December 3rd - 2011

Become a better salesperson by honing your skills

You knew this going in – you need certain skills to be a successful real estate salesperson.

You knew this going in – you need certain skills to be a successful real estate salesperson.

The knowledge includes lessons you have learned in school and accumulated over the years. You may have learned some of the skills in school, while other skills come with experience. Following is a recap of the list of skills that can help you become a better salesperson. Hone them well.

Man pushing clock representative of time management

Time management - American writer Sam Ewing said “It’s not the hours you put in your work that count; it’s the work you put in the hours.” A great deal of valuable energy is wasted due to poor use of time. You need to know how to manage your time effectively, and find a balance between your professional and personal life. You need to know how to prioritize, to plan for the next day, and to avoid time wasters.

Record keeping - When maintaining files of real estate transactions, you need to know, understand, and comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (the privacy law). You need to know what constitutes personal information, and your role in maintaining confidentiality.

Communication - Real estate is a people profession. A day rarely goes by when you are not interacting with colleagues, clients or customers. You need to know the different types of communication and what it means to be a ‘good communicator.’ Good communication skills mean you will be able to gain the trust and respect of buyers and sellers.

Problem solving – This can be defined as the ability to address difficulties and arrive at plausible, practical solutions, given conflicting interests of parties involved in a real estate transaction. You need to know how to define the problem and select the best approach to resolve it.

Negotiation - Negotiating on behalf of buyers and sellers to arrive at mutually agreeable terms is a routine part of the job. You need to know the various states of negotiations, how to engage in win-win negotiations, effective negotiating tactics and how to handle concessions.

Conflict resolution – Conflict is a part of life. You need to know how to prevent conflicts from happening, and how to handle conflicts when they do happen.

Respecting diversity - We live in a multicultural society. You need to know how to interact with and be respectful of people whose culture, language, or customs are different than your own.

Other essential skills are also needed:

People skills – umbrella term for the skills noted above (i.e., communication, problem solving, negotiation, conflict resolution, and respect of cultural diversity), entails the ability to establish rapport and gain the trust and respect of buyers and sellers

Organization and planning – ability to organize personal affairs and conduct business activity in a logical, efficient matter (e.g., obtain listings, show properties, handle offers, and conduct negotiations)

Confidence and persistence – confident attitude and firm grasp of personal goals

Self-discipline – ability to work independently to get the job done

Interview techniques – basic understanding of questioning methods (i.e., asking the right question at the right time to help buyers determine their needs) as well as being a good listener

Research – practical knowledge of how to locate, read, and understand legal documents involving property ownership

Math – basic grounding in math fundamentals, particularly multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, and percentages

Computer knowledge – basic understanding of computer hardware and software

English language comprehension and proficiency – ability to understand, draft and explain real estate agreements, listings, and other related forms.
For more information, check out A Mentoring Kit for New Salespeople: Training for Success, a valuable resource for real estate professionals. Visit and look under OREA Real Estate College in the Products and Services section.

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