7. Real estate home-opens: EQ tips 1-5

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute.

Emotional intelligence includes being able to manage your own emotions and those of others. These are particularly important skills for real estate professionals to have, as buying a home or property is an emotional decision as well as a financial one.

People do not just buy a house on the price but on how they feel about the price.

People do not just buy on location, location, location but on how they feel when they are in that location, and the emotions that arise when they think about the location.

People do not just buy because of the features of a house but because of how they feel about the features.

It is for reasons such as this that emotional intelligence is important for real estate professionals. They need to be able to read, understand and influence the emotions of potential buyers, including when they are at home-opens.

And what particularly influences the emotions of the people at a home-open? It isn't just the features of the home, it is also the way you communicate with them.

This article is the first in a two-part series on emotional intelligence for real estate professionals servicing home-opens.

This one will give you the first five tips on emotionally intelligent ways to communicate at home-opens.

The second article gives a second set of five tips on emotionally intelligent communication at home-opens: Tips 6-10.

Some time ago I spent 15 months looking for a new home and attended home-opens most weekends. This advice results from these experiences.

EQ skills 1: Be enthusiastic about the home

Enthusiasm is an important emotion at home-opens, yours and the buyers. Buyers can pick up your enthusiasm or lack of it.

In the home opens I went to, some real estate agents were so unenthusiastic about the homes they were trying to sell that it was hard for us to generate our own enthusiasm.  

One agent we met never got out of his chair or stopped reading the newspaper when we visited his home. It wasn't as though there were other people wandering through - we were the only ones. His level of disinterest in us and his lack of enthusiasm was off-putting. Another one spent the whole time leaning against the balcony outside, talking on her mobile.

Come on - show us the features, with enthusiasm.

One of the reasons we picked a particular real estate agent to sell our home was because of his genuine enthusiasm for it. Your enthusiasm could mean thousands of dollars to you.

This is just one example of how your own emotional intelligence or EQ can influence your sales. Can you generate enthusiasm when you need it?

EQ skills 2: Assume people at home-opens are genuine buyers

I know there are many people who attend home-opens because they are nosey and just want to snoop around neighbourhood homes. But if you are cynical about the people entering your home, you might put off genuine buyers.

One real estate agent's opening line to us was, "Doing the rounds of the home-opens, are we?" with a kind of derogatory voice tone. We had come specifically because we were interested in this home. We certainly didn't want to buy a home from him.

Do not put people off coming to or staying at your home-open.

EQ skills 3: Watch what you say - we may be evaluating you

Always be careful of what you say and how you treat us - we may be evaluating you. The person attending the home-open may also be assessing you to see whether you are the real estate agent they want to list/sell their home.

One real estate agent called us after we'd attended a home open. His opening comment to me was, "I thought I'd let you know that the owner's are willing to drop their price and are open to any offers."

Why was this a problem?

  • Firstly, he failed to find out if we were interested in buying the home at the existing price, which we were. The price of the house was not our reason for hesitating.
  • Secondly, we crossed him off our list of possible agents to sell our home because he wasn't making sufficient effort to get the best price for the vendors.

At all stages of selling a home watch what you say - we will be evaluating you. Be aware of the people to whom you are talking and their emotional reactions, and have your own self-awareness tuned to the impact you are having.

Self-awareness and reading others are two important emotional intelligence skills and another reason why you need emotional intelligence in real estate. 

EQ skills 4: Be skilled in conversation

There are ways to engage people in conversation which have a high impact, form rapport immediately and build trust. Use these techniques. We met few who did.

Many had poor communication skills. They'd ask closed questions, talk on topics we weren't interested in, and make silly remarks or statements. The ability to engage people in relevant conversation takes conversational knowledge and skill, and emotional intelligence.

EQ skills 5: Stay available to all visitors

Sometimes we would find that the agents were able to engage in conversation but in the process they would exclude others. Leaving people feeling excluded is not emotionally intelligent at a home-open.

Often we would find it hard to gain access to the real estate agents because they were "gas-bagging". Were their conversations about the home, the suburb or the Shire? No. Often they'd be talking about life in general, people they knew - all sorts of things and with people who weren't genuine home buyers (as far as we could tell).

With one property we were particularly interested in, we stood for a long time in line waiting to talk to the agent who was "gas-bagging". Eventually we had to ask for his attention and request he speak to us. (He'd been talking about motor bikes to a mate.)

When we had a second question later we had to go through the same process. (He was still talking to the first person).

In another home we never did get to talk to the agent - we thought he must have been talking to a serious buyer but the home remained unsold for months. We were lucky that we found the owner hiding in his small orchard and talked to him instead!

What is your level of emotional intelligence? Is it helping or hindering you from building your real estate business? Do you know? You may not but your potential clients do.

Develop your team's EQ skills, now

There is so much more that you and your team can do to develop your conversation and interaction skills in your real estate business; and we know there is so much more to Real Estate than just home-opens. The Institute has a number of options to help you:
  1. There are CDs, books and DVDs. The DVD "Business Networking: The skills you need" is ideal for real estate professionals. It covers top tips on how to meet, greet and speak to people. It is applicable to home-opens, meetings and interactions with people anywhere. You also receive a free copy of our networking checklist and a free copy of our "Top twelve talking topics" card to slip into your pocket or handbag.
  2. There are high energy, interactive and practical emotional intelligence workshops. Of particular value in Real Estate are: "Networking skills: Meet, speak and exit well" and "How to keep your cool with difficult people". 
  3. There is a dynamic keynote speech on networking and conversation skills: "Easy meet: Sizzling networking success" which will get your conference, seminar or event buzzing.

For more details or to make a booking e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us and we will discuss your options with you.

Develop your emotional intelligence now and build your business.