Know Yourself, Know Your Clients

November 15, 2011

People like to interact with others who are like them. This basic premise is a key to successful interactions with buyers and sellers. At the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Anaheim on Sunday, real estate trainer Jackie Leavenworth walked a crowd of about 80 REALTORS® through the DISC system — a method of understanding behavior and personality — and how to use it to meet clients’ needs.

DISC identifies four major elements of personality: dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance. Dominance is the need for control and challenge; influence, the need to interact and persuade; steadiness, the need for security and stability; and compliance, the need to follow standards and be accurate and cautious.

To start, know yourself (Leavenworth recommended taking a DISC test online), then marry your natural behavior and style to match those of your client.

Buyers and sellers give clear indications of their personality type in the way they answer open-ended questions (influencers will talk about how party-friendly their home is, while those high in the compliance aspect will list the facts about the house, for example), their voicemail message, their home decoration choices, and even level of clutter.

Shape your tactics and approaches to match those of the clients you are working with, Leavenworth advised. She suggested tactics that are effective for each personality type:

  • For sellers high in dominance, lay out the process and ask how they’d like to be involved.
  • For influencers, make the process fast and easy.
  • For steadies, provide frequent updates about how the process is going.
  • For compliers, be fact-based.

Do you need to change who you are to work with clients whose personality is very different than yours? Not necessarily, Leavenworth explained. You can learn how to adapt to provide what they need. If that won’t work for a particular client, the smartest approach might be to partner on the listing with another agent and share the commission, she said.

Source: Hilary Marsh, 

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