To discover the many ways we do or don’t communicate successfully, there is no better learning ground than a lounge room filled with people who are making one of the biggest decisions of their lives – to sell their biggest asset, their home or their family’s home. Think of all the emotions involved in making a decision to entrust the marketing and negotiation
of the sale of your own home to an agent. It’s a massive decision.
The real estate industry is a tough one, where only the best communicators survive and thrive. Simply talking is not enough and saying what you believe people want to hear is definitely not the way to survive. It takes a deeper understanding of people, how they communicate and how they think to create lasting relationships.
When coaching real estate agents, I emphasise the importance of understanding the client’s why. Why they have made the big decision to sell the family home and, more importantly, what’s next? Building relationships comes from understanding, and you can only understand by seeking more information about the emotion behind the decision. By asking the right questions you create a level of empathy and understanding of the client’s emotional decisions, which provides you with the most valuable information – how to solve their pain points or problems with the services you deliver.
Working within the real estate industry for over twenty years and coaching many new and experienced real estate agents, I have found that there is a huge gap between the good and the great, and it comes down to being the best communicator. The better your communication and understanding of others, the greater your opportunities to grow. This can be said about any industry or profession, and it is true for anyone who would like to improve their position in business, or in their personal or social life.
Auctioneering is a part of real estate that is exciting, entertaining and an extremely valuable element in the outcome for the clients. When I coach novice or experienced auctioneers, I always stress the importance of communication: ‘It is not about you as the auctioneer and how good you look or sound. It is about the vendor selling their biggest asset, the audience – who will be filled with friends and family – and building rapport with the bidders who are extremely nervous.’
Auctioning a property is an honour and I love conducting auctions most weekends. My role is to understand the stories that have taken place in the home. A house turns into a home through memories. I want to hear the memories that have been created and will never be forgotten, and I want to experience what it would be like to live in the home so I can relay the story to the audience. I take pride in understanding the importance of the sale of a family home and ensuring that the vendors are in good hands.
Standing on a pedestal at the front of a property and shouting out bids makes it all about the auctioneer. There is no rapport, no emotion and no connection. To build an emotional and trusting connection with the audience I read their body language and respond accordingly. I ‘close the gap’, knowing that proximity builds familiarity. I will cross the road to be closer to people, lower my voice and ensure that the bidder feels comfortable and confident that I am there to facilitate the purchase of the home. I use stories and build emotion through tonality, pitch and pace.
The power of communication and its importance is most evident when I congratulate the owners after a successful auction and I see the emotion on their faces. The hugs I have received from people who are crying with joy and the emotion from selling the family home of 50 years is a feeling that has moved me to tears. It is in these moments that I realise how fortunate I am to be able to help make a life-changing impact on people through effective communication.