Written by: Brian Smith
Original by: REP

A critical component of being an effective real estate sales representative is having strong communication skills—and that involves much more than being personable with clients.

According to Dr. Brian Smith, author of Individual Advantages: Find the “I” in Team, agents should be cognizant of the message they communicate both to the public and throughout their infrastructure.

“Oftentimes, if you look at the way real estate agents communicate, things aren’t really clear,” Dr. Smith, whose company IA Business Advisors has over 1,300 clients worldwide, told REP. “I know they want to post the best of each property, but they can ruin their reputation when they post something that isn’t indicative of the property they’re trying to sell. It starts with the word communication and the visual communication; so by ensuring it’s accurate, detailed enough, and conveys the true nature of what’s being sold, they’ll find their reputation and engagement will get better.

“Similarly, within their offices, there seems to be a disconnect where one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing, so developing and keeping a clear form of communication between your team members, especially when you’re working on multiple properties in multiple areas and with different kinds of properties, it gets really confusing when people don’t understand what they are.”

While agents work for brokerages, they’re essentially autonomous businesses and that can sometimes becloud their disposition. Dr. Smith recommends a top-down infrastructure scheme, the predication of which is clear communication between agents and their brokerage peers, so that nothing is lost in translation.

“While they’re independent agents, they still have to communicate effectively with the teams that support them. If somebody calls in about an ad they’ve communicated, it’s important that their office peers know their schedule, or know which properties they’ve listed and even know a little bit about those properties, and have a clear understanding of what’s expected of them with regards to collecting information from the prospects who call. Agents have to set up their teams to support them, and that way the communication will be more cohesive and they will set themselves up to build better rapport with customers and within the company.”

Understanding the limits of one’s workload is also vital to an agent’s business strategy. Dr. Smith says that agents might sometimes believe too much of their own hype and juggle too many properties, and in the process deliver poor service to all of their clients.

“They’re just trying to get somebody to sign that contract so that they can move onto the next contract, and then they overburden themselves,” he said. “They don’t focus on that contract as much as they can, and should, because they’re trying to grab the next one. They should balance their utilization: How many properties can they handle effectively with their team and the infrastructure they have in place, and how do they keep that balance so that they’re always representing themselves, their companies and their clients’ properties at the highest level?”