Editor’s note: Inman News enlisted the insight and creativity of our readers in the Roadmap to Recovery editorial project, which seeks a path forward for the real estate industry. Click here for details.
By Saul Klein
What skills will the real estate agent of the future require?
Much the same skills that are required for success in the real estate sales business today, with a little twist. I have always believed that success in any sales business requires product knowledge, communication skills, access to new prospects, contact and consistent communication with past customers, and integrity.
Agent 2015 will possess:
- Generational communication skills. Different generations communicate in different ways. National Association of Realtors statistics indicated that 78.8 percent of first time homebuyers in 2007 were Gen-X/Gen-Y. “Speaking the language” of these generations may be an important differentiator in the coming years as these age groups (generations) move out and up.
- Negotiation skills. Would you accept as your representative a real estate agent who is not a competent negotiator? This is an area in great need of improvement in today’s world. Note that negotiation skills and communication skills go hand in hand.
- Technology skills. Nothing fancy, but prospecting and marketing must be automated and agents must be able to reach more people more easily and must be in the “center of the conversation” about real estate, not merely in the “center of the transaction” which was the buzz phrase of the last decade. Client management and online transaction management software will become more widespread.
- Online social skills. Social networking for prospects and for referrals. As more relationships will begin online in coming years, and old relationships are rekindled online, social networking skills will gain in value to the successful agent of the future, which leads to the next skill: the ability to express oneself in writing.
- Writing skills. The agent of the future will be able to express him or herself in writing. The lost art of writing will make a comeback.
Success in real estate sales in the future will require product knowledge, sales skills and access to customers, and service with integrity. In an age of transparency, the comment, “Your reputation precedes you,” could not be more true.
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