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3 ways to use emotional intelligence with sellers


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After two days of studying the neighborhood, pouring over compareables and tailoring your listing presentation to this specific seller, you ring the doorbell.

The butterflies are aflutter in your stomach, but you’re amped to show these sellers exactly why you’re the right real estate agent to handle one of the largest transactions of their lives.

You know that when the sellers answer the door, it’s go time.

It’s not uncommon for a real estate agent to walk into a listing presentation feeling a bit nervous, excited or just plain anxious.

But it’s important to keep your emotions in check if you want to successfully navigate the listing presentation and earn the sellers’ business.

You can use emotional intelligence to help you through this sometimes nerve-wracking meeting.

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Emotional intelligence theory suggests that by adapting your responses or reactions in a given situation, you can achieve a desired outcome when dealing with others.

Emotional intelligence

An emotionally intelligent person is said to have a knack for dealing with others effectively.

Because real estate professionals regularly interact with others, it is beneficial to use principles of emotional intelligence as a means of increasing interpersonal success.

Below, you’ll find three ways you can use emotional intelligence during a listing presentation to achieve maximum success with sellers.

1. Avoid talking about the neighbors

Resist the urge to build rapport by sharing seemingly innocent facts about neighbors.

Although your intent may be to help, the sellers may be testing you and may look at what you reveal about others as a reflection of how you will treat them in the future.

I’m not referring to information that is considered to be confidential under your fiduciary responsibility, but rather the seemingly innocent information that may be categorized as “public knowledge.”

For example, imagine that you recently sold a house due to a nasty divorce. Everyone knows infidelity was involved because the betrayed spouse moved out, and the lover moved in to live with the remaining spouse until the settlement took place.

If this matter were to come up during your listing presentation, you should refrain from making any comment whatsoever.

Consider it a test, and avoid engaging the sellers. Perhaps create a default response that you can use to tactfully change the subject.

2. Know when to discuss the competition

Similar to why you should not talk about the neighbors, discussing other agents should also be avoided.

One approach is to have a standard response available should the seller mention a competitor.

For example, if the seller says “Agent Sally sold my neighbor’s house in one week, and we are interviewing her next.” A default response could be to say nothing and move on.

It’s not necessary to engage in a dialogue on every point raised. In a situation where you are familiar with the agent, you could adjust the remainder of your listing presentation to focus on the strengths that you bring to the sellers.

Naturally, there are instances when you must engage, just proceed cautiously.

3. Use facts not anecdotal information

Whenever possible, use credible data to support your statements so that you come across as competent and trustworthy. Avoid using unreliable or anecdotal information; by using reliable information, it is difficult for a seller to dispute the source of the data or its methodology.

You also avoid hurting feelings by sticking to the facts.

You can easily obtain credible data from sites such as the United States Census Bureau or the National Association of Realtors. By using verifiable facts, you will come across as credible, which can lead to effective communication between you and your sellers.

For example, rather than saying to a seller “You have a dated kitchen,” instead, try saying “According to a new study published by the National Association of Realtors, 95 percent of all buyers expect to have xyz feature in a home that is listed in the top 10 percent of market values.”

Using this tactic is pre-emptively overcoming seller objections in a diplomatic manner that can minimize hurt feelings or offending anyone unintentionally.

By avoiding these three things, you will be able to effectively communicate with sellers during a listing presentation and come across as professional, trustworthy and competent.

Establishing a default response will allow you to quickly and gracefully respond when caught off guard.

Ayisha Sereni is the president of The Main Line School of Real Estate in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook

Email Ayisha Sereni

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