“A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: ‘Duh’.”
Thank you Conan O’Brien.
Okay, now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the mainstay of success in life in general and real estate in particular – good communication skills.
Communication is simply the exchange of information. Good communication is somewhat more complex.
As a real estate salesperson, you will spend a significant portion of your day interacting with colleagues, clients, or customers. You need to be able to gain the trust and respect of buyers and sellers. You need to understand their wants and needs, and be able to negotiate on their behalf to arrive at mutually agreeable terms. Are you doing this?
To know if you are communicating effectively, you must first understand there are three types of communication – verbal (the spoken and written word), non-verbal (body language, facial expressions), and listening. Communication is only successful when both you and the receiver(s) understand the same information.
The Spoken Word
The words you choose to communicate your message are the most common form of verbal communication. Before you speak, though, you should consider three important factors first: your message, your audience, and your situation. And, of course, be friendly and respectful!
Know Your Message – Determine why you are speaking. Say what you mean. Keep it clear and simple.
Know Your Audience – Choose the appropriate degree of familiarity and language level for the person(s) with whom you are speaking. Consider level of education, economic status, and cultural background.
Know Your Situation – Choose the appropriate style (e.g., level of formality) that suits the occasion. Various situations call for different styles.
The Written Word
Written communication is also part of a salesperson’s day-to-day life. You write emails and other forms of correspondence to clients and colleagues. You complete legal documents, such as agreements of purchase and sale.
Similar processes apply to written communication as they do to verbal communication, namely, know your message and know your audience. Ask yourself the following questions:
● Is my meaning clear and will my reader(s) understand what I’m trying to say?
● Do I get to the point quickly?
● Is the information organized in a logical fashion?
● Is it positive?
● Is it accurate?
If you answered no, then review and revise what you have written. If the information is not confidential, you may want to ask someone else to read it and/or proof it for accuracy.
We will examine nonverbal communication and listening in future blog posts.
For More Information
For more information on skills, please consult our A Mentoring Kit for New Salespeople: Training For Success at http://www.orea.com/index.cfm/ci_id/14362/la_id/1.htm. This is a valuable resource for both brokers and salespeople.
Do you have any additional pointers on how to improve communication skills? Please let us know.