The Real Estate Agent’s Mantra
The sooner that a real estate agent realises that we are selling a dream and also an investment, the faster that we begin to understand and appreciate the fact that everything happens in the world of real estate on it’s own time frame. If one tries to rush any aspect of showing or selling a home or a property, then buyers will begin to feel uneasy and may not buy from us. To sell real estate, it is important to learn the art of being able to relate to our clients and understand what their investment goals exactly are. It also helps to know more about their ideas and dreams for their purchases. I always try to put myself in the shoes (or heels!) of a client while they are explaining to me what their desires and criteria is. It is then that I am well placed to sell them their dream.
There is also a flip side to this. If one is only focussed on what the buyer wants, you may forget your own goals. While one never wants the buyer to feel that they are being rushed in their decision-making process, at the same time you also don’t want them to drag their feet for too long. We have heard of the salesman who always nods and says ‘yes’ continuously during a sale in order to mentally and subconsciously influence the buyer to say, ‘Yes’. For e.g. ‘Yes of course I know what you mean, this is a beautiful bathroom’! Or, ‘Yes, the hall is large and spacious’. Conditioning oneself to say ‘yes’ indeed works and enthusiasm is always a contagious thing. If you yourself are enthusiastic about a home or an investment property, then the buyers will also automatically have the same feelings about the property that they are seeing. But there does come a time when everything becomes over-the-top and tiring.
Why The Real Estate Agent Must Sell Differently
Selling real estate is not for the faint-hearted because most clients will not buy after just a single showing. Let us analyse why this is so. When I had just entered this field, my client was a famous hairdresser (name withheld) and his partner. They saw properties all over Mumbai for weeks. But then the first weekend that I went out of town, they closed a deal and brought a house from another estate agent! Well, after that I learned that as a real estate agent, you are going to be selling property to people from all walks of life and from different backgrounds and the only way to be successful in this business is to become exactly the ideal of who their image of a real estate agent is. So at varying times, I have been a babysitter, the banker, the marriage counselor, the parent and many other roles while helping sell real estate to couples, individuals and families! Real Estate Agents will often find that they are helping negotiate between a couple who are fighting over which house to buy. Or you might become a mediator when say the husband has a huge amount of debt to pay. So you assume the role that your clients want you to assume – to a great extent. However the key is to keep yourself distant from any emotional attachment to one’s clients. You want to come across as a neutral and professional friend but if you become too involved then it’s hard to sell a home to a buyer.
My Personal MantraI do not wish to become the agent who just happened to ‘sell’ a house to a client but at the same time, I do not want to become the agent who shows a buyer who does not intend to buy a house. I would ideally like to become that happy medium of selling a house to a buyer who wants to buy immediately while at the same time never becoming that pushy agent who gets a sale which the buyer did not buy with his whole heart into it and which may fall through at any moment.
A Friend and an Agent
A good real estate agent is expected to play the role of a friend cum agent. A lot of times, the client simply wants someone to hold their hand and tell them that it’s alright. You should be able to do this without any deceit – especially so when you are holding the hand of a person who may be holding 5 or 10 Cr in cash in the boot of his / her car! Clients expect a real estate agent to make them feel comfortable. I believe that for achieving success in real estate, you need to be just as comfortable selling to someone who earns 50 lakhs a year and wants to buy a 1 Cr property as much as selling to someone who wants to buy a 10 Cr property. I believe that it is important for us to get comfortable with people from all backgrounds and from all walks of life. This is something that a sharp real estate agent will recognize early on in his / her career. I personally have never had a problem with this aspect in India because in my life, I have been everything from rich to broke and so I am never easily impressed nor intimated by money. However I do realise that some agents especially those who come from impoverished backgrounds may have a problem with this. Some real estate agents who are used to selling multi million dollar homes and properties do no fare so well with buyers who are looking to buy a small apartment. On the other hand, small time brokers feel crippled and uncomfortable when dealing with wealthy folks who want to buy 10 Cr plus properties.
I believe that a Real Estate Agent must sell differently with every client. In fact it is very important for agents to be able to match the personality of the buyers. If you are comfortable with the people who are buying from you, it is very easy for one to wind up the day with a statement like, “So Amit, which home did you like the most?” And after he informs you, all you need to say is, “Well, we will offer them 8.45 Cr. and see if they like the offer.” It is comfortable, you are friends by this point and there is nothing that is overtly pushy about it. This is real estate made simple! This is the way that real estate sales should happen – easily. If you have the personality for it, selling real estate can be easy. It is really is. It is also a more fun and enjoyable profession if you can make your job easy and effortless by understanding these basic selling principles.