Charisma is frequently cited as an essential personality trait for successful real estate agents, but it’s often unclear exactly what this means. There is a tendency to view charisma as an innate quality that you must be born with, but that’s far from the truth. You can work on being charming in exactly the same way that any good real estate agent will also continually work to improve their understanding of property legislation, home presentation or any other facet of the business. Ultimately, real estate is a service industry, so ambitious agents should never underestimate the power of charm in terms of building relationships with clients, establishing mutual trust and inspiring loyalty in frequent investors. If you want to strengthen your people skills, focus on these key areas.
Maintaining a calm, happy and relaxed composure yourself is the first step towards making others feel relaxed in your company. Assess your habits objectively to see if there are any that could undermine your professional demeanour, such as fidgeting, adjusting your hair or avoiding eye contact, and work to eradicate them. Smile at every greeting and if you’re sitting down, always stand up before offering a firm handshake. Put your mobile away, turning it to silent so that you’re able to give your audience your full attention. Remember to maintain eye contact and, where appropriate, mirror the client’s body language – smiling and nodding when they do. Use touch strategically to reinforce your words: For example, a congratulatory pat on the arm or a sympathetic hand on the shoulder. Adapt your behaviour to suit your company, joking with chatty clients and establishing a professional warmth with more reserved people.
Between property viewings, phone calls and meetings, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice your small talk. Always be truthful and favour humility over boasting, avoiding any name-dropping or self-promotion when talking about your past experiences. If your client tells you about their fantastic new car, ask interested questions rather than describing your own recent purchases. Refrain from discussing controversial subjects such as religion and politics, and never complain or tell stories that could be interpreted as negative. Instead, find out about your client’s hobbies and show an interest in their life. Keep notes of what they tell you, either mentally or on paper, so that you can impress them with questions about their golfing holiday or daughter’s graduation next time you meet.
One quality that all charming people have in common is the ability to really listen to others. It’s no good asking questions if you don’t appear engaged by the answers, so make sure you’re responsive to every statement. Expressing a genuine interest in your client’s stories makes them feel interesting, which should in turn make them value your company and enjoy spending time with you. If they ask you questions in return, only say as much as is necessary to respond and politely turn the conversation back to them.
If you’re a great people person with a keen interest in real estate, why not consider a career with Engel & Völkers? With real estate offices all around the world, we’re always happy to welcome new talent to our team.