How to master the art of communication: Angela Avgerinos

Real estate agents looking to gather new listings need to tailor their presentations to their clients' communication style, and ensure they don't just talk, but actively listen to what their would-be vendors want and need, LJ Hooker Performance Leader Angela Avgerinos says.

Angela Avgerinos learnt one of the most important lessons in her real estate career the hard way – through failure.

Failing to get a listing she thought she had nailed, crushed, was a shoo-in for.

It was a big listing, but she’d prequalified the would-be vendors and had all of her data ready when she walked into their living room for the listing presentation.

“I spoke so much that halfway through I was talking to myself going, ‘Angela, you’ve nailed it, this is yours’.”

But it wasn’t to be.

Three-quarters of the way through her listing presentation, Angela noticed the vendors’ body language changed, they were no longer leaning in and eye contact was fading away.

With many more years of experience under her belt, the LJ Hooker performance leader now knows exactly where she went wrong.

She didn’t pick up on the signs, such as artwork on the wall, that her vendors communicated best when visuals were used.

“The feedback I got from them was that I didn’t show them what the flight path was going to look like,” Angela says.

“I didn’t get a pen and paper out; I just spoke about it.”

Telling her story at Accelerate 2020, Angela says that was the day she decided to change the way she looked at people.

“I wasn’t going to walk into an appraisal and just assume that the one way I know, which is the safe way, was going to be the best way,” she says.

“Communication is not just about speaking or reading.

“I spoke too much and that’s why I lost that listing, because I was super confident and thought that I had to tell them everything they needed to know.”

Here, Angela explains the four types of communication and details the three types of communicator your vendor might be.

Angela says an agent also needs to work out what type of person a potential vendor is.

“It really helps when you know and you work this out, because it allows you to mirror and communicate in a reciprocal way,” she says.

“When you walk into someone’s house, there will be an area or something where you have a lightbulb moment.

“Working out what type of person you’re pitching to means you can tweak your presentation to try and suit what they want you to say.”

Four types of communication

VERBAL – An agent who uses verbal communication loves words and loves to talk. They will be very expressive when it comes to their appraisals, listing presentations and their auctions.

NON-VERBAL – This type of communication will see an agent use lots of gestures and hand movements. They have high energy levels and a presence about them.

WRITTEN – Written communication includes things such as letters, reports, newsletters, emails or texts an agent sends out.

VISUAL – An agent who loves visual communication prefers videos, pointer boards and signboards.

Three types of communicators

VISUAL – A vendor who prefers visual communication may have a lot of artwork, drawings or diagrams in their home. They’re also likely to be the vendor that will say things like “I can see what you mean, Angela.”

To mirror this in your listing presentation, you might say, “These 12- foot ceilings are amazing, I can’t believe how beautiful it makes the back area look”.

AUDITORY – This type of vendor might have music playing in the background, have a water fountain for relaxing white noise or own a property that backs onto a nature reserve.

This type of vendor will be the ones that say, “Angela, I can hear what you mean. I get your point”.

KINESTHETIC (TOUCH) – A vendor that communicates via touch is very tactile and loves the idea of their senses. They also have a fine attention for detail, and this may well show in the materials used in their home.

To hit the mark with this type of vendor, you could point out that you love the 40mm edge cut on their granite benchtops or take your shoes off and comment on how good the bamboo floorboards feel underfoot.

Once you understand the types of communication and what kind of communicator your vendor is you need to add greater background and detail to this.

The only way to do this is through active listening.

Active listening

There’s a big difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is almost automatic. When someone asks you, “how are you feeling today?” You automatically reply, “I’m great”.

But when you’re really listening, you come from a place of concentration and focus. This gives you the opportunity to ask more questions and learn more information about your vendors or buyers.

If someone tells you they want to buy a house near the station, don’t just ask them why, also ask them which station, where they work and how long they want their commute to be.

Four types of vendors/buyers

If you can work out what type of person you’re pitching to before you walk in the room, it can help you hit the mark and have them resonate with what you have to say.

ANALYSERS – Analysers are data-based and they don’t take risks. They are perfectionists, diligent and prefer the safe options.

Don’t go to them on auction day and say, “I recommend putting the property on the market,” because they’ve got a spreadsheet outlining when the property is going on the market. They’ve calculated each interval of $10,000 and what it’s going to do to the result.

INSTRUCTORS – Instructors are the movers and shakers. They are high achievers, strong-willed and demanding.

They are probably the ones that will say, “I’m not going to give you my marketing upfront, you’re going to have to take that on settlement”.

COMFORTERS – Comforters are people pleasers, they hate confrontation and like to collaborate. They love what you’re saying to them, but they can be needy.

They’ve got you there for a reason and they feel safe.

DESCRIBERS – Describers are enthusiastic, appreciative and they love to tell stories. They will be the ones to say, “Angela, let me tell you about an auction I went to”.

They will tell you everything you want to know, but they’re also a bit disorganised. They are the vendors that are running out of the house two minutes before the open home and you still have to run in and straighten things up.

Lightbulb moment

When I worked out what type of communicator I was, and I looked at mirroring what my clients needed, and what my buyers needed, it started to reward me in many ways.

I increased my market share, I grew a great reputation with my buyers because I was really looking at helping them and working out what they wanted to buy.

Last but not least, my vendors always knew they would get what they signed up for.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.