Looking for more advice? Check out Inman’s New Agent Essentials.
One of the foundational elements to any sales training is understanding personality types, and real estate is no exception. Whether you study ABCD, DISC or Myers-Briggs, it all comes down to leveraging what you’ve learned to establish a positive rapport with your clients.
You may not be a perfect personality fit with all your clients, but the successful real estate agent can adapt to different personality types to ensure a fruitful relationship over the course of the transaction.
Throughout my professional experience, I am most familiar with the ABCD personality framework and know a lot about A’s and B’s. I am a proud B through and through, while my husband and my business partner are undisputed A’s.
Understanding their personality needs and adapting my natural B tendencies helps to strengthen my relationships with them — a valuable skill set to have in real estate.
I’ve found that most real estate agents fall into the A and B personality types — but let’s review the characteristics so we can delve into how to best engage with each type.
A — The director
“A” personalities are action-oriented, very interested in results/ROI and “what’s in it for me,” so focusing on the benefits aligns with this person’s natural preferences. They don’t like long explanations, so be concise.
A-types don’t like being taken advantage of or losing, so it’s important to actively manage negotiations and minimize a type A’s exposure to unreasonable demands from the other side of the table. I’ve found that it’s best to let an A-type “drive” and let them direct you. When you get to the finish line and sign contracts, an A is most interested in the bottom line.
Well-known A-type cartoon character: Lucy from Peanuts
B — The socializer
“B” personalities are relationship-oriented, outgoing and enthusiastic. They aren’t as focused on the numbers, so they lean more toward the social elements a home offers, such as entertaining, family gatherings and the neighborhood.
Type B people dislike feeling unappreciated and being corrected publicly. Finding ways to compliment a B or recognize their positive traits strengthens connections with them. When it comes to contracts, B’s typically just sign.
Well-known B cartoon character: Snoopy from Peanuts
C — The thinker
“C” personalities are very detail-oriented, logical and analytical. They tend to be prepared and precise — these are the folks that come to the first appointment with all their paperwork.
They also take time to think about what is presented to them and might take more time to process information than others. It may appear that they aren’t interested or engaged in what you are saying, but in reality, they are simply thinking about it.
Giving a C-type the “air space” to process can go a long way in building a bond with them. However, in today’s current market with multiple offers, taking too much time to consider may prove detrimental to achieving the goal of buying a home, so it will help to explain that well in advance. Once the deal is in its final stages, C’s will read contracts line by line.
Well-known C cartoon character: Linus from Peanuts
D — The supporter
“D” personalities are patient, cautious and even-tempered. They bring a stabilizing nature to relationships and seek to gain accord. They tend to be low-risk and often go with the flow, even when they disagree.
If you are working with a D client, it’s essential to actively counsel them on what is in their best interest and advocate on their behalf. Because they don’t want to rock the boat, they may leave money on the table or agree to outrageous repairs.
Well-known D cartoon character: Charlie Brown from Peanuts
Putting it all together
Of course, many people possess elements from various personality types, so the A, B, C and D categories just paint broad strokes that can help us better understand each other’s main traits and drivers.
For real estate professionals who work with a range of different people, assessing personality types at the onset of an engagement with a new client can speed up the time it takes to develop a positive working relationship.