Conventional wisdom dictates that extroverts have it made in real estate. In fact, extroverts often self-select for this career; the cultivation of a referral network, which is the lifeblood of many a successful real estate career, is often an extrovert’s biggest strength. Walking into a roomful of strangers or speaking to just about anyone is usually no problem for extroverts, who can be energized by being out in public. They thrive on stimulation and activity, and extroverts in real estate enjoy that no two days are the same.
But just like introverts, extroverts have weaknesses. Here are four that extroverts should be aware of and tips for how they can cultivate awareness and adjust appropriately.
1. Tune up your follow-through.
Extroverts often have great success in making initial contacts. They are fun to be around and brilliant at face-to-face contact. Where they can stumble, however, is in the follow-through. A good customer relationship manager or database can help, but those work only if they are easy to use.
The most important thing is to implement a system that gives you precise action steps. For many extroverts, the idea of sitting down at a computer isn’t something they relish. Mobile technology can be a friend here. Voice-to-text software and systems like Evernote can help keep track of files, receipts and more from your phone or tablet.
2. Listen more than you talk.
Extroverts love to talk, and they are good at it. Sometimes, however, the most valuable social skill a real estate agent has is to be a good listener. Practice active listening, giving your potential client the benefit of your full attention and focus. Don’t interrupt, and try to listen to exactly what is being said, also watching for body language and other nonverbal cues. Take a few notes and make sure you clearly understand what is being said. Start to be mindful of the ratio of how often you listen to how often you speak.
3. Capitalize on what works for you.
Many of the extroverts I work with say they can talk to anyone — but they feel frozen when making a statement through marketing materials or on social media. Sometimes online or in print, they err on the side of oversharing, unaware that what they say face to face doesn’t always translate as well into the written word.
But if extroverts can talk to someone, all becomes clear. Extroverts do well in groups and in stimulating environments where ideas are openly shared.
4. Pay attention to the details.
Extroverts can be lions at negotiating for their clients. Their assertive confidence and natural persistence makes them excellent at pursuing a single aim. Where they can sometimes falter is getting bogged down in small details.
Sometimes a paperless or minimalist environment can be a detriment for an extrovert who is more likely to respond to things in the physical world. Whiteboards and paper checklists in the office can help with organization. Sometimes the best solution is to partner with an introvert who can help complement the extrovert’s strengths.
Extroversion and real estate are a natural fit. Extroverts thrive in this people-centric business. Make the most of your exemplary social presence while keeping an eye on the potential spots where you can bolster your skills.
Deidre Woollard was part of the marketing team at realtor.com and is currently the head of communications for Partners Trust, a leading luxury brokerage in Los Angeles.
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