Not everyone is cut out for a career in real estate sales. Do you have the “right stuff?”
The last two columns looked at what it takes to run a successful real estate business, as well as how to organize your business. You can have the best business background and the best systems in the world, but if you lack the factors below, you will probably be joining the ranks of “ex-agents.”
From my perspective, the best real estate success assessment on the market is the Real Estate Simulator from www.UpwardMotion.com. Using agents who make at least $150,000 per year, Upward Motion identified the top correlates to real estate success. Its Real Estate Simulator measures these correlates through three video sales simulations, a quick IQ test and a personality inventory. These correlates are the “right stuff” it takes to succeed in our highly competitive business.
1. Connection is the Name of the Game
Successful agents are experts at building rapport. They know how to make potential prospects feel at ease and how to build trust. Part of this ability comes from excellent listening and comprehension skills. Agents must hear what their clients want and then translate that into appropriate action. To do this, agents need to be curious and ask questions. They must be meticulous about telling the truth and doing what they say they will do.
From the moment an agent walks in to do a listing presentation or takes a buyer to view property, he/she is functioning in a leadership position. The agent decides how to market listings, as well as what listings to show prospective buyers. Once the property is under contract, the agent takes the leadership role in coordinating all the events required to close. Agents who have difficulty accepting responsibility or who lack leadership ability will find real estate success to be elusive.
3. Ask for the Order
Closing is more than memorizing a script. It involves interpreting body language, unspoken verbal cues, as well as correctly assessing seller and buyer motivation. When the time is right, effective closers know when and how to ask for the order. They understand when objections are buying signs, as well as how to counter them. More importantly, they also understand when it is the wrong time to ask.
4. Wallflowers Need Not Apply
If you are introverted or shy around strangers, real estate is a poor choice for a profession. While some reclusive types become successful, the large majority of highly successful agents are extroverts who love being with people. If you cannot walk up to a stranger to introduce yourself and ask how you might help them list or buy a home, your odds for success are low. Real estate sales require a salesperson’s personality–happy, upbeat, and assertive. You must be strong enough to say “no” to unreasonable or illegal demands from others. You must also possess strong problem-solving skills if you are to survive the constant onslaught of transaction challenges.
5. Action Not Just Talk
Many people think of themselves as real estate salespeople. Few actually are. According to McClelland, successful salespeople are motivated by what he calls the “Need for Achievement.” People who score high on this factor are driven by internal factors. In contrast, agents who score low, seldom achieve success since they lack the internal drive to go out and create their own business. Internal motivation results in consistent action. In contrast, external motivation only works when someone else provides it. Low achievers often talk about taking action, but without the internal motivation, few will take the actions necessary to become successful.
6. Water Off a Duck’s Back
If you cannot handle rejection, real estate is the wrong career for you. The most successful agents view “no” as being one-step closer to the next “yes.” A typical business day is packed with problems, difficult clients and sticky situations. If you become upset when someone tells you “no” or yells at you because something went wrong, you will soon be fighting stress-related disorders. In contrast, top-producing agents are the “calm in the middle of the storm.” They control their stress, while also helping their clientele remain calm as well.
7. “Never Give Up!”
Winston Churchill’s famous quotation is the motto for successful agents. When something doesn’t work, try something different. When someone says “no,” give the client a reason to say “yes.” If a buyer is unwilling to buy, move on to someone who is. If a seller is unrealistic, refer him/her to another agent and prospect for someone a seller whose property will sell.
You can have great business skills, great systems and a perfect personality. Real Estate success also requires a plan. To learn more about the “right plan” for business success, see next Friday’s “What It Takes to Succeed in Real Estate Part 4: The Right Plan.”
Bernice Ross is an owner of Realestatecoach.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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