What Does Psychology Have To Do With Real Estate? Everything!
Apply these psychological principles and you may see better connections with everyone you encounter. Disregard them, and you may be surprised why you aren’t getting the results you want.
There are aspects of working in real estate that are like gravity—invisible forces that affect everyone and everything regardless of whether you understand them. They are quietly working during every interaction, including real estate transactions. You can learn to leverage these principles to better connect with prospects and wow your clients. Or you can ignore them and wonder why you aren’t getting the results you want.
Texas REALTORS® instructor EksAyn Anderson teaches Psychology of Sales and Negotiation. The CE course describes how to improve your real estate business by aligning your words and actions with key psychological principles.
“Whenever we’re dealing with people, there’s always an element of psychology,” he says. “That’s what real estate agents do all day. Knowing how to effectively deal with people will make you a better agent for your clients.”
The principles Anderson teaches won’t surprise you—honesty and trustworthiness, for example—but it’s entirely how you use them that makes the difference.
Answer the Most Important Question
Why should prospects choose you over every other real estate agent in town? What can you say or do that will compel prospects to contact you?
Prospects will choose professionals they feel a connection with. You can foster that connection by building trust using your personal story, your values, and your actions.
Anderson tells a story of how he was the only sales agent invited to a meeting with a powerful executive in New York. Anderson’s first email was one of countless forgettable messages the office received that day. His follow-up call started out equally unmemorable.
Anderson noticed how helpful the executive’s assistant had been. In his second email to the executive, he started by sincerely complimenting the assistant on her professionalism.
When they met, the executive told Anderson he got the meeting because he was nice to his assistant. The executive relied on her as a trusted associate and gatekeeper.
Anderson’s sincere appreciation built trust with the executive. The most persuasive email in the world would not have led to that meeting. An email that effectively demonstrated their shared values—in this case, appreciation for the assistant’s work—did.
Diagnose, Then Treat
Asking thoughtful questions helps you better serve clients. “If we can listen more, we can ensure we understand their needs,” Anderson says. “The best professionals diagnose before prescribing anything.”
Anderson gives the example of an event DJ. If a customer asks the DJ if he plays a certain genre of music, he could answer with his favorite styles or offer to play whatever the customer wants. But by asking for more information, the DJ can better tailor his response. He will then know the party guests love or hate certain genres of music.
Consider the ways that approach could benefit you in your work. Your clients tell you their top priority is a house that feels cozy. You could show them homes with fireplaces and natural materials. But what if by cozy they really mean a living room that draws people together or a home on a cul-de-sac? By asking clarifying questions, you will find out what they really mean by cozy.
Care Your Way Ahead
Your motives will inform your actions. Clients can tell if you are motivated by money or their satisfaction with the deal.
Anderson says the best sales agents act nothing like the salesperson stereotype: pushy, manipulative, uncaring, and money driven. He advises to be the kind of person other people want to be around. Be pleasant to work with. Be honest and caring.
“If your clients need space, tell them to take as much time as they need,” he says. “The less pushy you are, the more successful you can be.”
Being accommodating comes naturally when you truly want to find the best property for your clients or optimize their sale. Your clients will believe you are invested in their success. They will want to work with you through any obstacles to close the deal.
Aim for Delight
Imagine two parallel lines. One represents expectations, the other reality.
When expectations are above reality, the distance between the lines is disappointment. When reality exceeds expectations, the distance is delight. The larger the distance, the greater the feeling.
There are many ways to set or lower unrealistic expectations when offering services. Anderson suggests finding ways to exceed expectations. The more you exceed expectations, the greater the delight.
Anderson tells the story of a time his wife particularly missed her parents. He surprised her with plane tickets to visit them. She went from no expectation of seeing them to the reality of boarding passes in hand. That distance created a lot of delight for her.
You can create delight with your real estate clients by exceeding their expectations. That can take many forms: finding a larger-than-expected home in your buyer clients’ budget, providing sellers with a checklist or timeline to follow along, or even offering a cold bottle of water while touring homes on a hot Texas afternoon. Your clients will remember it.
Negotiate with a Smile
It’s a common misconception that negotiations must be hostile and you must be a bully to hold your own. Not true, says Anderson.
Negotiations are part of dealmaking. You want to be someone that people want to deal with—now and in the future. You can still set boundaries and state your client’s position with the same courtesy and professionalism you’d want others to give to you. “You can be nice and still be a really good negotiator,” Anderson says.
The best negotiations happen when people trust each other. Tapping into the principle of the golden rule helps build the trust you and your clients need to get you through the essential give-and-take of negotiations. Doing so could mean thousands of dollars knocked off a sale price or a willingness to work around inconvenient timetables. All because a connection was made.
Feeling Can Follow Action
How can you become invested in the success of a client or activity when your heart is not in it?
Invest anyway. Behave as you would if you were fully on board. “If you want to be successful in any relationship, make your tiny decisions every day align with these principles,” Anderson says.
If you hate a particular workout but keep completing it diligently every day, in time you might grow to like it. You aren’t faking it until you make it. Your actions matter more, and your actions may change your opinion.
If you dread prospecting, prospect anyway. You may not like the calls or other activities, but you may not mind them as much after some positive results.
Identifying Principles in Everyday Conversation
Once you start looking for them, you may be able to see psychological principles at work in your business.
Think of the times you exceeded expectations or solved a problem for a client. Perhaps your clients seemed friendlier or more responsive afterward. Or consider when you misspoke and communication broke down. Your clients may have become less responsive or invested afterward.
Review the situations when you soared or fell short. What did you do differently? How would you change your approach now? “If you want to get good at relationships, get good at aligning with the principles that govern relationships,” Anderson says.
Source: Texas REALTOR® Magazine