In today’s highly competitive real estate market, it’s not uncommon for real estate agents and their clients to feel like they are riding an emotional rollercoaster throughout the home buying/selling process. Longtime Boise, Idaho REALTOR, Kristin Myers, expressed it well, saying “When my buyer’s offer is finally accepted I get to deliver great news and share in their happiness. It breaks my heart when I have to deliver the bad news that an offer has not been accepted. I’ve never seen so many buyers cry.” Some business gurus would argue that your emotions should be neutralized in business. However, humans are emotional beings and buying and/or selling a home is often a major life moment, filled with emotions, for all involved. As a real estate agent, balancing your emotions with your client’s emotions can be tricky. Here’s a few tips to show tactical empathy and professionalism while managing the emotions of the transaction:
Listen More, Talk Less
Listening is a real estate agent’s most important skill but is one of the hardest business skills to master. The ability to simply stop talking and to listen intently is huge and takes practice. Take the time to pause and listen instead of letting your mind race to what you will say next. You’ll find you better absorb what the person is saying as they express anger, frustration or excitement. You’ll better understand their perspective which will help you respond appropriately and gain a competitive edge as a negotiator.
As a real estate agent, you’ve likely been through the home-buying process multiple times while your clients have not. You’re likely to get bombarded with emotionally fused questions on every snag-up that comes up. Stay calm and explain everything as many times as you need to. Assure your clients that their problems are only temporary and will be resolved. A level head and patience will help keep everyone’s emotions in check.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
No matter what issues arise or how emotionally charged the home buying process becomes, never lie to smooth things over…not even little white lies. Your clients hired you because they want honesty and integrity in a real estate agent above everything else. Staying honest and upfront with your clients without stressing them out is a great business attribute worth honing, especially when giving bad news. Your honesty and straightforwardness will help ward off more stress and disappointment down the road for all parties involved.
Paraphrasing & Labeling
When emotions flare at any point during the home buying process, slow down and take a breath. Consciously paraphrasing the other party’s position helps identify their emotions and demonstrates that you’re listening closely to what they’re saying. Using labeling phrases such as “it seems like” and “it sounds like” puts the focus on the other side. Ask open ended questions. This will encourage the other party to express their feelings and help bring everyone closer to a resolution.
It takes emotional intelligence to know when it’s appropriate to give someone a hug or even a hearty congratulatory slap on the back. Body language is key. While giving someone a hug may come naturally to you, stop and pay attention to a person’s vibes. Know your client’s culture; in some cultures, hugging and even a handshake, is not common. Sometimes a hug or a “high five” is perfectly fine and can make someone’s day.
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