It’s no secret real estate negotiations are tough. Emotions are high, money is on the line, and clients often have to make some of the most important decisions of their lives in a split second. It’s a hard business, and agents need to be laser-focused on sharpening their skills to get to the next level.
With all this in mind, let’s take a look at four real estate negotiation skills that realtors who want to close more deals need to have.
1. The Ability to Use the Right Tone of Voice
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what skills you possess if you’re using the wrong tone of voice. In tense real estate negotiations, your tone matters. But unfortunately, it’s an overlooked skill in real estate.
If you’re in a hurry or irritated, your tone could affect how your client or counterpart feels about your timeline or the deal itself. Far too often, real estate agents are so focused on moving from one deal to the next that they come across as rushed and insensitive.
Although you might live and breathe real estate transactions, your clients likely do not. The best agents understand this perfectly, which is why they are always eager to slow things down. Using Tactical Empathy™, you can slow down by pausing between sentences: This is going to sound like I’m rushing you. The listing agent just told me that the seller wants a decision now. I’m sorry. You have a very short timeline.
2. The Ability to Ask Proof of Life™ Questions
Eager to pick up new business, many agents are quick to offer value to prospective clients before knowing whether those clients intend to do business with them. In many cases, they think they’re the favorite (i.e., the agent the client wants to work with) when they’re actually the fool (i.e., the agent the client is leveraging to get a better deal elsewhere).
Avoid running into this conundrum by asking a Proof of Life™ question out of the gate: There are so many agents out there. Why are you considering doing business with me?
Once you ask this question, pause and listen. If your client gives you a robust response that restates your value proposition, you’re the favorite, and you’re good to move forward. If the client says something like, I don’t know, you tell me, it’s time to move on.
3. The Ability to Ask No-Oriented Questions™
Many real estate agents are looking for one word: yes. However, they should avoid aiming for this most of the time. When agents search for a yes from their clients, they force them into a corner, making them lose their autonomy and triggering the fight-or-flight response.
Turn things around and ask No-Oriented Questions™ to shoot for no. When we can say no to something, we feel safe and protected. Over time, this helps agents develop trusting relationships with clients, making the ultimate ask much easier.
Don’t ask: Can I call you at 1 p.m.? Instead, try this: Would it be difficult to have a conversation with me at 1 p.m.? With this approach, you help your counterpart feel in control of the situation.
4. The Ability to Use an Accusation Audit®
In any real estate transaction, the other side harbors any number of negative sentiments. Your client might think you’re not trying to get them the best deal, or the other agent might think you’re asking for too much on a listing.
Whatever the case may be, diffuse these negatives using an Accusation Audit®: You probably think we’re trying to lowball you. Maybe you think that my client is asking for too many contingencies in the deal. You might even wish we never got involved in this deal in the first place.
By calling out all of the proverbial elephants in the room before they inevitably materialize, you mitigate the negatives upfront, which helps build trust, making it much easier to close the deal.
To learn more about what you can do to improve as a real estate agent and close more deals, check out our free e-book, Real Estate Negotiation Skills: 3 Essential Tips for Closing More Deals.