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Communication Skills and Commissions

Sep 10, 2019 by

I believe part of the reason for so many disruptors in our markets is that we aren’t doing enough to promote the value that our services provide. To quote Judy LaDeur, real estate recruiting expert: “In the absence of value, money becomes the substitute.” In other words, if we can’t communicate value, then consumers will simply base their decisions on price.

I applaud the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for this year’s “That’s Who We R” campaign. In their explanation about the campaign, they say, “In this digital age, hyper-connected consumers often think they can do anything and everything with a click of the button, including buying a home. The current real estate landscape gives consumers false hope that the process is as simple as seeing your dream house online, selecting it and moving in. This is an idealized fantasy perpetuated by house hunting shows, easy apps and a DIY mentality.”

They’re right. This misperception is costing agents not only commissions, but also credibility. So, what can we do to change that?

  1. Make skill-building a priority. If you’re a leader of an organization, bring on the training. For the last few years, most organizations have made technology their training focus. I get it. The world and technology change at intense speeds, and they must keep up. However, just like many of us worry about the social and communication skills of teens buried in their phones, upgrading these skills for agents in the age of disruption is no longer a back-burner concern. Want to increase an agent’s success rate and reputation—and yours? Move communication training to the top of your to-do list in the next six months.
  1. Service over sales. I know the CFOs will cringe at that, but when we help agents make the shift from a sales mindset, where they’re constantly put into prospecting win/lose scenarios, to a service mindset, which allows them to build long- and short-term relationships and communicate value while making the prospecting process easier and more effective, everyone wins.
  1. Communication with connectivity. When I teach communication skills to audiences, I share the importance of using stories, metaphors and analogies when they’re phone-to-phone or face-to-face with sellers and buyers. Why? Because no one has to memorize a script or sound like a canned recording. That’s important because the more agents sound rehearsed and focused on a script, the less present they are with people, which decreases their perceived value. Using tools like metaphors and analogies increases relatability and shared experiences, keeping agents focused on the person in front of them. That increases both results and our value as service professionals.

Real estate agents can and do make a difference in the lives and best interests of consumers. As leaders in this industry, it’s our job to help them communicate that difference on the next level, for their sakes, and the sake of their customers.

Darryl Davis has spoken to, trained and coached more than 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe. He is a best-selling author for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and his book, “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate,” tops Amazon’s charts for most sold book to real estate agents. He is the founder of the Next Level® real estate training system The Power Program®, which has proven to help agents double their production over their previous year. Davis earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, held by less than 2 percent of all speakers worldwide. To learn more, visit www.ThePowerProgram.com.

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Communication Gone Wrong

Oct 18, 2016 by

One of my childhood friends is a Communications Professor. Because of this, the assumption would be that she is always the first in our group to respond to texts and emails and be open to new forms of communication.

But you’d be wrong.

She is always the last person to respond to our group texts and emails. She doesn’t do Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, or any other form of social media. The best way to talk with her is by picking up the phone.

We laugh about it all the time. How can someone who teaches communication be so out of touch with modern forms of communicating?

But then I got thinking… Maybe WE are the ones who are out of touch with effective communication.

With my kids, I get a Remind about tomorrow’s test or today’s cross country meet. I can log into PowerSchool and see their grades at any time. I get an email if my kid is missing an assignment, and I get an automated call if he has a failing grade.

All of this is great. But you know what I really want? A real person to pick up the phone and call me. Why? Because there is a lot of room for interpretation with this technology.

For example, last year I got the robo-call saying my son had a failing grade. I was furious. He pleaded ignorance, and after a rough evening with mom, I called the teacher. She explained that he was missing assignments from when he was sick, but “no worries” because technically his assignments weren’t considered late yet. She just had them as zeros until turned in. And I think, wow, I just screamed at my child for no reason. Thanks.

This happens in our job as well. How many times has automated showing feedback been misinterpreted by your seller? How many times has an issue gotten blown out of proportion because of someone’s “tone” in a text? Here’s some advice: If you are sorting through problems via texting or emailing, Stop. Things get very heated and very irritating very quickly with technology. While the agent is responding to one question, the client sends off another question, and then before you know it, there are questions and responses all over and the whole conversation is undecipherable. PICK UP THE PHONE.  

I called a soon-to-be-seller a couple weeks ago. I didn’t hear back, so after a couple days, I called her again.  When she answered the phone, she sighed and told me how happy she was that I called again because she was having a rough week. She went on to tell me that her son just got diagnosed with late stage cancer and things were on hold for a little bit. That 20 minute conversation was the most important call I had all week.

Why? Because now I understand her time-frame, her mindset, and our future course of action. She never would have told me all of this in a text or email. There are times when a text or email is okay, but a lot of times, your clients need to hear your voice. They want to hear your reassurance, your expertise, and your encouragement. They deserve to know that you are in this together, and sometimes the only way to show that is by calling them.

I want my database to be full of people I’ve built relationships with. Those are the people who will send me more business. If my database is full of names with whom I’ve merely done business transactions with, I will always have to keep looking for more business. By building friendships, the stress of seeking out my next client is gone, and my career is more meaningful as a result.

When I’m with my friend, the communications professor, she makes you feel like the outside world has stopped and her complete focus is on you. She’s warm, caring, compassionate, and completely engaged with the person sitting in front of her.

So now I think that she has it right, and we have it wrong. Because isn’t that the way we want all our clients to feel? Don’t we want to make them feel important and connected? Forget the trendy ways of reaching out to your clients. Do what means the most and has the biggest impact… pick up the phone. Technology can never replace YOU.


Amy Gilpin RealtorAmy Gilpin, Realtor, Associate Broker, Manager, ABR.

Fourteen years of helping clients. Six years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.
Production Realty 517-879-4141 Jackson, MI Amy@ProductionRealty.com

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Going beyond Tech with Millennial Buyers: Transparency, Communication and Information Are Essential

Dec 15, 2015 by

Millennials represent the largest generation in history, now accounting for over 80 million adults in the U.S. While much of the news surrounding millennial homebuyers entails discussion around the barriers this generation has had in entering the housing market, millennials have meanwhile quickly become the new majority of home purchasers. According to the National Association […]
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The Strange Communication Habits Surrounding Real Estate

Sep 29, 2015 by

The Strange Communication Habits Surrounding Real Estate

The average age of a loan officer is 54, a real estate agent 57.  Today’s youth is running circles around us when it comes to communication. 9-28-15 Tueday Let us show you the best co-branded marketing product for loan originators and real estate agents in the country. Loan Originators Gain …
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Communication Is Key as REALTORS®, Lenders Adjust to New Disclosure Requirements

May 27, 2015 by

REALTORS® should prepare themselves now for the new disclosure requirements being implemented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) later this summer, and communication between all parties in the real estate transaction is essential in ensuring a smooth transition, according to speakers at a regulatory issues forum at the 2015 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo […]
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