Dave Eller disputes the commonly held belief that there is a winning sales personality, looking at some of the ideal traits you really need.
Upon meeting people and telling them that I work in real estate, I often get the reply that they think they would be good at real estate sales as they “are outgoing, friendly and even persuasive”.
In fact, real estate salespeople have often been led to believe that if they possess these qualities, they will automatically enjoy success in selling. I think this is the big real estate personality myth, and the truth is that there is no such thing as a winning sales personality.
However, there are certain personality traits that a superior salesperson possesses, and sales guru Brian Tracy identifies them as these:
1. Accepts 100 per cent responsibility for results
Many agents operate under a sub-contractor arrangement with their agency. But even if you don’t, you should always view yourself as being self-employed. This is because everything you do, every book you read, every training session you attend, your personal branding, is all an investment in yourself. Therefore, everything that you accomplish, or don’t accomplish, is your responsibility. Winners always accept full responsibility for everything that happens to them. Losers always make excuses and look for someone else to blame.
Winners always accept full responsibility for everything that happens to them. Losers always make excuses and look for someone else to blame.
2. Above-average ambition and desire to sell
To be a great real estate agent you have to want to sell. You have to want to do the deals. You have to want to win and not let anything put you off your focus. ‘Testing the water’ to see if you like selling real estate won’t work.
3. High levels of empathy
Empathy is important in order to get along with people. Caring about the people you deal with, and those you work with, is essential to longevity in the industry. Caring about the result you achieve, not just caring about achieving a result, is an indicator of how concerned you are for your clients.
4. Belief in themselves
Believing and trusting your own ability is a foundation for success. Additionally, a belief in your agency, its culture and what they are doing is fundamental. You also need to enjoy what you do; you cannot be highly successful at real estate sales if you don’t love what you are doing.
5. Intensely goal-oriented
Great real estate salespeople know how much they will earn – each month, each quarter, each year.
They know how many listing opportunities and appraisals they need in order to get the listings in order to make the number of sales they need to earn that income.
6. Above-average willpower to succeed
Real estate athletes aren’t pushed to be top performers; they are pulled by their pure desire to be great at what they do. They realise that there is no such thing as something for nothing and are willing to do what it takes to achieve their goals. In the course of our activities as agents, knockbacks can be frequent. Therefore to keep moving forward in the face of setbacks, frustrations and disappointments is a key ingredient to being the best.
To keep moving forward in the face of setbacks, frustrations and disappointments is a key ingredient to being the best.
7. Ability to turn strangers into friends
Selling real estate is about connecting with people; all types of people from all walks of life. And the art of selling is very much based around ‘the friendship factor’ – people doing business with those they know, like and trust. The ability to turn strangers into friends only happens when you come from a place that is genuine and real.
This is the capacity to adjust your personality to match the demands of the particular situation in which you find yourself.
Some buyers and/or sellers are distant and removed; some are warm and friendly; some are quiet, and some are loud. A single approach to selling to all these people will not work.
There is an art to blending your personality. The aim is to be in total coordination with the pace, tone and speed of those you are dealing with.
9. High levels of self-confidence and self-esteem
Self-esteem and self-confidence are all about liking and accepting yourself: they are not about being egotistical. The more you like and accept yourself, the more you will like and accept others. This plays a big part in the negotiation process, because when people feel that you like them they are more likely to accept suggestions you may make.