This is just one piece of the total pie that an agent needs to consider to advance their career and propel their business higher and higher. We asked successful real estate agents to share the one piece of sales advice that they received that has proven the most useful throughout their career. Here is what they had to say.
1. Don't “sell”, but create value
Contrary to popular beliefs, when it comes to real estate, an agent's job is not to sell - we should, however, facilitate and coach our clients. When someone feels or finds out they have been "sold," they are likely to resent the salesperson who they think is mainly responsible for their purchase. Instead, provide advice, educate, keep clients focused on the goals they described for you, i.e. put the needs of the client ahead of the needs of the agent. The best piece of advice is to try and create value. When we focus on creating value for others, we create trust with our partners. This trust has been the single greatest asset in my portfolio. It has led to great opportunities within our industry and has helped foster some awesome client relationships.
2. Work hard and honest, but remain human
People back in the days used to say that the key to success is simple: work hard and be honest. It’s still a sound piece of advice today: don't pretend to know all the answers when you don't, because in real estate, your best asset is your reputation. Ensure your clients that you will get the answer and take action. Never, ever lie. Most agent training on sales is about getting the "prospect" to do what we need. Sign the contract, get the sale. But it's not necessarily only about that. We are fiduciaries, so our ultimate responsibility is to serve the client. When we go in with our goals in mind, not theirs, it shows. It degrades trust. When we go in with a mindset of helping them reach their goals, we build trust. Serve. Success follows.
3. Offer Multiple Options
Be a trusted adviser. By presenting multiple options to a future client, you can guide them to the best option for them rather than pushing something on them. We often tell people if our resolution isn't the right fit for them, and we might lose a sale as a result, but the trust we build with people by being honest generates more long-term value than any individual sale.
4. Hit whatever is thrown your way
Develop an “I don’t care” attitude – not the bad kind of I don’t care, but the good one, meaning no matter what comes your way, you’ll deal with it. The advice came from a Little League coach who was having so much trouble hitting the pitch because he was trying to decide if it was a strike or a ball. His advice was to develop an attitude of, “I don’t care what the pitcher throws — I’m hitting it!” The advice applies to sales. Don’t care about the challenges thrown at you — solve whatever they are.
5. Strive to create equity and be always willing to help
Paying rent, unfortunately, never creates equity, property ownership does that, and you can borrow against your real estate to grow any other business. You can use it to grow education, training, real estate and nonprofit businesses internationally. Your mindset should be about helping people. If you are willing to help people with knowledge, skills or expertise, you will be the first in mind when they need professional services or as a referral. Your reputation is built by the things you do, not by what you say.
6. Be obsessed or be average
Be obsessed. Be obsessed with getting your client your product or service. Be obsessed with providing them with the highest level of service and satisfaction. Be obsessed with solving their problems and growing your business in the process. Most salespeople simply lack clarity and obsession, and you can't show one great salesperson who's not obsessed.
7. Listen and learn
One of the keys to sales’ success is being a good listener. Listening shows that you care, makes it possible to understand what your prospective clients’ true needs and wants are -- which then helps you to plan how you can provide a solution. Sometimes, your clients simply need to convince themselves. In those cases, you just need to listen and validate what they're saying.
8. Provide direct solutions to clients' challenges
The greatest barrier to success for a client is a distraction keeping them from achieving their goals. One of the most challenging barriers includes real estate development. Showing how your services can remove complicated barriers is essential to close the sale.
9. Be in constant contact and communication
Until the consumers see you, they won’t know that you exist. You are the best billboard for your brand. Constant contact, communication and advertising your name/brand is the only way to let the prospective clients know you exist. You must spend money on advertising to make money. If you keep your name silent, no one will ever know your brand exists or what your company offers. Advertising money equals profit.
10. Activity drives to results
The more calls you make, networking events you go to or follow up you do, the better your sales results will turn out. Keep track of your activities and you will notice that it boils down to how much you are actually doing that generates sales. Meetings and brainstorming sessions are great, but activities directly related to generating new business will drive sales.