In a world where technology is king, effective in-person communication is at risk of becoming a lost art. But whether you’re meeting potential clients, negotiating deals, or networking with professionals, a confident and approachable communication style can catapult you to new career heights. Let’s delve into essential verbal communication tools, the art of building rapport, and how to effectively influence decisions that mutually benefit your clients and your business.
The power of words cannot be underestimated when meeting with a client. As a real estate professional, it’s crucial to master the art of clear and concise conversation. Using industry jargon when appropriate while remembering to simply explain their meanings shows a nice balance of professionalism and approachability.
Listening is equally important. In fact, renowned author and lecturer Dale Carnegie suggests that you aim to do 75% listening and 25% of the talking.* After someone finishes speaking, follow up by asking questions and paraphrasing what they just said to convey your understanding. Open-ended questions encourage people to share their preferences and concerns, which makes them feel heard. The more you listen, the better equipped you are to address their needs.
With experience, storytelling can be a valuable tool. Instead of focusing on personal successes (like sales numbers), try to paint a vivid picture of times you’ve helped people navigate obstacles to achieve their goals.
This showcases your expertise while also creating an emotional connection with your audience.
Using your communication skills correctly can build rapport with your audience. Rapport leads to trust, which is the key to success in this industry. Authenticity is crucial to this process.
Whether it’s a shared interest, similar background, or a mutual acquaintance, personal commonalities break down barriers and establish a connection. Remembering personal details about people outside of their housing preferences shows that you genuinely care about them as individuals.
Nonverbal cues, or body language, also play a significant role in building rapport. A good handshake and posture are important, and several studies show making eye contact conveys truth and honor.* However, too much eye contact can unsettle the other person in some cases, so try to balance it appropriately. A friendly smile, engaging stance, and positive tone are nonverbal cues that help people feel comfortable and open.
Once you’ve built a solid level of trust, you’ve earned the opportunity to be a trusted advisor. While this puts you in the position to persuade people, it’s important to do so in a way that puts your clients’ best interests above all else.
The art of influence is about inspiring action for mutual benefit. Clearly identify your clients’ objectives, and make sure to vocalize how your recommendations are connected to their housing goals. What is best for your clients will be what is best for your business.
When in doubt, remember honesty really is the best policy. What you may see as a short-term setback — such as pointing out hidden flaws in a house a buyer initially likes — will benefit you in the long-term by ensuring you guide them toward the best decision possible.
Mastering the art of communication is a layered endeavor and takes practice. It’s also crucial to your professional development. Investing time in strengthening your communication skills can pay dividends in the long run. Satisfied clients are likely to become repeat customers, as well as refer others to your services. And word-of-mouth referrals are a powerful testament to your professionalism and the quality of your relationships.
*Source: Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” October 1936.