Viewing by month: November 2010

Dealing with problematic vendors

As a CENTURY 21 real estate agent, your job involves calling and meeting with vendors daily to discuss properties, strategies and progress.   In this role you will spend time with clients who may be happy and satisfied with your services, while others could be displeased and prove more difficult to work with. 

It is therefore important for you as an agent to be able to communicate appropriately in a variety of different situations and with a range of personality types.  

As a real estate agent, vendors will entrust you with a significant responsibility – the selling of a valuable property asset.  Regardless of whether the vendor is rude, arrogant or indecisive, it is crucial that you remain professional in your relations with your client.     

The maintenance of appropriate professional conduct unfortunately means that you cannot react to abrasive clients in the same manner as that which you may to family or friends.  It is instead important to be assertive and learn how to communicate effectively. 

The following tips may help when a vendor becomes difficult:

1. Unless the vendor is completely out of line and disrespectful to you, try to deal with the situation as best as you possibly can.  It may be worthwhile to report troublesome clients to your superiors as a precaution, so that appropriate action can be taken if the situation gets out of hand.   

2. Stay strong and believe in your own abilities.  Although domineering clients may damage your confidence, if you know that you have done the best possible job with a project, stand by your decisions and actions.  

3. Take the bandaid approach – communicate with your troublesome vendor as soon as is required.  Putting off contact may cause an unnecessary build-up of stress.     

4. While keeping your client’s details and situation confidential, talk to friends, family and colleagues to gather advice.  It is surprising how many people have had dealings with clients that were hard to manage. 

5. Discontinue the service to the client.  Obviously this is a last resort as the client’s business is important to your agency, however there may come a certain point where your well-being is affected by the relationship.  This step relies on your own judgment and how comfortable you are in the situation. 

Whatever actions you choose to use in the management of problematic clients, it is important to conduct yourself in a professional manner.  Doing so will ensure you come out of the situation with your self-respect and reputation intact.    
 

 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 29/11/2010 at 2:37 PM | Categories:

Is your work attire appropriate?

No matter what industry you work in, choosing appropriate clothing to wear to work on a daily basis can be surprisingly challenging.  While many workplaces have guidelines that employees are expected to adhere to, these can often be vague and lack information. 

Real estate is very much a people-focused profession; relationships need to be formed with both vendors and buyers to ensure smooth selling processes and future business.  To successfully form and cultivate such relationships, a real estate agent usually needs to present a sharp, well-put together image, reflective of their competency and attention to detail. 

Along with body language and our choice of words, the clothes that we wear contribute a fair proportion to this image.  While as a real estate agent you should wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident, it is also important to understand that the clothes you put on will help your clients to feel assured about your professional approach, and will ensure buyers see you as a potential agent for their own property. 

A suit can be a fail-safe, easy option
Having a well-fitted suit ready-to-go in your wardrobe can often be an easy solution to looking professional easily.  A suit will always be an appropriate option especially when meeting with clients and conducting public property inspections.  However note that even a suit can be a poor choice if not cleaned and pressed properly. 

Pay attention to length
Arguably this point is slightly more applicable to female agents.  When wearing a skirt, try to avoid a hem that is too far above the knee.  A skirt that is too short can often attract attention for the wrong reasons, detracting from the professional image you wish to convey.  Men too should note that a short pant length is not advised.  

Choose well-fitting pieces
For both men and women, there is often nothing worse than wearing a piece of clothing that doesn’t fit you properly.  Clothes that are too loose or too tight often leave you feeling messy or uncomfortable and can have a surprising impact on your self-confidence, not to mention the fact that it may look sloppy to clients. 

Ultra casual clothes are inappropriate at most times
We all have days where the idea of dressing up to go to work feels like a huge challenge and the temptation of wearing comfortable gear better suited to lounging around at home can be enticing.  Try to avoid going to work looking anything less than what you would be happy to present to your clients in.  Not only could you be sprung with a surprise client meeting, you also want to avoid setting an inappropriate example to others in the office and get into a bad habit yourself. 

The clothes we choose to wear are often seen to outsiders as reflections of ourselves.  In your professional capacity as a real estate agent, it is important to present with qualities such as attention to detail and confidence, assuring people that you are the best choice of agent to sell their home.  Like it or not your clothes can have an impact on this image that is presented, so try to dress to impress.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 22/11/2010 at 2:20 PM | Categories:

Proving to sellers that you are the best agent for their property

There is no doubt that real estate is a competitive industry.  In order to achieve success, it is important to be able to prove to your clients and prospective clients that you are the best agent available to sell their property.  Learning how to promote your skills to sellers is all about displaying a certain level of competence and confidence, giving you a competitive advantage above all other agents in the market. 

Genuinely promoting yourself as a real estate agent requires you to recognise the value in your services.  Smart vendors will select you because of your competence, not because of a low commission or empty promises to deliver a higher sale price. You need to convince potential clients that the quality of your work and commitment to their property is worth paying for.

Consider the following ways to help secure the business of prospective clients:

Be clear about your services
It is important to be very clear and upfront with prospective clients from the very beginning about exactly what services you will be providing.  This can help vendors to see that you will work hard to sell their property and that their experience with you will be all-encompassing. 

Explain that you will keep the client informed
It can be helpful to let your prospective client know the level of interaction they will be able to expect from you throughout the sales process.  Many sellers will wish to be involved in all aspects of decision making regarding the property and its promotion.  By advising your client that you will keep them constantly (or as desired) updated with any news on potential buyers and when advertisements are to appear in local newspapers or online, your client should realise that you are committed to keeping them in the know. 

Show evidence of previous success 
When trying to prove yourself as the best agent for the job, remember that services describe what the agent says they can do, whereas results prove they can actually do it.  Have previous sales achievements and customer testimonials on hand, especially ones that relate to the client’s property and location.   
 
Describe your plan for different scenarios
For various reasons, it is reality that not all properties are sold immediately, which is why it is important that you have a plan and communicate this at the very beginning of the sales process to your client.  Being upfront with your client and displaying your knowledge about the different scenarios that could occur, as well as your response to them, should give your client confidence in your level of competence.

Proving to a prospective client that you will be the best real estate agent to sell their property ultimately relies upon your own self-confidence.  If you can’t believe in your own abilities, then why should somebody else? Such knowledge of your skills, combined with evidence of your previous success and testimonials of customer satisfaction, will go a long way to help prospective clients to see that you are the agent they need to sell their property successfully.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 15/11/2010 at 11:45 AM | Categories:

Improving your phone manners

As modern communication such as emails, Facebook, Twitter and video-conferencing begin to dominate our corporate and social interactions, it is important that real estate agents do not underestimate the importance of telephone conversations and face to face contact. 

Telephone conversation is usually the preferred means of contact for customers in any industry and in real estate it can act to enhance client relationships.  However if not conducted in a professional manner, telephone conversations may hurt the reputation of a business.

Working as a CENTURY 21 real estate agent you are constantly on the phone to various parties.  It is important to be aware that what you say on the phone and the way you say it can leave a lasting impression on the person at the other end.  Following several simple tips on improving your phone manners may help you to improve your client relationships and perhaps even sell more houses. 

1. Be happy and sound happy.
The tone of your voice can be a powerful reflection of your mood and dedication to your client at the other end of the line.  Often it is not what you say that matters, but how you say it.  Treating every phone call with a fresh mind and energy will help to keep your clients happy.
 
2. Always respond to questions
If you are asked a difficult question to which you do not know the answer, do not linger in silence or lie, rather admit that you are unsure and get their details, calling back with a solution to their issue.
 
3. Mind your language
Try to refrain from using inappropriate language or abbreviations when talking to clients over the phone.  Do not assume that your customer will understand industry talk - such real estate jargon can often confuse situations.

4. Show interest in the caller and their problem
Be of service to your client offering assistance wherever possible.  You may need to take notes from the conversation to help you follow up their request/problem in the most effective way. 
 
5. Never put a caller on hold unless you have to
If you must place the caller on hold, firstly ask them if they don’t mind holding the line for a moment and remember to check back with them every minute or so to ask if they are still happy to hold.  If they choose to hang up, ask for their contact details so you can call them back.
 
Do not underestimate the importance of maintaining professional telephone etiquette.  Your manners over the phone can help you to retain clients while enhancing your sound reputation as a real estate agent. 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 09/11/2010 at 12:38 PM | Categories:

Becoming a more assertive Real Estate Agent

At times there can be a fine line between being perceived as acting too assertive in the workplace and being too passive.  Real estate agents can sometimes be afraid that their assertiveness will be seen as aggression or rudeness and therefore hold back on their professional opinions in meetings with clients or when talking to colleagues or management.
 
People in all professions, including the real estate industry, can be taken advantage of because they are afraid to stand up for their own beliefs.  While it can be difficult and intimidating to confront certain situations at work and in the world of real estate, it can also be quite empowering to learn that you can be assertive without harming your reputation.

Here are a few tips on how you can become both assertive and professional.

The best way to become more assertive is to honestly reflect upon yourself.  Help gauge your level of assertiveness by answering the following questions:
- Do you feel attacked when someone’s opinion differs from your own?
- Do you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to requests that you should be saying ‘no’ to, just to avoid disappointing people and conflict?
- Are you able to accept constructive criticism easily?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you make benefit from working on the following skills to help you become a more assertive real estate agent. 

1. Address issues directly by confronting them head on.  Do not gossip with others or complain, be professional and stand up for yourself in a polite manner.
2. Project your confidence so others do not perceive you as being meek and submissive.  Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by authority.  Maintain a self-assured image even when in doubt.
3. Do not make demands.  Being assertive does not mean that you will always get your way around the office.  Being professional is about learning to compromise and negotiate.
4. Control your emotions so that frustration and anger do not get in the way of business.  Emotion can sometimes be a sign of weakness within the office place.  If you are stressed step outside and take a moment to refocus yourself.

It is usually easier to be assertive in your office or when meeting with clients if people respect your skills as a real estate agent and as a valuable member of the team.  Try to enhance this respect by contributing and voicing your thoughts in a way that is mindful of the opinion of others.

Finding a medium between being assertive, driven and professional can be challenging, but in most cases is definitely worth the effort.  In the end, your clients and colleagues should respect your professionalism and healthy self-attitude. 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 01/11/2010 at 3:48 PM | Categories: