Dave Panozzo is the co-founder of The Panozzo Team-HomeSmart, a real estate team based in Phoenix, Arizona.
As a real estate agent returning to the post-pandemic socialization era, are you finding it difficult to return to face-to-face meetings and speak directly to clients? Last year, so many shops and tourist attractions had to close in response to Covid-19 lockdown orders. But many states in the US are now opening up again. In fact, Arizona tourist attractions and businesses are lifting many restrictions on in-person meetings and events.
When you’ve lost touch with people around you, you are not the only one. Many Americans are concerned about a return to normal as many people emerge from their Covid-19 dens and reintegrate into society after more than a year of isolated lifestyles and zoom gatherings at social gatherings.
Here are some simple ways you can overcome social anxiety and improve your networking / communication skills as a real estate agent in 2021:
1. Always ask how a person is doing.
It may seem simple, but asking someone how they’re doing is a charged question. More importantly, this question needs to be asked, especially in these times when people are emerging from the pandemic. It has a lot more meaning now. Being personable and finding opportunities to make small talk with your customers will improve your experience, let your customers know that you care about you (what you do) and make them feel closer to you.
We always like to ask our customers how we can best communicate with them. Most people are busy, and we’ve found that more customers like to answer a call and get status updates verbally rather than via text or email. It is important to find out the preferences of the person you are working with and take them into account to make them feel important.
2. Pay 100% of your attention to your client or colleague.
Remember to stay focused during face-to-face conversations. Imagine whoever you are talking to, a famous celebrity or your favorite person in the world. We do this all the time when working with clients because it puts us in a state of mind where we can be attentive and energetic throughout the transaction. We recently had a client who closed a home and shared very commendation about how we handled each other throughout the transaction, from walking through every step of the way to our face-to-face communications, as well as by phone, text messages and e-mail. Mail updates.
3. Go the extra mile.
If you’re building new relationships during networking events or face-to-face meetings, don’t be afraid to add a personal touch. Sometimes it is easier to start a conversation when you give someone a small gift like a pen and notebook or coffee. Or, after meeting a client, send a handwritten message to let them know that you look forward to helping them find their dream home and that you enjoyed meeting them in person. If you go the extra mile, you are likely to make a positive impression on your customer.
4. Remember, people will remember how you felt about them.
We were recently fortunate enough to help a client buy a home after having a bad experience with another agent. This agent ignored her calls, only replied by text message, and every time she tried to leave him a voicemail, his inbox was full. After working with us, she was impressed with our customer service. We asked her why she was so excited to work with us and she told us she wasn’t sure what it was, but she felt important and cared for. It just shows that people don’t always remember what you do for them, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
5. Practice makes perfect.
The more you practice personal communication and networking skills, the better. It’s very different from a phone call or a text conversation. A person’s voice and body language can tell you immediately whether they are happy, sad, or confused. And unlike texting, where you can avoid replying until you think of the correct answer, you need to be able to think quickly and respond naturally.
The next time you see someone on the street, like the local cashier, start a conversation. If you don’t practice your communication skills outside of your customers, you will be less willing to speak to a real customer. So next time you go out, be ready to talk to anyone.
When you switch back to human touch and communication, don’t be afraid – just be your authentic self. Let your personality shine and follow these five tips to make a good impression on any client or colleague you work with in your next interaction.
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