Selling Involves Much More than Showing Property

Jun 01, 2016
In order to be successful in real estate sales, a person must possess many talents other than just the ability to introduce prospective buyers to suitable properties. You need knowledge of current laws, an insight into human personality, the ability to listen, a willingness to negotiate, the patience to build your prospects, and perseverance to conclude deals successfully.


In February 2016, according to Canadian Real Estate Association statistics, the number of homes trading hands reached its highest level since 2006. Real estate is demanding. Are you prepared? Here are some effective strategies that will help you increase your value in terms of client service and earning potential.

5 Steps to Real Estate Success


Find a Mentor
The personal insights and professional knowledge you gain through formal or informal association with a mentor are invaluable. By establishing trust through an open exchange of ideas, you not only will benefit from your mentor's wealth of experience, but you will also learn to express yourself, better define your own goals, grow personally and professionally, and develop the ability to compromise. The ongoing give-and-take will serve you well as you handle real estate transactions, oversee difficult negotiations and, ultimately, earn your wings. As career coach Chrissy Scivicque writes in a Forbes article, "The key to success [with a mentor] is simply defining the relationship from the beginning. Make it an open dialogue."
Really "Hear" Your Clients
Learn to listen to what your clients say, whether you deal with buyers or sellers. But also learn to look behind the words, because sometimes the underlying message is very different. By taking the time to ask pertinent questions and develop a trusting relationship, you gain a better understanding of client expectations and increase your success quotient. By meeting client needs, you boost your sales potential. The psychology of selling is not limited to real estate, and many of the same principles apply whether you are marketing that proverbial "better mousetrap," selling vacant land, or promoting your own services. "Trust is a psychological relationship between individuals," created through "real-time personal interactions." And, according to professionals, "All buying situations contain both business process and personal psychology."
It's a trend in many other fields, and building a niche might just be the way of the future in real estate, as well. Although digital technology makes access to information much easier, the shrinking globe and increasing pace of life have made keeping tabs on that information increasingly difficult. By becoming an expert in a single area (seller, buyer, senior, vacation property, international etc.), you stand a better chance of setting yourself apart from the field.
If you are interested in a full-time profitable career in real estate, rather than a part-time job, find your niche, seek specialized professional designations to reflect and promote your expertise, and keep on expanding your circles of influence. Although real estate has traditionally been associated with a high percentage of part-timers and persons embarking on second careers, the evolution of the real estate field has changed the demographics somewhat. However, it is still true, according to recent government statistics, that between 15 and 20% leave the field annually.
Keep Up With the News
In the words of Bob Dylan's popular song from the 60s, "The times, they are a-changin'". It is absolutely imperative that a real estate professional be aware of and knowledgeable about changes to real estate law, local zoning regulations, financing requirements, foreclosure statistics, market trends and new construction costs. It is equally vital to have at least a passing knowledge of what the trends are in other provinces and in other countries. Demographics, income levels, corporate financial earnings, business relocations, immigration and even the relative value of the Canadian dollar to other currencies can have a decided effect on real estate trends and prices.
Perfect Your Organizational Skills
Step out of your comfort zone by taking classes that stretch your mind and introduce new skills. Look into a time management app, or utilize a digital calendar so that you never lose track of deadlines during a contract negotiation. Staying "in the loop" on every real estate transaction is not an optional talent, even if you have an office staff to help you. Luckily, digital technology makes it easier than it has ever been before.

Never believe that your license represents anything other than "the beginning" of your professional journey. Approach continuing education courses as an opportunity, rather than a requirement.

As you expand your horizons and alter your attitudes, you will become not only a better real estate professional, but almost assuredly a more interesting person. Continuing education is an important aspect of your professional journey, and the Real Estate Institute of Canada (REIC) is dedicated to serving your needs by offering classes that focus on the breadth and depth of real estate topics. Why not browse available courses? Many classes are offered in both home study and online formats.
Gareth R. Jones, FRI CRES

Written by Gareth R. Jones, FRI CRES

Gareth is a real estate broker with over 28 years of experience in residential and commercial real estate. He is Executive Vice-President at REIC and serves as a Board Director and Chairman of the Commercial Committee at TREB. Gareth previously worked for major real estate firms such as Right At Home Realty, Royal LePage, Johnston & Daniel Division, RE/MAX, and CIBC as a commercial mortgage manager.