3 Skills to Become a Successful
Real Estate Agent

See also: Customer Service Skills

Selling real estate can be a highly rewarding and exciting career where you get to help people find their dream homes. This potentially lucrative vocation allows you to choose your own schedule and work independently giving you greater control of your career growth and future income.

According to the National Association of Realtors, there are over three million real estate agents in the United States. By actively developing your skills, you can give yourself an advantage over your competitors while meeting the needs of your clients and improving the chances of being referred on to others.

Woman realtor shaking on a business deal.

Standing out in this competitive field requires a specific set of skills that will enable you to position yourself as an authority in your area, as well as being a trusted expert by buyers and sellers alike. In this article, we will look at some of the skills you need to become a successful real estate agent.

Negotiation Skills

As a real estate agent, one of your greatest assets is your ability to secure a sale. Whether you’re acting for a buyer or a seller you will need to fine tune the art of negotiation so that both parties are happy with the outcome and agree to close the deal.

Developing successful negotiation strategies can help you to maximize the value of each deal. Ensuring sellers get their asking price while buyers get the best deal involves striking a balance between the needs of both parties. Negotiation involves being proactive on behalf of your client without being aggressive or overly reactive. It is knowing what questions to ask and which points to delve deeper into as well as having an awareness as to which areas are worth adjusting in favor of your client with regards to matters such as price, home repairs, furniture, closing costs and other matters.

Communication Skills

A successful real estate agent is a good communicator who is able to engage with their clients and appropriately manage expectations. Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest decisions people make, and one which usually involves large sums of money. With such a significant investment at stake, parties to a transaction can often put pressure on their agent and require regular communication and updates.

Good communication skills are essential for a real estate agent at every stage of the transaction, and knowing how often and how much to communicate with their client is key to their success. From attracting clientele to discussing contractual matters, a real estate agent should be able to communicate well and be able to convince both the buyer and seller to agree to a deal.

By speaking clearly and confidently, actively listening and displaying a friendly demeanor you can do much to improve your skills in this area.  Another way to improve your communication skills is to ask your clients for feedback through a follow-up email, survey or in person.

In addition to verbal communication, a successful real estate agent will have excellent writing skills which are demonstrated through their emails, website, ability to interpret and draft contracts as well as marketing material.

Knowledge of the Market

A successful real estate agent must have a strong understanding of the housing market as well as knowledge of their local area. Understanding economic factors which affect supply and demand is important, especially in determining whether you are dealing with a buyer’s or a seller’s market.

For instance, in a buyer’s market, the supply of houses exceeds the demand, therefore, buyers will have an advantage and greater leverage when it comes to negotiating on price and other matters. Working on behalf of a seller in this environment means preparing the seller for the possibility of lowering their asking price or agreeing to absorb closing costs or pay for certain repairs to avoid the risk of potential buyers walking away. It may also involve encouraging your client to make improvements to their property to make it more appealing compared to the competition.

According to a consumer survey from realtor.com, 97% of consumers reported that it is important for their real estate agent to be an expert in their local market, with 25% saying such expert knowledge was the most important trait above all others.

Armed with knowledge of the housing market will enable you to advise your clients accordingly and secure a deal regardless of conditions. In addition to this, a firm understanding of your local market is essential to being successful in your field.  This will include a strong working knowledge of the following areas:

  • Schooling: Working with clients that have children will require detailed knowledge about local schools, their proximity, fees charged, transportation to and from, as well as their reputation and standard of education offered.

  • Public Transport: Knowledge of the local transportation facilities is essential in giving your clients an idea as to how they can navigate their area. Whether it’s local buses, trains, trams or subway networks, knowing the proximity to the nearest point of transport for each property is key.

  • Neighborhood information: Finding the perfect neighborhood is often as important as finding the right property. Whether it’s local parks and green spaces, crime rates or the best cafes and restaurants, a successful real estate agent must be able to sell the area as well as the property.

  • Local Market Trends: Having accurate information on local data can set you apart from the competition. This includes knowledge on recently sold homes in the area, the average number of days properties are on the market as well as the latest pricing trends.

Having a solid understanding of your local area involves researching past sales and similar properties that have sold in the area to help you determine and, therefore, negotiate the price of listings correctly.

By strengthening your skills in the areas highlighted in this article you will make great strides in ensuring your future success as a real estate agent.

About the Author

James Allison oversees content writing services at Globex Outreach.