending most of their time improving their sales efforts.

Although keeping your sales technique sharp is certainly important, it’s not the only skill in your toolbox that needs attention from time to time. Honing your communication, relationship and leadership skills will expand and nurture a thriving real estate business.

Boost your communication skills

Good communication skills are crucial in a social industry like real estate. Communication influences your transactions and supports client relationships before, during and after the transaction has closed.

Although the best way to improve is through daily practice, here are few tips for keeping them sharp:

  • Listen. You have two ears and one mouth — listen twice as often as you speak. Your clients want to be heard. Prevent misunderstandings by listening to what they say. Paraphrase their words to ensure that you understand.
  • Watch your body language. Although you might be listening to your clients, your body might say otherwise. Maintain eye contact, sit up and lean forward. When we’re engaged in conversation, we naturally mimic the posture of the person with whom we’re speaking.
  • Watch your words. Words have power. Think before you speak, and choose your words — and tone — carefully so you don’t create unnecessary anxiety or concern in your clients.

Improve your relationships

When you work by referral, your relationships are the foundation of your business. The stronger they are, the stronger your business will be. Ensure lasting success by developing deep relationships with your clients.

  • Keep in touch. One big complaint among buyers and sellers is that their agent disappeared after the transaction closed. What these Houdini-like agents don’t understand is that the closing of the transaction is the beginning of the relationship. Keeping in touch via phone, email, personal note or pop-by helps to build a solid relationship.
  • Find a need. There are many opportunities to serve once the ink is dry, whether it’s to connect your clients with a landscaper to spruce up the home’s exterior or a contractor to put on an addition. When you speak to them, listen for an opportunity to serve.
  • Show appreciation. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Thank your clients for their business and their referrals. Not only is it good manners, but it’ll also encourage them to refer you again.

Hone your leadership skills

As a real estate professional, you’re a leader in your community. You have your finger on the pulse of your local area and can give your clients the scoop on the real estate market, local happenings and much more.

  • Mentor. If you’ve been in the industry for a few years, mentor a new agent and show them the ropes. This will help them develop their skills and encourage you to keep yours sharp.
  • Get involved. Join a community organization, such as the Rotary Club or Kiwanis. You’ll expand your network by connecting with others in your area.
  • Network. Seek out opportunities to network with other like-minded real estate professionals. You can share tips and strategies and encourage one another to grow.

Sharpen your skills and learn the strategies that will help you take your business to the next level.

Brian Buffini is the Chairman and Founder of Buffini & Company. You can follow Brian and Buffini & Company on Facebook.

Email Brian Buffini.