Real estate, it’s been said, is no place for introverts. It’s a people-driven business. Some brokerages even engage in personality testing designed to uncover how agents handle various situations and where their strengths lie. Conventional wisdom says that introverts don’t succeed in sales, but the truth is far more nuanced. Introverts may not be great cold-callers or door-knockers, but they can be masters at using email marketing or other techniques to generate sales.
Here are some tips aimed at helping real estate introverts discover your hidden selling powers:
1. Know your strengths
For introverts, email — and even texting — can be easier than face-to-face conversation or a phone call. Luckily, these days many clients also prefer this sort of interaction. Introverts tend to be great listeners, which means you also can be great at providing customer service. And introverts also can be great writers and excel at content marketing, personal notes and other methods that don’t involve direct personal contact.
By nature, introverts have smaller groups of friends; this can apply to business as well. Introverts may have a smaller sphere, but when empowered to advocate for a person or an issue can be just as effective as a larger group.
2. Explore your weaknesses
If you know you feel flustered in situations like negotiations or listing presentations, practice over and over until it feels comfortable — or more comfortable. Get a friend to role-play the situation with you, or film yourself and then watch the tape. In some networking situations, you may find it easier to bring a friend along for backup.
Another method many introverts use is to reward themselves for feats of extroversion. What frivolous purchase have you been longing to make? Use it to motivate yourself.
3. Work with your energy
One of the key differences between introverts and extroverts is how they feel after social encounters. Extroverts get revved up by social interaction; it makes them feel energized and strong. Introverts often get exhausted by interaction and need alone time to rejuvenate afterward. Many introverts can be good public speakers but are exhausted by the post-speech chatting.
If you are scheduling meetings or social events, make sure you leave ample space in your calendar for recovery.
4. Partner up
Some of the best real estate teams comprise people with opposing but complementary skill sets. The things that make introverts happy, including working independently and reading documents, can make extroverts miserable. Conversely, being able to send your extrovert out into the world to make those necessary social connections is an introvert’s dream.
Introversion doesn’t have to prevent anyone from having a career in real estate. Success in this field takes many forms, and there is room for all sorts of personalities!
Deidre Woollard was part of the marketing team at realtor.com and is currently the head of communications for Partners Trust, a leading luxury brokerage in Los Angeles.