Real estate professionals communicate most moments of their working day. They are problem solvers, negotiators, cheerleaders and counselors. They make a living communicating and listening. The more refined your communication becomes and the more intuitive your communication style is the easier it will be for you to connect with your clients and help them make important decisions.
Communication leadership is the art of being able to help your clients make difficult decisions when emotion has gripped them with fear. Learning to tell a client NO, when they want to hear YES, is a skill you must learn how to do. Many real estate agents don’t realize that when a client is in a state of heightened emotion, they may be unable to make a good and rational decision. Gripped with uncertainty or fear they can stick their heels in the ground and turn their listening skills off. They simply can’t get beyond what you are telling them at that moment.
A strong communicator LEADS their client through the emotion, to the reality, then the cold hard facts, and then to the possible solutions. They don’t stop at the client’s emotional outburst; they work with the client and gently explain and communicate what is in the best interest of the client.
Here is a great example of communication leadership: Imaging a seller you are working with gets upset when you explain to them that their home is not selling and they need to do a price adjustment. They threaten to fire you and blame you for the lack of showings. It is easy to get defensive when someone is attacking you. It is completely normal to feel like you need to defend yourself but communication leadership is the skill of being able to calmly listen to a client’s concerns, resist the need to defend and then methodically present a good case to the client that shows them the facts of why their home didn’t sell, the possible solutions and your desire to really help them achieve their goals.
Taking the time to avoid the emotion and focus on the facts is the only way you will be able to help your seller move through their emotional block so they are able to move on to the problem solving. When someone is upset I allow them to talk, to vent, to implode (as long as they are respectful) and to get it out. Once they have lost their steam I am better able to show them the facts and offer solutions. If they aren’t ready for the suggested solutions at that moment I give them the gift of time to think things over. Don’t be afraid of the word NO and don’t hesitate to let your clients convey their most challenging concerns.
Communication leadership is all about you holding yourself steady through the emotional phase of a client’s outburst. Practice communication leadership and take back control in the transaction.