Joe Nickelson was raised in North Florida with his six siblings. Although he graduated high school early at the age of 16, his family could not afford to send him to college. Instead, Joe started working as a landscaper — a tough job with long hours, built on sweat. But Joe was taught at a young age that if you want something in life, you have to work for it. So that’s what he did. And he worked hard. As the years went by, Joe went from laborer to owner of a landscaping business. That company became lucrative; at its peak, there were multiple locations with an enormous client roster. During this time, Joe was buying and selling real estate, both for his business and for his personal use. As a business owner, he was shocked to see the poor customer service skills of real estate agents he worked with. Sensing an opportunity (and a new challenge), Joe sold off his stake in the landscaping business and became a Realtor, determined to be the kind of agent he would want to hire. Read More...
Communication is important in any type of relationship. Communication allows you to explain to someone else what you are experiencing or feeling and what your needs are at any given moment.
It’s not uncommon for you to say one thing, but the other person hears something else. Then, misunderstandings, frustration, and conflicts follow. When such conflicts arise, you can easily experience problems in your home, and work relationships.
For most people, communicating correctly involves learning some important skills. Whether you’re trying to improve communication with your spouse, kids, coworkers, or clients, learning how to communicate effectively can cement your connections to others. It can also help you build greater trust and respect and improve your teamwork skills, problem-solving abilities, and social and emotional health.
Why focus on communication?
Communication is at the heart of human interaction. It can make or break your relationships. Communicating effectively with your customers can lead to increased sales, repeat business and referrals.
According to the Briston Academy Entrepreneurship program, effective communication combines a set of 4 skills:
- Engaged listening
- Nonverbal communication
- Managing stress in the moment
- Asserting yourself in a respectful way
What are you doing wrong?
Effective communication is a continuous learning process that begins by identifying what you’re currently doing wrong. Here are a few things that could be sabotaging the way you communicate:
Lack of focus: Do you have a tendency to do other things such as checking your phone, checking emails, etc. while having conversations with other people? You can’t communicate effectively when you’re multitasking. To communicate effectively, you need to avoid distractions and stay focused.
Inconsistent body language: If you say one thing but your body is saying another, you’ll lose your listener’s trust. If, for instance, you’re doing a presentation but you’re fidgeting and avoiding eye contact, your potential customer won’t take you seriously. Nonverbal communication is supposed to reinforce what you’re saying, not contradict it. Be careful how you use nonverbal cues such as crossing your arms, avoiding eye contact, or tapping your feet.
Ignoring nonverbal cues: Just as your body is capable of communicating, so is your listener’s. If you don’t pay attention to people’s nonverbal cues and listen to their words, your communications will be ineffective. Studies show that 55 percent of our intent is delivered through nonverbal cues. Think facial expressions, gestures, and postures. Pay attention to these cues, too. They say more than words.
Not Listening: The truth is, we all love hearing ourselves talk. However, real communication happens when you listen more than you talk. If you want to communicate effectively, you have to speak less and listen more.
The importance of good communication skills
Before we get down to why good communication skills are important in all aspects of your life (personal life and business), let’s take a look at key communication skills.
Useful communication skills that will help you build positive interpersonal relationships include:
- Active listening
- Keeping eye contact
- Understanding non-verbal cues
- Using positive body language
- Being mindful of people's personal space
- Accommodating different points of view
Now, let’s jump into the benefits of good communication skills:
1. Improve personal relationships
Good communication skills will improve your personal relationships. The better your communication skills, the better you will be able to understand other people and be understood in return.
Good communication is vital for personal relationships to thrive. Poor communication can result in a breakdown of partnerships and relationships.
When it comes to family relationships, communication is crucial for the people involved to live in harmony. Without proper communication, you won’t be able to agree on how to work efficiently as a family.
2. Allows you to speak confidently and concisely
It’s quite normal to feel nervous when speaking to potential clients, especially if you’re cold calling or you’re meeting them for the first time. But, if you’re confident in your communication skills, you'll be able to communicate effectively no matter the situation. You’ll be able to communicate in a more direct manner and get the most out of your interactions with other people.
3. Builds better rapport with clients and leads
Clients want to be understood by the businesses they are dealing with. They want to know that they are being listened to and heard. Real estate businesses have to interact with customers a lot. If you need more customers you have to interact a lot with your leads to convert them into clients.
Good communication allows you to build good rapport with your client base. The better the rapport you have with your customers, the more references you'll get.
4. Reinforces your professional image
In the real estate industry, image is everything. You want to make a good first impression with your leads. A positive image makes people trust you more, and if they trust you, they will give you their listings. Your professionalism and attention to detail will reflect positively on you and set you up for success.
Simple ways to communicate better with your clients and prospects.
Use these communication skills to improve your communication with customers in order to grow and thrive:
Listen, repeat, and question.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of being a good listener. To show the other person that you’re listening to them, ask questions and paraphrase what they've just said back to them. This shows you’re interested in what they have to say and are paying attention.
This communication technique eliminates any sort of misunderstanding between you and the other person. You will both be on the same page.
This is not the time to multitask. If you do, the other person will feel ignored. So put away your phone, stop answering emails mid-conversation, and focus on the conversation at hand.
Yes, it’s tough to stay away from your cellphone or tablet, but effective communication in a face-to-face setting most certainly depends on it.
Maintain eye contact.
Keeping eye contact when you're having a conversation with your leads will convey trustworthiness and respect.
Granted, take care not to stare directly at a person for too long or stare blankly. You should smile with your eyes and react/look elsewhere when appropriate.
Master the art of online communication.
This is one area where most real estate agents, especially veterans, tend to lag behind. We are in a world where everything revolves around the internet. Online communication has never been more important.
Commit to working on your online and social media marketing and reach out to your real estate prospects and clients where they are, which is online. We’re talking about having a presence on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
It takes practice.
Communicating correctly in your real estate business and all aspects of your life is the first step to having a successful real estate career.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not doing it right just yet. Remember, it takes time to master all of the above tips. All you have to do is keep practicing!
Try a new approach.
When people are constantly being inundated with cold calls and email marketing, they become less effective modes of communication. One of the best ways I've found to communicate my message to potential clients and gain the trust of those I'm already working with is to provide them with a helpful book on selling or buying real estate.
When I give people a book, I'm communicating to them that I want them to have the most successful sale or buying experience possible. When you give someone a book, you're giving them something of value, and they instantly trust and respect you more than someone who just calls to ask for their business.
Click here to find out more about our membership program, which gives you access to 14 books in a variety of real estate niches, as well as exclusive marketing materials to help you succeed.
What are some of the communication tactics you employ in your real estate business? Leave a comment below!
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!