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Effective Communication

Stepping out of your comfort zone, doing something that challenges your perceptions of who you are and what you can do, allows you to gain the courage and self-confidence to do things that allow you to develop that competitive edge. It isn’t something that will happen overnight, but self-confidence, grounded in fact, will enable you to stand apart and shine.

People who undertake unconventional training programs, participate in team activities, take up an individual pursuit or engage in public speaking sessions usually report gains in courage, clarity, and credibility in their interactions with the public.

Journalists and politicians are skilled media operators. They know the value of the ‘ten second sound bite’ – that practiced little snippet that will get them on the 6pm news (rehearsed over and over again so that it sounds like it came out naturally!) Some footy players still have difficulty getting the message out after a game, or in an interview, in something that resembles the English language, but they are trying to improve that!

As a Real Estate professional, getting the message across clearly and precisely is a skill that not everyone has – but everyone should have. The art of negotiation requires a level of proficiency in the English language that will enable you to offer your vendors and potential buyers the best possible deal on the sale, purchase or management of property through your services.

It also requires you to have a very clear understanding of what the message is that you are trying to convey to your audience. The message must match the advertising. If there is a ‘disconnect’ between the advertised message and the actions then there will be a problem in securing the sale or management.

Actual and potential clients make very quick judgements about the suitability of an agent at open homes or on the street or via some signage (this may well be done hastily and perhaps unfairly). It’s important to make sure the message being conveyed is clear, simple, unambiguous and honest.

Exceptional customer service and communication skills are of paramount importance to the achievement of your business and industry goals. If an agent has difficulty communicating effectively with their clients, they’re not going to be in the business for long! So, how do we improve the ability to get the message across? How do you become a truly effective communicator?

There are several ways to better connect with prospects and clients.

1.Know your subject. If you are not clear on what you’re selling, it’s very difficult to sell it! If you want to turn someone off your ability as an agent, there is no surer way than showing your ignorance.

2.Know your audience. Have a clear idea of who your audience is likely to be. If you know your subject, and have an indication of the likely audience, there’s a good chance you’ll tailor your message to suit them.

3.Be friendly. Communication is easier when people are comfortable with one another – the conversation is easy, and that makes finding out about the audience a lot easier, and that makes the sale easier. Work continuously at being honest and friendly, so that your audience doesn’t tune out. Reputation counts for a lot here – and first impressions make all the difference!

4.Ask questions. This has two benefits. It helps them clarify their thoughts and feelings and provides the listener with more information. The best questions are open-ended questions that recipients can’t answer with a simple “yes” or “no.” Begin questions with words such as what, why, or how. These questions provide you with information so that you find a solution for them.

5.Be an active listener. Give them your undivided attention. Remove distractions, close the door, don’t answer your phone. Be aware of body language that says ‘not paying attention’, such as looking at your watch, files or papers on your desk.

6.Make the message clear. Don’t use Real Estate jargon if the audience is not familiar with it. Simple language will make your point clearly and show that you are tailoring the message to them. Make sure they understand what you really mean. Don’t be condescending.

7.Take time. You’re the expert, but don’t show off. Find out what they want to know BEFORE providing them with the solution! Take the time to ‘farm’ potential clients (everyone you meet!).

8.Summarise. The task is to get them to choose you to provide the solution – now, and if not now, sometime in the future! Show them you care about finding a solution for them! It’s a good idea to emphasise the main points, summarise them again, and make sure they understand you. That’s a skill! At the same time, don’t lose their attention by talking too much.

It’s important to recognise that only very rare individuals are naturally good at what they do. For most people, it takes hard work and lots of practice.

Mum didn’t always make the best marshmallow slice in the world. She messed a few of them up over the years, but there’s no one who can make one like she does now! She started with a good recipe (Grandma’s), got plenty of advice (from those who had used the recipe before – Grandma, Nanna and the aunties), has several hundred ‘sales’ under her belt and tons of testimonials that verify how good the slice is!

Being Number One means you’ve made mistakes and learnt from those mistakes – in order to improve and be the best. No one gets to be Number One and retain that position without rehearsing, training, experimenting and enhancing their skills.

Being an effective communicator means knowing what the message is that you want to send and making sure all the collateral is consistent with that message. The look, the feel, the content, the delivery has to be consistent with the impression that you want to send out – to the widest possible audience – that here is the agent who ‘can do’ for me! This agent is good at what they do, they’re skilled, practiced, refined – and the solution offered will meet my needs! That takes effort!

What good communicators do:

  • Know the message they’re trying to send
  • Understand their topic
  • Understand their audience
  • Convey their message simply & concisely
  • Adapt their knowledge & language to suit the audience
  • Make sure the message sent, is the message receivedLorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry.

Tony Rowe is General Manager of Corum Training www.corumtraining.com.au, a specialist provider of training to the property sector in NSW. Corum Training has fully qualified trainers with extensive knowledge, expertise and experience in the delivery of assessment and training services in Real Estate across Australia and New Zealand.

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