This article was last updated Dec. 4, 2023.
In the fast-paced world of real estate, effective communication is a critical component of our success. As real estate agents, we are often in situations where we need to think on our proverbial feet, whether it’s negotiating a deal, answering unexpected questions or addressing clients’ concerns.
To excel in these moments, let’s look at how a recent Harvard Business Review article can apply in the world of real estate.
1. Embrace the power of preparation: Know your market inside and out
Preparation is at the core of effective contemporaneous speaking. To speak confidently and knowledgeably about properties, neighborhoods and market trends, you must stay informed. Regularly update yourself on the local real estate market, recent sales, pricing and development projects.
The more you know, the more your responses will exude confidence and demonstrate your expertise. The Harvard Business Review article emphasizes the importance of preparation, and, in the real estate world, it can be the difference between sealing a deal and missing an opportunity.
As a side note, the ease with which data is available to agents today is light years away from when I started a few decades ago. Our consumers are also very well informed with a great deal of data at their fingertips.
Staying informed gives you the opportunity to show and demonstrate the value of the insight of an experienced professional. It’s the difference between being caught unaware and being able to say: Here’s the real scoop behind article XYZ that was just published.
Here are a few past Inman articles that might help you with figuring out the topics to track and how to frame them for leads and clients:
- How do you build trust? Know more than your competition
- The numbers you need to nurture buyers and sellers through a shift
2. Cultivate active listening skills
In the world of real estate, listening is just as crucial as speaking. Clients have specific needs, desires, and concerns, and agents need to truly understand their needs. Active listening, as advocated in the HBR article, involves empathizing with clients, asking probing questions, and reflecting on their feedback. By mastering this skill, you build trust and rapport, making clients feel valued and understood.
3. Cultivate the art of adaptation
Real estate transactions are dynamic, and agents must be ready to adapt to changing (and often challenging) circumstances. The HBR article recommends agility in responding to unexpected situations, which holds true for real estate agents. Whether it’s renegotiating terms, adjusting marketing strategies or addressing new concerns, adaptability is a hallmark of successful contemporaneous speaking in the real estate industry.
4. Craft clear and concise messages
The HBR article underscores the significance of delivering clear and concise messages when speaking on the spot. In the real estate world, conveying complex information in an understandable manner is vital. We really should avoid jargon (or if you are using it, use it as a teaching opportunity to explain/translate it), use simple language and focus on the key points to ensure clients grasp the information quickly and accurately.
As real estate agents, we are often in spontaneous situations where we need to make a compelling point quickly. Develop concise, persuasive elevator pitches about the properties you represent, emphasizing their unique selling points.
The same goes for articulating the value you bring to a client; articulating this clearly and succinctly is a critical skill. I think one could argue that the lasting impact of the proliferation of digital media and streaming is a greater need for getting to the point quickly and succinctly because attention spans have shrunk.
5. Overcome objections gracefully
Expect and prepare for objections or questions from clients. When faced with a challenging query, maintain your composure, acknowledge the concern and provide a well-reasoned response. This demonstrates your professionalism and expertise.
6. Practice, practice, practice
Contemporaneous speaking is a skill that can be honed through practice. Just as the HBR article advises individuals to rehearse impromptu speaking, real estate agents can benefit from mock negotiations, role-playing and public speaking exercises. Consistent practice helps boost confidence and refine communication skills.
7. Use data and visuals
When discussing market trends or property details, back your statements with data and visuals. Visual aids can make complex information more digestible and enhance your credibility.
Seek out the resources you may already have available to you. For many of us, our associations or firms may have fantastic visuals for us to utilize, and there are a variety of services one can subscribe to create or get said data or visuals.
8. Leverage your network
A robust network can be your greatest asset when you need to speak spontaneously about yourself, a property or the market. Connect with colleagues, local experts, and other industry professionals who can provide information and support. And if you don’t have one yet, you’re in luck: Here are some tips on how to build and grow your network.
9. Adapt to your audience
Tailor your communication style to the preferences and expectations of your clients. Some may appreciate a more formal approach, while others prefer a casual and friendly conversation. Adapt to build rapport. Different people absorb information differently, some prefer more data, others are visual, keep your eye out for clues, and if all else fails, you can always ASK someone how they would prefer to receive information and frame your approach accordingly.
10. Seek feedback and continuous improvement
The HBR article highlights the importance of seeking feedback to improve speaking skills. Real estate agents can apply this principle by soliciting feedback from clients, colleagues, and mentors. Constructive criticism can pinpoint areas that need improvement and guide agents in their journey to becoming more effective communicators.
In the competitive realm of real estate, contemporaneous speaking is a valuable asset that can set you apart from the rest. By heeding some of the advice from the Harvard Business Review article, you can enhance your communication skills, establish trust with clients, and ultimately thrive in your career. Embracing preparation, active listening, adaptability, clarity, practice, and a commitment to improvement, maintains your ability to deliver value and shine in the ever-evolving world of property transactions.