Are you practicing clear communication? Mastering the art of negotiation? No matter how many years you spend in the business, there are a few essential skills every agent should revisit and polish from time to time.

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Whether you are an agent starting out or a veteran in your market, there are some critical skills that every real estate agent should revisit and polish up frequently.

In today’s extremely competitive industry, it’s more important than ever to invest time and effort in bettering yourself and your business. So, if you’re ready to get started, I’ve outlined four fundamental skills I recommend agents brush up on right now.

1. Negotiation 101

Negotiation is an art form. This skill is crucial to our business, and it takes time and practice to become an excellent negotiator. I recommend reading books, watching videos and even taking a class on negotiation to learn the best tools and tactics others have used to close deals.

I suggest that agents practice clear communication (even with a friend or mentor) and consider word choice before going into negotiations. Last but not least, always maintain a professional attitude. Mastering negotiation like a pro will increase an agent’s value to clients and naturally grow referral business from happy clients.

2. The ‘B’ word

Budgeting and financial management can be tricky when you are self-employed. However, considering the added uncertainty COVID-19 has brought (and continues to bring), this is a must-do right now.

It’s important for agents to closely examine their financial operations to ensure their business runs as smoothly as possible. It is never too late to analyze spending and reallocate costs for maximum impact.

Tax season is an opportune time to outline essential business costs, review expenses and keep this year’s budget up to date and accurate. Budgeting throughout each quarter will allow for tremendous financial success in the long run.

3. Check your communication

Communication is an essential part of being a successful real estate agent. Honing these skills will make every step of the process smoother and ensure nothing gets miscommunicated along the way.

With every client comes a different preferred method of communication. I recommend touching base with your clients, especially at the beginning of a business relationship, and asking them their preferred communication method.

Some clients only want emails while others love to walk through every step of the process on the phone. In addition to determining the preferred way they’d like to hear from you, overcommunicating is never a bad thing. An agent should never have clients wondering when they will hear from them next or be confused about the next part of their homebuying process.

Always be proactive when touching base with clients. Letting them know you are thinking of them is never a bad thing in my opinion, and this is a great time to check in.

4. Stay up to date on tech

Agents must adapt to the latest technology and not be afraid of it. Technology is a powerful tool that allows real estate professionals to work smarter and more efficiently.

Whether it’s social media marketing or even updating systems in the cloud, implementing new technology will be beneficial in the long term. I recommend reading up on the latest apps, software and digital tactics other agents are finding success with in their business.

Santiago Arana is a managing partner at The Agency, in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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