So, would you like to improve your real estate sales skills?
I hear you, and I think sales is one of the most important skills you can learn in any industry and as an entrepreneur.
Some considered it to be even a million-dollar skill.
But how to improve your real estate sales skills?
According to the statistics, you do this by becoming a better communicator, qualifying early, asking the right questions to learn about the customer’s needs, communicating the value you provide, pitching less, not forgetting to close, and practicing sales role-play.
The line is blurry between marketing and sales in general.
And since many real estate agents may feel that they need to improve their sales skills, I will tackle this question in more detail in the rest of this article.
You will learn 15 inspiring sales statistics, how to increase your odds for better real estate sales, and more details about improving your sales skills.
If you are a big fan of robocalls and sales scripts without wanting to listen to a potential customer, this article might not be for you. If not, please read on.
What Are Real Estate Sales Skills?
Real estate sales skills are techniques, knowledge, and abilities a real estate professional needs to successfully move a potential buyer or seller prospect or lead through a sales process and convert them into a paying customer that finalizes a deal.
In other words, while the line is slightly blurry, real estate sales skills start where lead generation skills end.
When you look at the below infographic, it is more or less where the red area begins, where your sales skills are needed.
Here are some of the most essential real estate sales skills:
- Effective sales communication
- Presentation skills (showcasing a product or service)
- Customer service (often also seen as post-sale skill)
- Resilience (think cold calling, and you know what I mean)
- Product knowledge (e.g., local real estate market)
- Relationship building to increase the odds of repeat business (e.g., past client marketing)
15 Sales Statistics that Inform Real Estate Sales Skills
You can already get a feel and clues for the areas that need to be attacked to improve your real estate sales skills when we look at some interesting general sales statistics I found during my research for this article.
So, let’s have a look first. I will distill the most relevant stats for the sales areas that need to be attacked afterward and bold them in the bullet points below.
1) After potential buyers have researched their options and created a shortlist, 60% want to connect with sales during this phase (source).
2) If a sales representative would call back at a scheduled and specific time, a little less than half (42%) of people would be motivated to make a purchase (source).
3) One major difference between top and non-top performers is that 47% of the first group asks for referrals versus only 26% of the second group (source).
And what happens to those who ask for referrals? They earn 4 to 5 times more than those who don’t.
4) The large majority (92%) of customer interactions happen over the phone (source).
Also, according to Sales Insights Lab 2021 (source), 41.2% of sales representatives consider their phones the most effective sales tool.
5) A sales representative or vendor that responds first gets 30 to 50% of the sales (source).
Additionally, you want to be aware that when you wait longer than 5 minutes to respond, there is a 10x drop and even a 400% decrease in lead qualification when you respond within 10 minutes in contrast to 5 minutes (source).
6) Most sales (80%) will need five follow-up calls after a meeting.
And in my article about follow-ups, I already mentioned that 44% give up after just one follow-up.
7) Something important to keep in mind for later – only a tiny number (13%) of customers think that a salesperson understands their needs (source).
This goes together with the stat that you will have better sales success when you ask potential customers questions about their pain points and goals (source).
8) Your calls will be most successful if you focus on the value you can provide (96%), then work together with your customers (93%), give them perspective through market insights and other information (92%), and again assist them in understanding their needs (92%) (Hubspot, 2020).
9) More than half (55%) of the people working in sales lack the skills to be successful (source).
This is additionally supported by the fact that 85% of prospects are unsatisfied with their phone experience (source).
10) Only 5% of presentation attendees remember statistics, but 63% remember stories (source).
11) For sales, qualified leads are closed by 30% of the best companies and, on average, by 20% (source).
In the same context, it is important to note that at least half (50%) of prospects are not a good fit for the product or service sold (source).
12) Not qualifying a potential client well is responsible for 67% of lost sales (source).
13) In almost half (48%) of sales calls, no attempt is made to close a sale. So, it makes sense that the overall closing rate is 27% (source).
14) Non-top sales performers do a lot more pitching (19%) or “premature sales presentation” compared to 7% of top sales performers (source).
15) Comparing top performers with non-top performers regarding sales-related activities, 81.6% of the first group spends 4 hours or more on these activities compared to 60.8% of the second group (source).
Before I bore you with more statistics, let’s see what we can make out of them regarding what sales areas need to be attacked to improve your real estate sales skills.
Based on the Stats, How Should You Improve Your Real Estate Sales Skills?
From the sales statistics mentioned above, we can conclude several things that can move the odds in your favor regarding real estate sales success.
So, what can be concluded?
The phone or, for a better word, direct ear-to-ear or, even better, face-to-face (e.g., FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, etc.) conversations seem to be essential to have good customer interactions.
For sales skills improvements, this means you want to be a good communicator via these mediums.
I will come to what being a good communicator means later.
While it’s not directly related to real estate sales skills, it may improve your numbers if you want to respond quickly to inquiries or calls you get.
You want to better understand your potential customers’ needs by asking them the right questions.
This comes back to being a good communicator.
When it comes to objections, you may want to focus on communicating the value you can provide aligned with the needs you discovered beforehand by again asking the right questions.
In contrast to stats, most people remembering stories gives us a clue about the importance of emotions.
Because stories usually convey emotions.
This means, in turn, that if you manage to sell by triggering some emotions in your potential customer, more of what you have to offer will be retained.
This is not limited to stories.
There are many other ways you can trigger emotions in a sales call, such as, for example, exacerbating pain points further.
The next clue from the statistics is that you likely need to improve in qualifying potential customers or prospects.
You can waste a lot of time when you first give a large presentation, the prospect picks your brain to get a free consultation, and then start to qualify or rather disqualify her way too late at the end of the call to find out that she needs to think about it, wait until the next full moon, or light a candle in the church first and doesn’t have the budget.
The opportunity costs are huge.
The time you wasted with this type of unqualified or late-qualified client could have been spent talking to several more that may have resulted in a sale.
We can also learn from the stats that you might need to improve your closing skills.
Remember that almost half of salespersons don’t attempt to close a sale.
This can often happen when you may have prepared a nice presentation for a sales call.
And since you put so many hours into the preparation, you may focus on giving the presentation quickly and miss the buying signal from your potential customer.
Instead of skipping the presentation and going into the close, you go through the presentation.
The potential customer goes from very interested (“shut up and take my money”) to less interested (“maybe I should reconsider”).
The above statistics further confirm that this problem seems to be a reality: the high performers pitch less than the lower ones.
And lastly, another element to improve your real estate sales skills seems to be to increase the hours put into sales activities.
It’s kind of common sense, but the more you practice this skill by doing it, the better you will get.
How to Improve Your Real Estate Sales Skills
There are three areas influencing how you can improve your real estate sales skills, which are:
- Leveraging real estate market dynamics
- Building relationships and effective communication
- Negotiation skills
By different degrees, this is already confirmed by the above statistics.
Let’s start with the first one, which may not be obvious at first glance, of how it informs the improvement of your real estate sales skills…
1) Leveraging Real Estate Market Dynamics
Why is it essential to be well-versed regarding property market trends, neighborhood characteristics, and economic factors that influence property prices regarding real estate sales skills?
Well, the more in-depth your understanding of the market, the more effectively you can guide your seller or buyer clients and help them make informed decisions.
How to get better in real estate market dynamics?
Regarding market research and analysis, you want to regularly study industry reports, real estate news, and local listings.
This means you want to know and understand what’s selling, what’s not, and why.
Next, you need to dive into the local economy’s health and factors that could impact it.
Is a major company moving into the area bringing jobs? Or is an industry struggling, leading to potential unemployment?
What follows is learning about neighborhood characteristics since each one has its own “microclimate.”
Schools, transport, crime rates, and nearby amenities – all affect property desirability and prices.
Then, you want to keep an eye on property values over time.
This means identifying trends and patterns that can provide future predictions.
Just as fall follows summer, do prices in your area tend to peak and drop at certain times of the year?
Now, understanding all this is just half of the equation.
You can use this to improve real estate sales skills when you leverage these insights to guide your seller or buyer prospects effectively.
But it’s not only the ability to guide potential clients.
You can also use these insights to:
- Give you an edge in negotiations. Knowing the fair market value of properties and the trends affecting them can empower you to negotiate deals more effectively and confidently.
- Tailor your real estate marketing strategies to attract potential buyers or sellers. For instance, if a particular area is becoming popular with young families, you can highlight properties with features that appeal to that demographic.
- Build trust and credibility (a crucial factor in improving your persuasive power). You demonstrate your expertise when you can provide knowledgeable insights about the market.
- Make proactive decisions. This might involve focusing your efforts on a particular real estate niche (e.g., certain property types or locations poised for growth).
2) Building Relationships and Effective Communication
Let’s explore why building relationships and effective communication are essential to real estate sales skills.
Real estate is not a small-ticket purchase.
People are making one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives, and they need to trust the person guiding them through it.
That’s where relationship building comes in.
As a real estate professional, cultivating trust and building genuine relationships with your clients is thus essential.
Like a solid foundation for a house, trust sets the stage for successful real estate transactions.
To effectively guide your clients, you must truly understand their needs, desires, and fears.
By the way, this is also crucial to write good real estate sales copy.
Is the young couple looking for a family-friendly neighborhood? Is the retiree hoping to downsize?
The more effectively you communicate and empathize with them, the better you can cater to their requirements.
Ever played a game of telephone and laughed at how the message gets distorted?
In real estate, that’s not quite as amusing and can end in disaster.
So clear and timely communication is essential to prevent misunderstandings and keep transactions on track.
As the adage goes, “Time is of the essence” in real estate, and effective communication ensures everyone is on the same page at the same time.
Negotiating deals, persuading hesitant clients, handling objections – these are all instances where your way with words comes into play.
The art of persuasion informs whether you close or lose a deal.
But more about negotiation skills in the next section…
3) Negotiation Skills
Aren’t negotiation skills part of effective communication and building relationships?
And yes, negotiation skills can be seen as a subset of effective communication, as negotiation certainly involves aspects like a clear expression of points, active listening, and response formulation.
Therefore you will find some aspects will overlap with the earlier section.
However, I separated negotiation as its own subtopic due to its unique characteristics and importance within real estate.
Negotiation goes beyond general communication and requires a specific set of strategic skills.
In real estate, negotiation often involves:
- Understanding the Psychology of the Other Party: You need to understand buyers’ and sellers’ motivations, needs, and constraints. This understanding can help you create compelling arguments and identify potential compromises.
- Managing Objections and Resistance: Negotiations often involve pushback. Whether you can handle these objections effectively swings the balance between closing or losing a deal.
- Deal Structuring: Negotiation in real estate also involves crafting deals that benefit all parties, requiring a sound understanding of financial and legal implications.
So as you can see, these aspects are significant and have a specialized nature.
Therefore it is better to consider negotiation skills as a distinct area of improvement to further improve your real estate sales skills.
Nevertheless, effective communication, as I discussed earlier, undoubtedly serves as the foundation for these more nuanced negotiation skills.
Now, how can negotiation skills improve real estate sales skills?
Just as an artist’s final brush stroke completes a painting, negotiation skills often decide whether a deal goes through.
The art of negotiation can turn a maybe into a yes and a no into a deal of a lifetime.
The more skilled you are in negotiation, the better you understand the other party’s motivations, needs, and constraints.
Like understanding the tones and hues on a painter’s palette, this deep comprehension of the buyer or seller allows you to adapt your strategy and reach a successful agreement.
Every real estate transaction has its challenges.
Negotiation skills are like your palette knife, smoothing out these bumps and objections.
Handling and navigating through resistance is key to closing a successful deal.
Master artists don’t just paint what they see; they interpret and reimagine it.
Similarly, negotiation isn’t just about the price.
It’s about identifying creative solutions that can satisfy both parties.
Maybe it’s a flexible closing date, creative financing, or including furniture in the deal. These nuances all come into play during negotiations.
When negotiations are handled skillfully, they can foster mutual respect and pave the way for future transactions.
Each successful negotiation can lead to repeat business and referrals.
The final goal of any negotiation is to reach an agreement between all parties.
The better your negotiation skills, the better you’ll be at orchestrating win-win scenarios that satisfy everyone.
Bonus Tips to Improve Your Real Estate Sales Skills
Concerning persuasive communication and negotiation skills to improve your real estate sales skills, I would like to mention the G.U.T.S sales system by Claude Diamond, which considers most of the earlier statistics.
And to become a better communicator and persuader, rather than using and getting attached to sales scripts, you want to have a communication system in place or better ingrained in your mind that you have already practiced several times via so-called role-plays, where your role-play partner gives you a hard time.
The problem when you use a script is that many things I mentioned to increase your odds for better real estate sales will fall under the table.
Because first, it will be more difficult to listen to the prospect when you focus on the script.
This means you will lose out on knowing your potential customer’s needs, pains, and greed.
You also can’t be prepared with a script for every eventuality that may come up in a conversation.
If you do, you will have such a complex script at the end that you will lose the whole picture quickly.
In this context, I would like to mention a nice article from indeed.com I found during my research.
It mentions what is considered the 10 top communication skills:
- Active listening
- Using the right communication method (when you sell things like real estate where amounts are usually above $1000, you want to use face-to-face communication, for example; in e-commerce, this would be another story)
- Providing and accepting feedback
- Volume and clarity
- Empathy (e.g., “I am so sorry to hear that you need to sell your lovely house. It must be tough to leave this place”, etc.)
- Respect (not only from you to the customer but also from the potential customer towards you)
- Being able to pick up nonverbal cues
So, you may already know the answer of how good of a communicator you would be if you are using scripts or rather are too attached to a script.
But the same is true if you don’t get the role-play practice if you have the theoretical knowledge of a good sales system such as the one from Claude Diamond.
It will be like learning to drive.
First, you will have to focus way too much on your conscious head-eye-foot coordination but won’t be able to react spontaneously to suddenly occurring situations on the street.
But once you have put the hours in, it starts to work automatically, and you become a better driver because you can adapt flexibly to most situations.
You might even start texting and driving (which you shouldn’t do, of course, 😉).
You can read many sales, persuasion, and communication books. Still, it won’t make much difference if you don’t practice what you read or learn.
It needs to be mastered so that it enters your subconscious.
Now, when you look again at the conclusions from the section before, you will find that most conclusions from the statistics tie in with what makes a good communicator.
In the past, I’ve also read many books on sales and persuasions and also watched several videos from so-called sales gurus.
But up to now, only one guy stood out to me who, although he possibly could call himself a millionaire real estate guru, came across as modest, approachable, and trustworthy.
I will mention him one last time in this article.
It’s Claude Diamond, and when I compare his sales system to what the stats in this article say, the conclusions I drew, and what is considered good communication, it basically covers all of that.
His system is based on asking good questions, qualifying early, not giving early presentations, mutual respect, and different persuasion moves during a sales call when you encounter objections.
And, of course, not using any scripts and role-plays.
He offers several different coaching packages and info products where, depending on what you choose, group role-playing is also included.
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.