Realtor Q&A: Are sales skills transferable?

June 27, 2017 

Realtor Q&A: Are sales skills transferable? 

By Dave Facinoli 

Would real estate agents do well other types of sales? The Sun Gazette asked some local agents that question. Here are their answers: 

Billy Buck, Buck & Associates: “Good listening is the key for any kind of sales job. If you believe in and are convincing about your product, then it doesn’t matter if you are selling ice or yo-yos.” 

Dawn Wilson, Keller Williams: “Being a good real estate salesperson takes some of the same skills that are required for other types of sales. Most importantly, you need to be a good listener and to understand your clients’ needs and what they want to achieve, and be able to help them get to the end result they want. Being good at communication, being positive, being professional, being responsive, being determined, being good at follow-through and not being easily discouraged are skills that good real estate salespeople have and are also transferable to other types of sales.” 

Jane Price, Weichert: “Real-estate sales skills are transferable, particularly having in-depth product knowledge, identifying client goals and needs, building a client base, knowing marketing and maintaining professional standards.” 

Karen Close, Century 21: “I’m not sure it’s really about selling. It’s more of a human touch and building relationships with people. It’s a knowledge of the whole process, sharing that knowledge and building trust are the most important things in any types of sales.” 

Stacy Hennessey, McEnearney Associates: “If you’re passionate about your product, whether it be selling a home or fund-raising for a charity, you’ll be successful. People recognize honesty and passion.” Sun Gazette/ INSIDE NOVA June 27, 2017 http://www.insidenova.com/news/arlington/realtor-q-a-are-sales-skills-transferable/article_795e104e-5aa4-11e7-a02d- 6f41f339c1d9.html

 

Renee Fisher, McEnearney Associates: “Being a successful real-estate professional, like being successful in any other sales profession, is about creating relationships. And the foundation of any relationship is trust. Realtors can learn new skills that are required for other types of sales, but the ability to create a relationship is the common thread.” 

Lori Shafran, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “The short answer is yes. To be successful in sales you have to have a strong sense of empathy and have a sincere desire to serve others. You have to be a very specific listener to what they need and deliver what they want. The customer-satisfaction side is huge.” 

Craig Mastrangelo, Re/Max Allegiance: “Regardless of the product (i.e. real estate, software, staffing, etc.), a salesperson must first use their knowledge of their market/discipline to attract clients and then create an environment in which they sell themselves and create a professional relationship in which the client feels they are getting value for the sales services being provided. These inherent sales skills exist in many different types of sales. It is up to the salesperson to successfully implement them so they create a stream of steady business to be successful.” 

John Mentis, Long and Foster: “I think good sales people are good sales people, if they can match up clients’ need with the products they need.” 

Betsy Twigg, Washington Fine Properties: “Yes, because good selling involves relationships with people, gaining their confidence and trust and being very honest and forthcoming. Then, they will trust you are selling a good product.” 

Casey Margenau, Casey Margenau Fine Homes & Estates: “Yes, of course. Sales is sales, but when you are talking about real estate, that is a much longer process. Other things, like automobiles and shoes, is a much faster process. The skills you learn in sales help you to be able to cross-sell. But if you sell real estate the way you sell other products, you can be successful in the short term, but not the long term.” 

Dean Yeonas, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “It could be. Selling real estate is more of a consultation and advising process than selling. If you are a successful real estate agent that skill set is transferable because of your attention to details and your social skills and how to relate to people.” 

Karen Briscoe, Huckaby Briscoe Group: “Like the Frank Sinatra song, ‘New York, New York.’ If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. I think it is the same in sales. If you can make it in real estate, those tend to stay in real estate, but you would be able to sell other products.” Ann Wilson, Keller Williams: “You are kind of born to be a salesperson and it takes a certain personality. It would be fun to own a small boutique. If you have a gift for gab, you can sell.” Sun Gazette/ INSIDE NOVA June 27, 2017 http://www.insidenova.com/news/arlington/realtor-q-a-are-sales-skills-transferable/article_795e104e-5aa4-11e7-a02d- 6f41f339c1d9.html

 

Gloria Adams, TTR Sothebys International Realty: “Yes. It’s all about the basic concepts of customer service and personal relationships 101. You meet people, have patience and understanding with them, and find out what they want.” 

Mark Middendorf, Long & Foster: “I definitely think sales is a people business that is transferable. It’s a matter of learning the product. Also, what it boils down to the most is people-skills and being efficient, organized, a good listener, knowing what you are doing, and knowing the next step before it gets there.” 

Jack Shafran, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “Servicing people is a skill set that leads to success. If you are selling cars, tires or fish at a fish market, if you are servicing people right, they will come back to you.” 

Casey Samson, Samson Properties: “Being a Realtor requires a diverse skill set, and it either clicks or it doesn’t. Realtors are basically hunters and problem-solvers. We hunt for listings, purchasers, homes and solutions. We combine state-of-the-art tools on the Net with old-school, tried-and-tested techniques. We take a huge responsibility when a seller trusts us with their home.” 

Rob Ferguson, Re/Max Allegiance: “So much of what we do is relationship-building and fulfilling a need. If you believe in the product you are selling that fills a need for someone, than you can sell it.” 

Steve Wydler, Wydler Brothers Real Estate: “That’s an emphatic yes. Being in real estate sales requires incredible discipline and motivation, and that would transfer to other sales skills, as well as other types of work. If you don’t have ambition and self-motivation, you will not achieve anything.” 

Carol Ellickson, TTR Sotheby’s International: “Negotiating the large and little things in everyday life requires that we first communicate – and continue to sharpen our communication skills that are so important as the first step in any negotiation. Yet, we must always be mindful that the first rule of negotiation is to work on and protect our relationships with others. These skills are transferable to other sales fields.” 

Carol Temple, Coldwell Banker: “The ability to anticipate and work defensively for your client is a trait that top-performing Realtors should possess. A second important skill is a heightened ability to manage an overload of details. A third is the ability to defuse emotionally charged situations. All of these should serve a salesperson well, regardless of what they are selling. The secret sauce, though, is passion about what you are doing. Truth is that I would not be terribly passionate about selling printer toner. It would show and I would get fired.” 

Diane Lewis, Washington Fine Properties: “A background in real-estate sales is a great background for any sales position. It prepares you for long hours, a need for good time-management, attention to details and, most importantly, care and compassion to your clients.” Sun Gazette/ INSIDE NOVA June 27, 2017 http://www.insidenova.com/news/arlington/realtor-q-a-are-sales-skills-transferable/article_795e104e-5aa4-11e7-a02d- 6f41f339c1d9.html

 

Joan Stansfield, Keller Williams: “Stripped down, sales skills are the same no matter the industry. Consistent service and communications based on relationship skills has been critical to my success. These people and service skills would transition well to positions like orchestrating and serving people and events where there are big emotions and lots of varying people with -different personalities and goals.” 

Natalie Roy, Keller Williams: “Selling real estate is a great way to build and improve sales skills in any field. These skills include being customer-focused, tracking the latest trends, adapting to a fast-paced environment, staying updated on the latest technologies and sales techniques and, of course, the ever important multi-tasking. Even in the 21st century with the wide range of technology available, the most effective sales technique is person-to-person interaction.” Barbara Lewis, Washington Fine Properties: “Actually, everyone is in sales. Doctors sell themselves to patients and want them to return, lawyers sell themselves to attract clients, stores have employees greet customers so they will want to do business in the store, we are all in sales. Real estate is unique in that agents are independent contractors and therefore have a lot of flexibility in running their own businesses. Long hours, compassion and attention to details are what it takes to succeed in every profession.” 

Valerie Grange, McWilliams Ballard condo resales division: “Both an art and a science, success in any form of sales simply requires the perfect balance of people skills and the practical application of meeting a client’s top needs, goals and desires. Especially in real estate, if you can help someone with the most important purchase in their lives, you can most definitely assist them with any other endeavor.” 

Timur Loynab, McWilliams Ballard condo resales division: “I absolutely believe that the skill set that one obtains as a real estate agent is transferable. The bedrock of a successful real estate career is the ability to build relationships and in the process earn the trust, confidence and loyalty of clients/customers. Successful sales people must be able to articulate and present themselves and their product thoughtfully, competently and compellingly.”