PM MEN­TOR: HOW TO WIN FRIENDS

Natalie Hast­ings

Elite Property Manager - - Contents - NATALIE HAST­INGS is the Manag­ing Di­rec­tor of Hast­ings + Co. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit hast­ingsandco.com.au.

How to Win Friends and In­flu­ence Peo­ple has un­doubt­edly helped plenty of real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als im­prove their com­mu­ni­ca­tions and re­la­tion­ship skills. Build­ing upon Carnegie’s ever­green self-help clas­sic, to­day we present How to Win Friends and In­flu­ence Peo­ple: The Real Es­tate Edi­tion – help­ing agents break down the bar­ri­ers be­tween the pub­lic and prop­erty pro­fes­sion­als.

CHANGE THE PUB­LIC’S PER­CEP­TIONS

It’s no big se­cret that es­tate agents aren’t num­ber one on the pop­u­lar­ity list when it comes to pub­lic per­cep­tion. And whilst many of the pub­lic’s ac­cu­sa­tions are un­fair – that agents are all dis­hon­est, that they ar­ti­fi­cially push up the price of prop­er­ties and so on – the onus is on all of us as an in­dus­try to be pro­fes­sional, avoid­ing un­con­sciously fall­ing into neg­a­tive stereo­types.

Let’s talk pre­sen­ta­tion first. The most preva­lent stereo­type of an agent is that of a smarmy, sch­mick in­di­vid­ual, jet­ting around the sub­urbs in an os­ten­ta­tious ve­hi­cle. Think very care­fully about the way you present to the pub­lic as first im­pres­sions do mat­ter.

Is your at­tire that of a trust­wor­thy per­son who re­spects the grav­ity of their role, or is it more like par­ty­wear for a cock­tail event? Fel­las, leave the ul­tra-slim suits, thin ties, gelled hair and pointy tap­pers for Satur­day night. Ladies, put aside the body­con dress, heels that make you tot­ter and Kim Kar­dashian-wor­thy con­tour­ing for fun times with your girl squad. And what­ever you do – don’t leave your sun­nies on your head (or worse, on your eyes) when you’re con­duct­ing OFIs. Your pro­fes­sional ca­pa­bil­i­ties and skills should shine – not your fash­ion gaffs or im­ma­tu­rity.

WIN CLIENTS BY ADDING RE­SPECT­FUL VALUE

Nearly ev­ery­one dis­likes be­ing cold-called or door-knocked. Let’s face it: it’s pretty in­va­sive. And it’s even more of­fen­sive to be asked by a per­fect stranger, apro­pos of noth­ing, if you’d like them to sell your home. For most peo­ple, this is a deeply per­sonal ques­tion and an in­va­sion of their pri­vacy.

The re­al­ity is, prop­erty pro­fes­sion­als need to prospect and we ul­ti­mately need to ask that ques­tion. We don’t, how­ever, need to keep em­ploy­ing di­nosaur­era prospect­ing tech­niques that the pub­lic re­vile. Rather than ring­ing at in­op­por­tune mo­ments, think about the tim­ing of your prospect­ing calls and their con­tent. For­get a scat­ter­gun ap­proach to this im­por­tant process; in­stead call dur­ing busi­ness hours and have some­thing mean­ing­ful to share.

Ser­vice is what we can of­fer our clients to win their busi­ness – build­ing loy­alty, earn­ing their trust through gen­uine as­sis­tance. Don’t ask them off the cuff if they want to sell their home. Rather, of­fer them in­for­ma­tion that is rel­e­vant to their own in­vest­ment. Diarise to fol­low your prospects up in a suit­able time­frame and, if you’ve had a good con­ver­sa­tion, send them a thank-you card to re­mind them of your ex­is­tence. And not the branded cheap­ies, ei­ther! Be mem­o­rable in ev­ery good way – in­clud­ing your sta­tionery and hand­writ­ten notes.

BE FRANK FOR FRIEND­SHIP

Good ven­dor or land­lord re­la­tion­ships mir­ror the com­plex­ity of any long-term friend­ship. There are al­ways ups and downs – but for friends to go the dis­tance, they oc­ca­sion­ally need to speak frankly to one another. Honesty is the best pol­icy, even if it’s painful to de­liver bad news.

Too of­ten, agents avoid telling ven­dors and land­lords un­var­nished mar­ket feed­back in a timely fash­ion. And it’s not be­cause they’re dis­hon­est – it’s be­cause they want to avoid hurt­ing their client or caus­ing ill feel­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, avoid­ing your client’s short­term dis­ap­point­ment or anger at bad news re­sults in Taylor Swift lev­els of Bad Blood. It also means that trans­ac­tions take longer, af­fect­ing the bot­tom line for all par­ties in­volved. Real talk is the best pol­icy with your clients, al­ways. ■

YOUR PRO­FES­SIONAL CA­PA­BIL­I­TIES AND SKILLS SHOULD SHINE.

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