- Building rapport is so important as you’re building your reputation as a rookie agent. Remember to listen, get involved, study, be positive and focus on yourself.
Being new in real estate, much like being new to anything, can be extremely challenging. This isn’t an easy world to tackle, but with the right tools and mindset, success is definitely reachable.
Building rapport with your officemates and colleagues is critical to your success. As a 14-year veteran in the real estate business, I often meet with agents and help them get settled in.
Every time I work with a new colleague, I think back to my rookie days. A fellow new agent and I took on a transaction for the ages that lasted seven months and taught me a ton.
I represented the buyer in a transaction fraught with not-so-great lending practices, pre-foreclosure, bankruptcy, a bad inspection and buyers and sellers who did not see eye to eye.
Not realizing what we had gotten ourselves into, my newbie colleague and I had to lean on each other a lot. The rapport we had lended to our ability to communicate, to work together and to align our goals, which allowed our professionalism to shine.
Here are a few rapport building tips I learned during that exciting, scary time in the infancy of my career:
Listen, listen, listen
One of the greatest assets for real estate success is the ability to listen, whether to colleagues, other professionals with whom you cross paths (lenders, developers, zoning boards), and most importantly, clients.
If you’re drawn to this business in the first place, odds are you love to talk, but let your success be your noise.
Things move quickly and are highly competitive in this industry, so get straight to the point when you’re lucky enough to have the eye and ear of a top agent. The story about your dog can wait until later.
Get involved, but don’t be needy
Rather, be proactive: ask agents at the start of the week about any open house opportunities for the weekend. If they have a listing for you to hold open, start planning and advertise early in the week.
Purchase a nice open house sign for placement as well as directional arrows if your office does not provide. Don’t expect the listing agent to do everything, and don’t ask the agent to do things for you.
Build your reputation as the agent who is polished and professional from the get go — your thoughtfulness will be noticed and appreciated.
Be a student of your industry
After years in this business, one of the things I love most is the opportunity to learn something new.
“Sharpen your saw” as they say. Read books (I highly recommend 21 Things I Wish My Broker Had Told Me: Practical Advice for New Real Estate Professionals by Frank Cook), follow the local and national news and simply ask other agents how their day is going.
Trust me, they will always have a good story! And you’ll start to build lasting relationships off of that simple question.
Be warm, friendly and positive
Agents — and everyone else, for that matter — don’t like negative energy. No one wants to be around a “Debbie Downer.” Even if you do not presently have clients, stay positive.
People want to work with others who maintain an optimistic world view. Your next client could be right around the corner, so be sure you’re smiling when you come across them!
Don’t compare yourself to other agents
Their brand and business reflect them, and your mission is to build a business that reflects the unique qualities that you have to offer. What works for them may not work for you, and that’s OK.
This was a tough lesson for me to learn — I was hungry to be productive and successful, and I wanted to see the same high volume my colleagues enjoyed from the very start.
Success — and the professional relationships that move your career along — will not happen overnight. Once you realize that, things will start to happen, on the timeline that is best for you. Be true to yourself, work hard and it will happen.
Kim Soper is a Realtor and a co-Founder of Better Homes And Gardens Real Estate Cypress in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Facebook or Instagram.