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Is A Real Estate Agent A Salesperson
When I first began my real estate career in 2004, I was coming from two long-term occupations and one short-term stint... nearly 20 years in retail sales and management, another fifteen in outside sales and sales training. then four years in local government administration ... not exactly professions that warm the heart of your average buyer! Sure, I would point out to those who questioned sales as a worthy life-calling by pointing out that just such a skill-set is what they were using when they courted their sweetheart or tried to convince anyone of anything, but I am aware there is a definite stigma out there.
What had attracted me to being a REALTOR® was the fact that, through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system, all agents "share" inventory. That is, I can represent a client's interests as a "buyer's agent" in purchasing any house. I am not limited to just showing houses I had personally listed or in the inventory of my agency, but truly ANY house, even one not listed at all! I immediately recognized that as an advantage in being able to best serve the buyers with whom I would be working.
VERY QUICKLY I learned that being a real estate agent is not SELLING. The way I was going to be able to really help my clients was polishing my "listening skills". You see, being a real estate agent is really MATCHING not selling. If I listen carefully (and interpret my client's expressions/body language), I can go to the MLS and find the properties (home, land, investment) that fit the needs, preferences and budget of my client.
How simple does it become when you have every possible choice in your inventory? Well -truth be told- I've had to work intently on listening and paying attention to what a client is communicating to avoid making my work harder than it needs to be. Fortunately, over all these years now, I have become ever better at not choosing for someone and hammering them to agree with what I have decided, but honestly setting my goal to practice empathy rather than sales technique.
HOLD ON ... I didn't throw the sales experience "out the window". In real estate, there is an enormous advantage to knowing how the minds of buyers and sellers are thinking when it comes time to NEGOTIATE! There are price negotiations, contract terms to work through and post-inspection repair needs that must be settled. I can pull those "arrows out of my quiver" with the preparation of more years than I like to enumerate. The past strengthens my present when I am working on behalf of a buyer, seller or investor.
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