As a real estate agent, the strength of your negotiating skills can mean the difference between a deal falling through (and the resulting fallout) and clients who are delighted and recommend you to others. In fact, having strong negotiating skills is, arguably, essential to your career in real estate.
But negotiating skills don’t come naturally to everyone, and most of us could stand to improve. So here are some tips and tricks you can undertake to hone your negotiating skills, close deals with less friction and ensure both buyer and seller walk away from the table feeling like they’ve won.
Realtor skills that pay the bills
Before we look at steps you can take to improve your negotiation skills, let’s take a closer look at exactly what skills will serve you well at the negotiating table.
•Communications skills—written and spoken skills are essential, as is responsiveness and comprehension and active listening
•Relationship skills—emotional intelligence is key, as is being able to manage your personal emotions
•Ease in identifying issues, individual motivations and creative solutions
•Ability to determine and highlight benefits to all parties
•Agility in dealing with objections
Now that we’ve identified some of the key skills all Realtors should have for better negotiations, let’s examine how you can strengthen your skills.
Five methods for honing your skills of negotiation as a Realtor
1. Prep your clients properly.
Educating your clients about what to expect during negotiations is a great way to put those advanced communications skills to work for you, while also working that emotional intelligence muscle. Go over the particulars of the process and you may also find you and your clients gain a higher level of mutual trust.
2. Describe both the best and worst case events.
Establish realistic expectations with your clients, and they’ll have increased confidence in your skills. What is typically a very stressful time in a person’s life can become manageable if they are prepared for all possible outcomes.
3. Gather all of the information you need ahead of time.
When it comes to negotiating terms of a sale, information is power—and this is where your ability to anticipate or identify issues and forge creative solutions comes in. When you know everyone’s expectations and goals, their hoped-for timelines and where they are in the buying or selling process, you can adjust your sails as needed while also preparing your clients and managing expectations.
4. Work with integrity and objectivity.
By fulfilling your promises—whether big or small—you demonstrate that you will keep your word, and you gain trust. You’d be surprised how many people find this skill hard to build. As a result, working with integrity will set you apart in the industry and in your specific market. In addition, by staying objective, you will avoid the risk of a deal tanking if you share an inappropriate opinion or information about the involved parties.
5. Develop an offer that is likely to be accepted.
Everyone has heard the horror stories of long, drawn-out negotiations. By encouraging your clients to write an offer that is realistic and likely to be accepted, you avoid a lot of stress and hassle for everyone involved. Now that’s a smooth negotiation tactic!
Realtors: better negotiations are within reach
Better negotiations, discussions that progress smoothly, even in the face of multiple offers, counter offers or differing goals, are within your reach. As a Realtor, you lead the way on real estate negotiations, so you have the power to set the tone, set an example and set the standard. By strengthening your negotiating skills, you not only increase your chances of closing today’s deal, but you lay the groundwork for a future in the industry that’s on your terms.