The subheading of the introduction of Dianna Booher’s book, Communicate with Confidence!, is “Communication is a life-or-death matter.” The second sentence is “that’s not an overstatement.” No two sentences can be more apropos in a profession such as real estate.
Communication skills in real estate means establishing a rapport with clients and gaining their trust and respect. It means: being interested in clients’ well-being and understanding their needs and wants; finding solutions to challenges and difficulties during negotiations; asking clients the right questions to ensure they understand the process of buying and/or selling a property; and listening to what clients say and do not say.
Finally, good communication skills help prevent misunderstandings that can turn into major obstacles.
How well do you communicate with clients? Colleagues? First, consider the seven Cs of effective business communication – completeness, conciseness, consideration, clarity, concreteness, courtesy, correctness. These components apply to both written and oral communication.
- Completeness means the communication must convey all facts required by the audience, provides additional information when required, and leaves no questions in the mind of the receiver.
- Conciseness means conveying the essential message using meaningful words and not being repetitive.
- Consideration means taking the audience into consideration in terms of education level, background, mind-set, etc. Messages should be modified to suit the audience’s need. Messages should be positive and emphasize what is possible (not what is impossible).
- Clarity means emphasizing a specific message using concrete words.
- Concreteness means supporting the message with specific facts and figures with the intent of strengthening the message.
- Courtesy means delivering the message in a respectful, thoughtful, and enthusiastic manner.
- Correctness means using the right level of language, the correct grammar/spelling, and accurate facts/figures.
Second, consider the 20 statements that follow, adapted from a self-assessment questionnaire. These statements are intended to raise your level of awareness of your communication skills and to help you identify areas that may need improvement.
Communication Skills Self-Assessment
- I am open minded and am willing to change my viewpoint based on the valid opinion of others
- I prepare for all communication and think things through before I speak
- I always tailor my message to suit the person(s) to whom I am speaking
- I find it easy to listen to what other people have to say without interrupting
- I am good at making eye contact with people when I am speaking to them
- I am not intimidated by situations where I must communicate with difficult people
- I am confident when I talk to people and speak clearly without mumbling
- I am good at getting my point across in a clear, concise manner without rambling
- I find it easy to concentrate on what others are saying and don’t lose my focus
- I don’t start planning my response while the other person is talking
- I don’t think that my opinion is the most important in the room
- I only speak up if I have something valuable to contribute to the conversation and I avoid talking just for the sake of it
- I make a conscious effort to match my body language to the message I want to convey
- I am good at reading the body language of others
- I can keep my cool when talking to other people even if I feel angry about what they say
- When other people in the group are quiet, I encourage them to contribute
- I don’t shout and point at people when we have a heated conversation
- When group discussions get heated, I am good at keeping everyone calm and on the point
- I feel comfortable holding meetings
- I am good at summarizing the key points of conversations that I have with people
Booher, D. (2012). Communicate with confidence. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill.
HTC Consulting. (N.D.). Communication skills self-assessment inventory. Retrieved (July 26, 2016) from http://bit.ly/13X3plM.
MSG Management Study Guide (2016). Seven C’s of effective communication. Retrieved (July 26, 2016) from http://bit.ly/1Ql0spD.
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