By Beth McGuire
Having trained millions of real estate professionals for success over the course of almost 20 years now Brian Buffini chairman and founder of Buffini & Company knows what it takes to increase business in an altered real estate environment. In this exclusive interview Buffini shares just how this business has changed and what it will take to succeed in today's market.
Beth McGuire: What is the ‘New Era of Real Estate'?
Brian Buffini: I don't think anyone reading this needs to be told that the real estate industry has changed in recent times. Things look very different today than they did just a few short years ago. Whether we're on board or not this business has gone through a major shift.
I believe we are in a new era in real estate for a number of reasons:
1. Today's buyer is more informed. They begin their search online and have access to information we only dreamed about just a few years ago.
2. They are more interested in the market. They're not just out there looking at homes; they're trawling the Internet.
3. They are artificially informed. Being informed is a good thing but sometimes a little information can be dangerous. With all the online tools available it can be difficult for consumers to get an accurate read on their finances/opportunities etc.
Truth is people still want to work with someone they trust. This new era demands that REALTORS step up to the plate as professionals and really communicate their value to consumers who are swimming in information and options.
What does it mean to be ‘professional' in this business?
I believe there are three elements to this:
1. Work like a pro
2. Sell like a pro
3. Grow like a pro
First it's important to actually do the work! Be disciplined with your daily priorities of lead-generation. Be diligent with the workings of the business. Track your numbers. Stay away from negativity and focus on what it is you have to do each day.
Next to sell like a pro you need to up your skills. And key here is our listening skills. What are your clients looking for? What do they want and are you hearing them? Another area to focus on is practicing your dialogues. There isn't a sports team on the planet that doesn't practice; yet we think we can show up on a listing appointment with little to no preparation.
Last show enthusiasm. If you're not sold on real estate how can your clients be? They are looking to you for answers but they're also looking to you to stay positive about the experience. It's the largest investment they'll ever make. Do they feel you're in it to win with them?
If this is a definition of professionalism what then should these pros do to succeed?
Well you can certainly be professional yet still find yourself struggling. Real estate success comes from "finding" business; not "waiting" for it to show up. So a successful agent in 2014 will do the following:
- Promote constantly.
PT Barnum flatly named what happens without promotion: nothing! To succeed in sales you need to promote to get above the noise. But there's a right and wrong way to do this.
- Build relationships.
I've been teaching people how to build relationships for a long time and it's a tune I won't ever stop singing. Relationships are the key to this business - indeed any business. And when you're promoting to a sphere of clients you know and like well that's just the sweet spot!
- Provide value
Again what we teach is a multi-pronged approach to building relationships by providing value and exceeding expectations. It's a given today that we go the extra mile.
- Sell and serve with skill
Enhance your skills in sales – become great in the art of sales by leaving behind the clumsy old-school techniques. Embrace methodologies that instead demonstrate your character and competence in this great business.
What words do you have for the agent struggling out there?
At times like these you've got to focus on fundamentals. There are principles that are bedrock – they work in any market. I have such admiration for those who've been brave enough to get into a business that promises you nothing.
For our own part we've just launched a brand new event the Success Tour and we'll be teaching people how to build their very own success plan across North America this year. I'm very excited to get going in this new era.
Brian Buffini and his team consult with every major real estate brand in the industry working with over 5000 brokers and to date have trained more than 3 million salespeople and small-business owners.
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.