12 Skills All Successful Real Estate Agents Have

“You don’t necessarily have to possess a certain personality type, come from a particular background or even have the same goals as the people around you to find success in real estate.”

It’s a profession in which many different kinds of people have found success. But despite their differences, successful real estate agents have often mastered similar skill sets that give them an advantage over their competitors. Just what are these real estate agent skills?

Keep reading because we’ve compiled the most important ones for you.

As you read through our guide, bear in mind that these skills of successful real estate agents are just a snapshot; if you don’t possess all of these real estate skills, you can still become a successful agent. But if you work to improve these skills, you’ll see a hefty return on your investment.

Let’s get started!

Communication Skills

Hopefully, you like the sound of your own voice because you’re going to hear a lot of it.

As a real estate agent, you’ll spend a lot of time speaking with people. Whether you’re fielding questions from clients, engaging with fellow agents, or building a network with other professionals, you’ll do a lot of talking. This is good news for those of us who like to talk, but even if you’re not a talker by nature it doesn’t mean you can’t hone your communication skills.

These skills can be taught if they don’t come naturally to you and here are a few tips to build or improve your communication skills.

  • Be a good listener – Half of communication is actually listening to the other person. Give the other person a chance to talk and take your cues from them.
  • Ask questions – You’re in a conversation, not a monologue. Ask the other person questions to clarify and to draw them out of their shell.
  • Make eye contact – While you don’t want to keep a steady gaze while you’re speaking to someone, you do want to look at that individual as you speak to them. Otherwise it feels like you’re trying to hide something from them. Also maintain eye contact when the other individual is speaking to you, or it will appear that you’re disinterested.

Remember, no two clients are exactly alike. Every client has a different preferred method of being in touch? Text? Email? Phone calls? Whatever it is, ask your client at the start of your relationship so you can make sure you get it right. Then make sure you’re proactive when it comes to getting in touch. Don’t leave your client wondering. What should I do next? Or when should I do it? Make sure you communicate enough to guide your clients through the real estate process.

Relationship Building

In the real estate market, just like any market, people want to buy from someone they can trust. Your clients need to know that you have their best interests at heart, even if it means losing a sale. Whether it’s about being transparent with your commission or disclosing any potential red flags with a property, your clients need to know they can rely on you.

Building trust takes time, but it’s worth it. Being honest and reliable helps develop trust that will be reflected in clients’ testimonials and referrals.

Problem Solving

No real estate business is ever smooth sailing. There will always be bumps in the road, like a low appraisal or last minute loan denial. As an agent, you need to anticipate these challenges and identify solutions. You’ll need to feel comfortable with constantly solving problems, sometimes in ways that aren’t the most obvious or conventional.

How can you improve your problem solving skills? Just do your job. You are in the business of selling. The only way to improve is to keep doing what you do, even though you might stumble before closing a good deal. You will only learn from your own mistakes. How can you learn if you are too afraid to commit them? It’s okay to stumble in the beginning. Mastering will come in time.

Local Knowledge

You’ll never become a successful real estate agent if you do not know your local area. It also helps to acquire a good working knowledge of other relevant communities and neighborhoods before you deal with clients. As a real estate agent you are selling more than a home; you’re also selling the life that comes with it, which requires a deep understanding of the local area.

How can you improve? Research and ask around. You also have to spend time within the locality to observe the conditions during different times of the day and the year.

Here are the usual areas that most potential buyers will be asking about and you must have extensive knowledge:

  • Infrastructure (stores, schools, hospitals, etc.)
  • Public transportation
  • Ordinances, regulations, penalties
  • Neighborhood atmosphere
  • Legal concerns (taxes, crime rate, etc.)

By explaining these things to your clients, they will form an impression that you know what you are selling and that they are in good hands.

Empathy

Empathy is about being able to put yourself in your client’s shoes and genuinely taking an interest in them and the challenges they are facing. Real estate isn’t always “just business.” For your clients it’s a very personal experience.

Try to approach every conversation by asking yourself, “What if I were them?” For example, something like a home inspection might not be stressful for you as a professional with previous experiences. But your client may bever have been through this before, and home inspections can be stressful and the results can be confusing.

Remember, empathy isn’t just about assuming to know what others are going through. You can always ask.

Flexibility

Real estate is a balance between meeting a series of deadlines and waiting for clients to make decisions. It can be stressful for an agent who doesn’t have the skill of flexibility. You need to be able to “roll with the punches” because a real estate workday is never the same two days in a row. Even though you might create your own work schedule, when and what you’re doing largely depends on the schedules of other people.

Knowing when to be flexible can also help you through the negotiating process. You’ve got to find ways to give a little and take a little until you come to a win-win agreement.

Great Negotiating

One of the most important things you’ll do as an agent is negotiate contracts. Your clients are depending on you to close the deal and get them a favorable offer. To do this successfully you’ll need to be tough but fair when it comes to negotiating skills.

You can’t give in the instant there’s a counter. You can’t blindly accept what’s offered or accept terms you know aren’t the best for your client just to get the deal done. Negotiating skills give you the ability to stand up for your clients and demand they get a fair deal no matter what side of the transaction they’re on.

Persistence

Many agents who want to make it big in the real estate industry fail in one important aspect: follow up. When you fail to take every lead you get, you are less likely to become a top performer. Following up every lead is crucial to achieving success.

Following up leads may require automation of a system that keeps track of beneficial leads. Throw away your notebooks and post-it notes and embrace new technology. These days you can keep tabs on all relevant details with the help of apps installed on a smartphone.

Successful real estate agents do not wait for clients to call them. They check on all appointments, meetings, and showings themselves. They are also flexible (as we mentioned above) and will adjust their schedule if the client requests.

Passion

Popular and successful real estate agents are those who enjoy what they do for a living. You must have a passion to serve people by showing them the best properties within their budget. Real estate agent success also requires a respect for diversity so that people from all cultures and neighborhoods are accommodated, satisfied, and respected.

You will never meet a successful real estate agent who is haggard, frustrated, or bored with their job. Successful agents are enthusiastic about what they do, are presentable, and take care of their appearance. They are in the business to help their clients accomplish beneficial property investments as well as build their own successful real estate career.

Time Management

Working as a real estate agent means you’re an independent contractor, which essentially means you’re your own boss. You can choose the days and time you work and make your own schedule that works for you. While this may sound like a dream, it’s crucial to ensure you’re managing your time efficiently. Staying organized can help make sure your appointments are always scheduled with enough time in between to always be on time, stay aware of important deadlines, and be flexible with your clients to respond within a certain timeframe.

Network, network, network

Leading real estate professionals are extremely well connected. They have trusted contacts who can come to the rescue no matter what challenges may arise. These rockstar real estate agents recognize the importance of strong networking skills and make it a priority to establish and maintain good relationships with the following professionals:

  • Home inspectors, who can assess a home’s physical condition
  • Mortgage lenders, who can provide prospective buyers with the funding they need to purchase a property
  • Real estate lawyers, who can assist with contract questions and issues
  • Staging specialists, who can quickly make a home more aesthetically appealing to buyers

Networking is often misunderstood as a method of getting something from the people around you. Networking is actually a way of contributing to those around you and building a community of like-minded individuals who will give back to you in times of need. Network with your fellow real estate agents. Help those coming up in the industry around you and seek out people with more experience from whom you can learn.

Continue your Education

The best in their field are always learning. It is no different in real estate. A successful real estate professional is one who is always taking continuing education courses and always growing.

What If You’re Missing a Few of These Skills?

First off, don’t panic. While all 12 might be ideal, that may not be realistic, especially if you’re new to the business.

Though it may seem like you either have these qualities or you don’t, most can be developed or learned. Take the time to check in with yourself. Which skills are your strengths? Which do you need to work on? Then, find ways to develop your skills in these areas, as they are important to your real estate career success.

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