Reposted with permission from Pat Hiban. 

In sales-oriented industries like real estate, ffirst impressions often make the difference between closing and going home empty handed. That’s why building rapport with potential real estate clients is something all agents must know how to do.

So, whether you’re starting your real estate career or already a veteran agent, improving your ability to get people to know, like and trust you is always a good idea. Besides, it won’t take long, especially with some help from Isabel Affinito.

Isabel Affinito

Affinito is an expert on building rapport, and she shared some excellent tips with listeners during her podcast interview with Pat Hiban. For an overview of Affinito’s top three rapport-building tips, read on. To hear them all along with other invaluable information, including a rundown on Affinito’s best door-knocking script, listen to the podcast below.


3 tips for building rapport

1. Ask plenty of questions

When you meet a potential client for the first time, Affinito recommends you remember one thing in particular: They don’t care about you.

What she means by this is that people don’t want to hear about how many homes you’ve sold or why you’re the best real estate agent in town.

Instead of talking about yourself, you should strive to learn more about the potential client. Ask him or her questions. Find out more about what they’re looking for in an agent, and also take the time to learn more about their background and their interests.

Even if your goal is to build a business relationship, asking personal questions won’t hurt. In nearly all cases, it will actually help cement your position as their real estate agent of choice.

2. Structure your conversations

While you should be asking potential clients plenty of questions, you shouldn’t ask so many that the conversation starts to feel like an interrogation. One of the easiest ways to ensure your conversations flow as smoothly as possible is to ask two questions before following with a comment.

Here’s an example taken from Affinito’s podcast interview:

So, you like to go hiking?

Where do you like to go?

Oh, awesome, I’ve never been to any of those places, but I’d love to check them out!

Obviously, not all of your conversations should follow this structure to a tee, but if you’re really struggling to find the right flow, it’s a great tool to use while building confidence and experience talking to prospects.

3. Always keep learning

No matter how great you are at building relationships with new people, there’s always room to improve. Strive to learn more about building rapport and establishing solid relationships whenever possible.

Books to sharpen your skills

Here are a couple of book recommendations from Affinito to get you started:

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Photo credit: Amazon

First published in 1936, How to Win Friends & Influence People is still as relevant today as it was over 80 years ago.

If you haven’t read this classic on the art of mastering interpersonal relationships, do yourself a favor, and pick up a copy today.


Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Photo credit: Amazon

Want the competitive edge when negotiating real estate deals or attempting to win over potential clients? Get yourself a copy of Never Split the Difference.

It’s the best resource out there for improving your ability to persuade others, and the skills it teaches will help you get off on the right foot with potential clients.


Pat Hiban sold more than 7,000 homes over the course of his 25-year career in real estate. Now, he dedicates his time to helping others succeed as agents and investors. As host of the Real Estate Rockstars Podcast, Pat interviews real estate experts to explore what works in today’s markets. He also founded Rebus University, an online training platform for real estate agents and sales professionals.

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