In recent years, so-called soft skills have become as important as hard skills in almost every competitive industry, including the real estate sector. Expertise and experience is no longer enough – and for real estate agents, training up your soft skills is critical to the success of your career.
What are Soft and Hard Skills?
Hard skills are the technical skills you need to do your job. For real estate agents, that includes things like your knowledge of the real estate market, your ability to put together presentations and marketing skills, your ability to create and understand sales and rental contracts, operate your customer relationship management or lead management software, and so forth.
Soft skills are a bit different – they’re more like personality traits, but they aren’t inherent. In fact, most people have to spend a lot of time learning and refining their soft skills. This includes skills like empathy, communication, adaptability, teamwork, creative skills and problem-solving skills.
So, what soft skills should a real estate agent focus on?
- Communication skills – It goes without saying that communication skills are critical in this field. You need to be able to speak confidently and easily with buyers, sellers and investors from all walks of life and backgrounds, you need to be able to convince them you’re the best person for the job, wow them with fantastic and detailed presentations, and network well with fellow industry experts. But communication isn’t just about speaking – it’s about listening too, and this is the side that is most often neglected. Successful real estate agents know how to listen and understand what their client wants from the transaction, they need to make clients feel understood and create a space where they feel able to talk freely and honestly.
- Social cues – Another important part of communication is focusing on body language, being aware of social cues and what they entail. This not only helps with meeting people from different cultures and being able to build good working relationships, it also helps with refining your approach to that client. Some people respond to a confident hard sell, others respond to facts and figures, and others need time and space to make up their own minds. A successful real estate agent can recognise what their clients need in order to move forward, and tailors their response to help make this process easier.
- Problem-solving skills – Successful real estate agents are also great problem-solvers, able to see both sides of an issue and develop a solution that fits the needs of all parties involved. While real estate transactions seem fairly straightforward from the outside, they can be complex and involve all sorts of small issues that can trip up a sale if not delt with effectively.
- Empathy and integrity – Estate agents often get a bad rap – and that’s usually due to real estate agents who focus more on their own bottom line rather than the client. It’s done a lot of harm for the industry and even created issues with unethical practices. To become a real estate agent who stands apart from that crowd, it is important to develop your sense of empathy and focus on the ethics involved. Sure, this is a business at the end of the day – and it’s one of the most competitive sales industries in the world – but that’s not how you should run it. Instead, it is important to realise that buying or selling a home is a huge decision for the client; one that has a significant emotional factor. Some people may be buying their first home and they’re afraid of making the wrong decision. Others may be selling their dream family home due to a divorce or having to downsize. Having a good sense of empathy and putting it to work will help your clients trust your judgement and ultimately, help them make a commitment they can feel good about.
Soft Skills Training for New and Established Real Estate Agents in Australia
At Global Real Estate Training, we specialise in comprehensive skills training for new and established real estate agents in Australia. As industry specialists, we’ll help refine your soft skills, sales skills and more to help you build a profitable and successful career. Get in touch with us today for your complimentary course consultation.