“It’s not who you are, it’s what you do.” Real estate agents rarely think of pitching through this lens because it feels so personal—they think of pitching and communicating more as a reflection of who they are as a person, versus a skill they have. But pitching is indeed a skill, one that can be perfected and mastered. Read on to learn more.
Step 1: Do Your Research
Every interaction with your clients, regardless of their budget, requires you to be “in the know.” Do you have a thorough understanding of the current market? What about the upcoming shift? Before you pitch, you need to have answers in your pocket. Your client is looking for a trusted advisor to help them in their decision process, so doing your homework is critical if you want to win their business.
Actionable tip: Anytime you come across something that you don’t quite understand (whether riding the subway or talking to a client), write yourself a note and go back to it later. The key is to research, gain knowledge, and take notes so you are continually learning and elevating yourself.
Step 2: Find the Best Words
There are certain things you will end up explaining many times—such as why it’s important to use a buyer’s agent—so make sure you have a strong response at the ready. Practice different ways of answering clients in these scenarios and find the methods that are most effective.
Pro tip: Role play is helpful here as you get the opportunity to listen to how your colleagues say things, ultimately allowing you to pick up tricks.
Step 3: How You Say It Matters
Your body language, tone of voice, volume and speed all have as much to do with effective communication as what you say. These things give your client the “feelings” that can make all the difference, such as confidence, honesty, trust, and integrity.
Actionable tip: Practice saying the exact same thing (for example, why your client should work with you as their agent) in the mirror 10 times and each time say it in a different way. You’ll start to get a feel for how different the information comes across based on your body language and tone of voice.
Step 4: Read and Adapt to Your Audience
The secret to pitching is that your audience will give you hints as to how best to convince them of your goal. It could be a slight raise of an eyebrow, a closed-off posture, or simply the answer to your questions. But if you are focussed on recalling the information, how to say it, or your own body language, you will miss these hints.
Your focus should be on reading your audience and shifting communication to best fit how you think that person is going to perceive the information. If you can adapt to your audience in real time and adjust your communication style to make sure that your audience is understanding what you want to communicate, you will be far more likely to achieve your goals (learn more about understanding communication styles here).
Pro tip: Whenever in doubt in a pitch, slow down and ask your audience a question. The most helpful guide on how to effectively pitch your client is… your client! Stay curious and ask questions.
Let Your Client Guide You
Ultimately, the person you are pitching is going to give you hints and answers that will guide you to shift the conversation to be more effective. Let’s say you’re pitching a seller and you find out that they were unhappy with the last agent they used because she was never at the open houses herself. You can use that “fear” to your advantage and tailor your pitch around how you will be completely hands on yourself.
By asking questions, reading your client’s responses, and interpreting their body language, you will better understand their fears and motivations—aka the biggest driving factors in how people make decisions.
Practice Makes Perfect
They say you have to practice something for 10,000 hours to truly master it, and pitching is no exception. The best at anything practice more often than not—most elite athletes practice for at least 5-6 hours a day, 6 days a week. As a professional real estate agent, you should think of pitch practice the way an athlete thinks about practicing their sport.