Viewing by month: July 2010

How remembering names can equal real estate success

As real estate agents, much of our business revolves around people and property.  Pitching for new property listings to prospective clients, and selling property to potential buyers, to be precise.   The little things when it comes to interpersonal relations can therefore be powerful tools to secure you business and increase your sales. 

One such interpersonal tool is the art of remembering people’s names.  In the words of Dale Carnegie, author of the famous How to Win Friends and Influence People, "If you want to win friends, make it a point to remember them.  If you remember my name, you pay me a subtle compliment; you indicate that I have made an impression on you. Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance."

These are wise words that all real estate agents should try to take note of.   The simple act of remembering a name and pronouncing it correctly, even when not in a professional capacity, could set you apart and even have a positive influence on your future business.

Remembering names can be difficult, especially as real estate agents are often in situations where we meet a tremendous amount of people in one go.   To make things a little bit easier, there are easy techniques you can use to commit names, and their pronunciation, to memory. 

Repetition is a good starting point.  After an introduction, try to use the other person’s name in the first sentence out of your mouth.  “Hi Edward, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”  To further cement the name, in some situations you could ask which version of the name is preferred. “Do you prefer Edward or Ed?”

If the name is not one you’ve seen before, or has an odd pronunciation, try to find another word that rhymes with it.  “Her name is Keir, as in beer”.  This will help you to remember the actual name, and could impress the other person who previously may have been forced to frequently correct people who haven’t bothered to make the effort that you just displayed. 

If you forget someone’s name, requesting a business card, or asking somebody else to introduce themselves can be good ways to avoid embarrassment. 

Try to avoid being too familiar with people you have only just been introduced to.  There can be nothing more frustrating than having your name shortened from ‘Edward’ to ‘Eddie’ if you dislike the nickname. 

Remember that a name is often the most important word to any single person.  You could be surprised by the power that the simple act of remembering the name of someone who hadn’t expected you to can have.  And you never know the real estate success that such power could translate to. 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 27/07/2010 at 2:42 PM | Categories:

Developing your competitive advantage in real estate

There’s no denying that the real estate industry is competitive.  When it comes to selling their homes, people all over Australia have the choice of a multitude of different agencies to approach, many with a well-established name and market presence. 

In many cases, people are referred to specific agents as opposed to an entire agency by friends who had previously worked with the agent.  With this being the case, the competition levels in real estate become far greater, because agents are not just competing against other agencies, they are also competing against individuals.   

This means that individual agents need to sell themselves, as well as the agency that employs them.  In order to do this most effectively, an agent needs to determine what it is that is so special about them personally that sees clients enlist their help over any other agent. 

This ‘something special’ is your competitive advantage and it is what sets you apart from all other real estate agents working in your marketplace. 

The process of determining exactly what your competitive advantage is requires an understanding of yourself and your own skills (especially areas where you excel), the needs of potential clients as well as your competitors. 

If you can understand the services and support clients value, whether you have the ability to satisfy this need and how you are superior to competing agencies in this area, then you could promote this as a reason for people to choose you to sell their home. 

For example, you may find that many clients value feedback on the sale process, however it isn’t always convenient to contact the agent.  CENTURY 21 agents have access to Seller Login, a tool that sellers can access online which will update them on any progress that has been made.  An agent could use this tool to set themselves apart, proving their capability to satisfy a client’s need in a way that no other agency/agent is able to. 

Once you have determined your competitive advantage, it is important to tell people! Your competitive advantage becomes the central component of your sales pitch and it can be used to let potential clients know that you are the right person for the job.

It is also important that you are truthful in promoting your competitive advantage.  Reputations can very quickly be tarnished if an agent doesn’t perform on a promise.  For instance, there is no point in telling a client that you are contactable 24/7 if you always switch off your mobile phone at 6pm. 

In any case, developing your personal competitive advantage can be crucial to your success as an agent.  Know yourself and your abilities, and develop a strong selling message. 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 22/07/2010 at 9:24 AM | Categories:

Keeping a professional image

As a real estate agent, the image that you present to your clients, future clients (potentially anybody) and your local community is crucial to your professional success.  In most cases, people are entrusting you with the responsibility of selling their most valued asset – their home.  The most successful real estate agents are often those who people feel they like and can trust.  Your professional image should position you as such an agent. 

The way you dress can have a significant impact on the way people perceive you.  This doesn’t mean that you have to spend thousands of dollars on designer clothing; rather the clothes you wear should be appropriate, suit you and fit properly. 

Little touches can be easy ways to sharpen your look without stepping completely out of your comfort zone.  A handkerchief in your jacket pocket or a nice piece of jewellery could show the outside world that you pay attention to detail with your own personal appearance, as you will do so when selling their home. 

The internet presents an interesting challenge to real estate agents, because clients may be just as likely to form an impression about you from both your physical presence and your online persona.  If you are not careful, personal online communication such as that on emails, Facebook, Twitter and a personal blog, can also be accessed by people outside of the group for whom you had intended.    The best guide to follow is that if you wouldn’t want your boss or a client to see it, then it is probably safer not to write (or upload) it at all.

An agent’s standing in the local community can often lead to business opportunities.  By taking the time to join a local business or volunteer group, you may find that your standing in the community improves and you are able to expand your business and personal network considerably. 

Real estate agents who work for themselves are faced with few more things to consider when it comes to maintaining a professional image, such as your working environment and marketing collateral.  If working from home, avoid conducting meetings in your home environment where possible.  Choose somewhere neutral, such as a restaurant or hotel lobby, or even take the time to visit the client at their own home. 

When it comes to printing the necessary marketing materials, try to use a professional printing service where your budget allows you to, as well as good quality paper.  Remember that when you can’t be with a client in person, your marketing collateral is your representation. 

It is important to keep in mind the number of real estate agents who exist in the marketplace.  Your aim in maintaining a professional image is often to set yourself apart from your competition.  But remember that no matter how well you dress, the quality of your work will probably always speak the loudest.  A combination of hard work and a sense of professionalism should help to increase the chances of your success.

0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 05/07/2010 at 9:47 AM | Categories: