Turning challenges in to triumphs: Chris Hanley on mastering soft skills, caring about your clients and bouncing back in a tough year

In a year that’s tested the mettle of even the most experienced agents, Chris Hanley leverages four decades of experience to offer a masterclass in not just surviving, but thriving in real estate - uncovering the soft skills that can make or break your career.

Being a good real estate agent is about a lot more than just securing a sale.

For the CEO of First National Byron Bay, Chris Hanley, it’s about empathy, clear communication and, most importantly, listening more than you talk.

In this episode of the Elevate podcast, hosted by Samantha McLean, Chris dissects the importance of soft skills, the critical gaps in customer care the industry seems to have forgotten since the pandemic, and why you need to balance vendor expectations and buyer attitudes.

Chris also analyses just how tough a year 2023 has been, and draws on 40 years’ of real estate experience to reveal the one thing top agents do in rough times to see them rise above their peers.

He also discusses the property management pay problem, why you need to find your real estate tribe, embracing your mistakes as learning opportunities and the one question you need to answer to set your business up for success in 2024.

“I don’t think our profession learned much at all from Covid. It’s like we wiped our memories. It’s like all of those calls that we made to our clients and customers where care was the flavour of the call, where we weren’t interested in listing their houses, where we’re genuinely interested in helping them as human beings and having a connection with them, we’ve just forgotten all that stuff. And we’ve just gone back to being transactional.”Chris Hanley

Sam and Chris also discuss:

  • 2:07 – Strategies for resilience in real estate: How to turn a challenging market into your best year yet.
  • 4:24 – A match made in heaven: How to balance vendor expectations with buyer attitudes to get deals done.
  • 6:45 – The secret to success: The one thing one thing top agents do that will dramatically boost your career.
  • 10:05 – The unlearned lesson: Why real estate didn’t get the customer care memo after Covid.
  • 17:19 – Beyond the transaction: Mastering soft skills and how to listen to what buyers and sellers truly want.
  • 20:54 – Find your tribe: Building a supportive network for sustainable success in real estate.
  • 27:19 – Setbacks or stepping stones? How to embrace errors as learning opportunities and overcome the mental hurdles holding you back.
  • 31:40 – Creating a safe space: Why a forgiving environment is crucial for growing as an agent.
  • 35:22 – The PM problem: Why property managers deserve better pay and why the market slump is over.
  • 39:58 – Turnaround tactics: The pivotal question to ask and answer when your year in real estate is off-track.

Show More

Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.