By Cain German
In an industry traditionally dominated by scripts and top performers, know that it’s not just OK to show your personality, but nowadays it’s imperative.
When some think of real estate agents, the connotations don’t stray far from sleazy; full of sly verbiage and sales tactics that bend words and twist arms to find his or her next fix, next victim, next “deal.”
Challenging and changing this paradigm is the single biggest opportunity a REALTOR® can have. And it can be conquered with possibly the easiest means: Authenticity. (You know, a genuine personality. Transparent character.)
Ask any agent to tell you about themselves and almost all of them will mention their sales volume and fluff their hyperbolic ego like that is supposed to impress you. That’s great, Sir Sells-a-lot, but every agent can draft up a residential purchase agreement and find a listing here and there. In what ways are you handling transactions that makes you memorable? What will make your clients refer you to their friends and family after the sale? How else did you create a connection with your client other than being the “let me handle this” hot shot?
What will set you apart from other deal-thirsty agents?
What agents often forget is that our clients are people. Humans as a species have a natural necessity for connection. Real estate professionals must remember that purchasing a home is one of the most momentous milestones of any person’s life. It is the emotionally driven roller coaster that can bring a family to tears and it is a dream denied to many. Some only do it once in their entire lifetime. Why not make the process easier and allow our clients to lose the stigma of real estate agents as snakes in suits by being transparent?
Be a friend, be a person, and be yourself. Only then will you forge a lasting relationship with your clients that will outlive the initial transaction. Here are three of the easiest ways to show your clients that you are person, not a machine:
- Ask about themselves and their family: Get to know them personally other than what they look like in underwriting and the RPA.
- Discuss things not pertaining to real estate: “Oh! You watch Narcos, too?! Awesoommmmme. Did we just become best friends?” It turns out, most clients watch TV and indulge in activities other than listing their home and/or purchasing a home.
- Tell them embarrassing stories of yourself: Show them you are a person, too. The worst that can happen is you relive a moment where you wanted to sink into your chair and you share a laugh. I’m not an expert, but I hear laughter is a good thing. (Don’t quote me.)
I once had a buyers counseling session that lasted two-and-a-half hours and only about 30 minutes of it was related to real estate. We joked about everything – food, favorite comedians, cars, movies, and everything in between. I knew right then and there that the process of finding her home was going to be an amazing experience for the both of us. I found myself repeating, “I must find my new friend a home and represent her the best I possibly can.” I was vested. At that point, she was my friend. Hooked.
It’s OK to show some personality; no one likes the hot-shot agent who takes him or herself too seriously. Those agents are a dime a dozen. Kick rocks. (If you’re offended by this, then you are precisely who I am talking about.)
Chase the relationship, not the deal.
With your authenticity, you will naturally begin to attract your own crowd of clients – your peeps. They will relate to you on a level far greater than simply on a professional level, and with that comes trust. You’ll find that these peeps will be the most loyal clients and friends that will stop at nothing when speaking of your work as a professional. They are your number one fans. You are not for everyone and that’s OK. You can’t “top perform” your way into gaining people’s trust.
Remember that this is your career; this is how you make a living. You will spend an enormous amount of time building your business and your brand. Why would you not want to be yourself? I’m not saying, “don’t use scripts, they are the devil blah blah blah.” But jazz legend Charlie Parker said it best: “Memorize the changes, then forget the changes.” Which translates to: “Remember the scripts, then forget the scripts.”
Dare to stand out and be memorable. Your clients will feel like $1 million dollars knowing that you held nothing back and they had a new friend watching our for their best interest at all times. That feeling is your business card.
Cain German is a REALTOR® at RE/MAX Prestige in Orange County, Calif. He has an affinity for heavy metal and values relationships over transactions. Connect with Cain on Twitter: @cain_kong