Transitioning Back To The Human Touch And Communication
Dave Panozzo is the co-founding owner of The Panozzo Team-HomeSmart, a real estate team in Phoenix, Arizona.
As a real estate agent diving back into the post-pandemic era of socialization, are you finding it hard to transition back to in-person meetings and talking directly with clients? Last year, in response to Covid-19 lockdown orders, so many businesses and tourist attractions were forced to close. However, many states in the U.S. are now opening back up. In fact, in Arizona, tourist attractions and businesses are lifting many restrictions for in-person meetings and events.
If you are feeling out of touch with your fellow human, you’re not the only one. Many Americans are anxious about a return to normal as many people emerge from their Covid-19 caves and reintegrate into society for social gatherings after more than a year of isolated lifestyles and Zoom meetups.
Here are some simple ways you can overcome social anxiety and improve your networking/communication skills as a real estate agent in 2021:
1. Always ask how a person is doing.
It may seem simple but asking someone how they are doing is a loaded question. More importantly, it is a question that needs to be asked, especially in these times when people are overcoming the pandemic. It has a lot more meaning to it now. Being personable and finding opportunities to have small talk with your clients will enhance your experience, let your clients know you care (which you do) and make them feel closer to you.
We always like to ask our clients what the best way to communicate with them is. Most people are busy, and we have found that more clients like to take a phone call and get status updates verbally versus through a text message or an email. Finding out the preferences of the person you are working with and accommodating them is important in making them feel important.
2. Give your client or colleague 100% of your attention.
Remind yourself to stay focused when having in-person conversations. Pretend that whomever you are talking to is a famous celebrity or your favorite person in the world. When working with clients, we do this all the time because it puts us in a state of mind where we can be attentive and energetic throughout the entire transaction. We recently had a client who closed on a home and was very complimentary on how we handled ourselves throughout the entire transaction, from walking them through each step to our communication in person as well as by phone, text messages and email updates.
3. Go the extra mile.
When building new relationships during networking events or in-person meetings, don’t be afraid to add a personal touch. Sometimes it’s easier to open a conversation when you present a small gift to someone, like a pen and notebook or coffee. Or after a meeting with a client, you could send a handwritten note to let them know that you are excited to help them find their dream home and enjoyed meeting them in person. If you go the extra mile, you’re likely to leave a positive impression on your client.
4. Remember, people will remember how you made them feel.
Recently, we were fortunate enough to help a client purchase a home after a bad experience with a different agent. That agent ignored her calls, only responding through text, and every time she tried to leave him a voicemail, his inbox was full. After working with us, she was impressed by our customer service. We asked her why she was so excited about working with us, and she told us she wasn’t sure exactly what it was but she felt important and taken care of. It just goes to show that people don’t always remember what you do for them, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
5. Practice makes perfect.
The more you practice in-person communication and networking skills, the better. It is very different from a phone call or text conversation. You can tell right away from someone’s voice and body language whether they are happy, sad or confused. And unlike a text message, where you can avoid responding until you think of the correct response, you have to be able to think quickly and respond naturally.
Next time you see someone out on the streets, like the local cashier, spark up a conversation. If you don’t practice your communication skills outside of your clients, then you’ll be less prepared to talk to a real client. So when going out next, be ready to talk to anyone.
As you transition back to the human touch and communication, have no fear — just be your authentic self. Let your personality shine and follow these five tips to make a great impression on any client or colleague you work with during your next interaction.
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