Viewing by month: July 2011

Remaining healthy when working through winter

As we shiver through what has, in some areas of Australia, been a historically cold winter, we are reminded of the importance of keeping healthy and warm especially when working.  If you fall victim to wet and frosty weather you run the risk of not only getting sick but also reducing the effectiveness of the work you complete. 

As a real estate agent, if you continue working while sick, your productivity and performance levels could drop or you may get sicker. Thus, taking steps to remain healthy and quickly overcome sickness is very important.

Whether you are on the road driving to an appointment or in the office, it is important to be aware of some helpful ways to keep you healthy this winter.

• Make sure you keep warm. While simple this is often overlooked. Keep an umbrella and spare scarf in the car as they are great ways to stay warm and dry.
• Drink plenty of water and milk. During colder months it is important to hydrate your body by drinking at least two litres a day.  According to the UK’s National Health Service you are 80 per cent more likely to get a cold in winter so make sure your immune system is in tiptop shape by drinking lots of milk and water. 
• Eat more fruit and vegetables. When it is cold outside it is easy to resort to comfort food. However, despite the winter chill it is still important to remain healthy by eating foods that are high in protein and vitamins. Winter soups can be an easy and tasty way to meet your daily vegetable intake.
• Get enough sleep. The UK’s Sleep Council supports the importance of a good night’s sleep to health and wellbeing.  Lack of sleep can dramatically impair your immune system making you even more vulnerable to the winter chill.
• Wash your hands. Especially while at work, wash your hands every chance you get as you can become sick by picking up live viruses and other bacteria.
• Take supplements. Although no substitute for a balanced and healthy diet, daily multivitamins can help give your body the nutrients it needs to remain healthy. 
• Get vaccinated against the flu. Last year’s flu injection will not necessarily adequately protect you this year. The vaccination will help protect you from pneumonia and other serious complications that can follow from the worsening of a cold.
• Keep exercising.  Exercise is not only important for your metabolism and fitness, but also a great way to reduce stress and feel good about yourself.  Just remember to stay warm when exercising and stretching.

Your ability to perform as a CENTURY 21 real estate agent is highly dependent on your health and well being. As your productivity may be significantly compromised if you do not look after yourself during the cold winter months, taking steps to remain healthy when working through winter is essential for your career as a successful agent.

0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 26/07/2011 at 9:34 AM | Categories:

Working effectively with difficult colleagues

In many office environments you may come across colleagues whom, for whatever reason, you simply do not gel with.  This could be due to a number of interpersonal reasons, including personality clashes, varying ethics or private issues.  Then there are the bullies of the office, those who refuse to collaborate and people who do not pull their weight. 

There is no doubt that working with difficult colleagues can sometimes be tough.  However, as a CENTURY 21 real estate agent it is important to develop the skills necessary to manage your relationships with the assortment of different personalities that you may come across in the workplace.  

Developing such mechanisms should help you to keep your own feelings and actions in check when working with such colleagues, hopefully reducing the negative impact these people may have on you and helping to make your working experience more enjoyable and successful.

Here are four tips to help you deal with difficult colleagues:

1. Remain calm – losing your temper is not the most effective way to induce collaboration with a difficult colleague.  It is usually best to remain calm until you are able to develop an understanding of the person’s reasons for acting as they do. 

2. Connect on a personal level – with emails, mobile phones and messaging systems, issues with your fellow employees may arise simply through instances where messages are misunderstood or taken the wrong way.  Reinstating face to face or at least voice contact with your colleagues could go a long way to help you build mutual understanding and stronger relationships.

3. Have respect – despite your frustration, always treat your colleagues with respect, even in difficult situations.  No one likes to be treated as if they are unintelligent, incompetent or incapable (even if you think they are), and your suggestion as such may only cause the situation and relationship to deteriorate further. 

4. Ignore or take action – if you have tried everything in your power to address the conflict you seem to have with a colleague then you can either choose to ignore their attitude and behaviour, or if all else fails refer the matter to a higher authority for resolution. 

Regardless of the mixture of personalities within a real estate office, agents must learn to cooperate with each other in order to continue to achieve successful sales results.  While you don’t have to be best friends with everyone at work, in most cases you will still have to work with everyone.

0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 18/07/2011 at 4:05 PM | Categories:

Enjoy success with good customer service skills

As a real estate agent in today’s market you must compete with hundreds, if not thousands of other real estate agents in both your local market and around the country to achieve success.  Not only do you have to fight to win listings, it is also harder to retain clients as their alternative agent options are limitless should they be unhappy with an aspect of their dealings with you.   

While your selling skills will ultimately be what allows you to realise excellent sales results, the ability to provide exceptional customer service to your clients is one way to position yourself above the competition.  If your clients feel well taken care of and that their needs were not only met but unexpectedly surpassed, you should be able to achieve customer loyalty and referral business.   

The following ideas are just a few ways that you can practice good customer service skills with your real estate clients. 

Spontaneous check-in
Conducting preorganised meetings with your clients are obviously essential and are times when important matters concerning the property sale are to be discussed.  It is good to note however that some clients may appreciate you taking the time to drop in to see them for five or ten minutes here and there, not necessarily to discuss the sale, but just to check in and see how they are going. 

The prime moment to call in may be at a time when you know your client is cleaning or gardening in preparation for selling.  Readying a property for sale can be both emotional and stressful, and seeing an agent genuinely take the time to see how you are going can be of help to some people.

Of course, many sellers would not appreciate their agent coming over unannounced, so use your best judgement to determine which clients would appreciate the gesture.  

Be truthful to your clients
It is not often that people respond well when they are aware that someone, especially a salesperson, is not being honest with them.  In real estate it becomes especially important to treat your clients with integrity and respect, especially in the current market where prices in various areas are softening and some vendors are not achieving the prices they had originally expected. 

If you can prepare your client and help them to be realistic with their pricing expectations, always delivering bad news with respect, no matter what the sales outcome the client will usually remember you as an agent who was honest and helpful.  Such positive thoughts should stick with them past the sale and the finalisation of your dealings with them. 

Set contact guidelines and follow them
When selling a property, some vendors want to be updated with every little detail while others merely want to hear the big picture.  By simply asking at the beginning of the sales process and setting and following contact guidelines as per your client’s request, people will remember your service as catering exactly to their needs. 

Developing a good set of customer service skills is essential for your success as a real estate agent.  By cementing yourself in the memory of former clients you should enjoy not only client loyalty and repeat business but referral and word-of-mouth business also.  

0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 11/07/2011 at 9:05 AM | Categories:

Understand how non-verbal communication affects your sales success

As real estate agents we all share a fundamental drive to communicate, pitch and sell.  Your ability to convey information effectively to clients and prospective buyers is very much a process of clearly understanding shared meanings, and realising that much information can be put across without anything being said at all.

Non-verbal communication is thus a key tool for real estate agents to better understand clients and their opinions on properties and prices.  In fact, non-verbal methods of communicating make up a large proportion of all the interactions we have with other people. Understanding what global gestures and other characteristics to look out for can assist you with bettering your communication skills and thus your sales success.

Non-verbal communication is the process of understanding a message without the use of words. People can mask the real meaning of their messages to agents, making it complex to understand what a client is getting at. Being able to learn and master the meaning of facial gestures, tone of voice, timing, posture and where someone stands when they are talking to you are all factors that can assist you to sell a home or achieve a new listing.

Additionally, communicating is not only about what you say and how you get your messages across; it also concerns how your audience reacts to your comments.  Being able to understand your client’s body language is important when selling a property.  Certain aspects of non-verbal communication will afford you some comprehension of what your subject is thinking but not expressing in words, which will allow you to alter your pitch accordingly. 

Non-verbal communication is therefore a very important aspect for real estate agents to consider when interacting with clients and prospective buyers as it can afford greater insights into the thought processes and intentions of clients.  If understood and interpreted correctly, non-verbal communication can help you to improve your success as a real estate agent. 

0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 04/07/2011 at 10:34 AM | Categories: