In 2017, at the start of the modern women’s movement, I took a good hard look at my real estate brokerage, and I was surprised to discover that 80 percent of my agents were men.
Based on this, I was inspired to commit to recruiting more women real estate agents to join my brokerage. Today, I’m proud to say my brokerage has an over-60 percent female sales force — and they’re killing it.
After several years of working with female real estate agents, I discovered some of innate qualities that really make women thrive in a sales role. These include empathy, being effective collaborators and good listeners.
Now, I’m not generalizing women or implying that men don’t have these qualities. And of course, there are so many other factors and personality traits that come into play. Rather, I’m saying that I’ve watched dozens of women build and grow their real estate businesses, and that these traits are a large part of their success. So, here are three superpowers that can be leveraged for a successful career in real estate.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It’s about really putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to see what they might be thinking.
In 2018, researchers at the University of Cambridge tested more than 680,000 people and found that women on average have a more exceptional ability to intuitively recognize what’s going through another person’s mind and respond appropriately to the situation.
Empathy in sales is critical. When salespeople have a deep understanding of what their customers are experiencing, they’re better able to solve the problem. That’s because they feel their client’s pain.
This emotional understanding results in a salesperson’s ability to pinpoint what’s at the heart of the challenge for more effective problem-solving. Having empathy builds trust and healthy relationships — which are essential in a sales transaction.
2. Good listening skills
Everyone thinks of a successful salesperson as a real talker or schmoozer, but in reality, it’s people who listen who are usually better at sales. According to John Fabiano, the author of The Tao of Sales, buyers are 74 percent more likely to make a purchase if they perceive they are being heard.
When the client does all of the talking and the salesperson listens, they will learn so much about their client’s wants and needs. A better understanding will lead to a more straightforward sales process and less wasted time cycling through listings and touring properties that don’t match a client’s criteria.
3. Effective collaboration
Real estate can be a pretty cutthroat industry. Many agents can act hyper-competitive for clients, listings and the consumer’s attention. In my time in the real estate industry, I’ve found that there are plenty of clients and deals out there for everyone. There’s no need for ego and bad behavior. The real estate community is local and small, and agents should be more collaborative.
According to 2011 research on the role of gender in team collaboration and performance, “in terms of group process, recent evidence strongly suggests that group collaboration, as indexed by collective intelligence, is greatly improved by the presence of women in the group.”
Collaboration is key in real estate. Often two agents need to work together to close a deal even though they’re representing the interests of different parties in a transaction.
If you’re a woman considering a career in real estate, harnessing these qualities and characteristics can set you up for success when working with clients and closing deals.