BY JEFF KAPLAN
As a strong advocate for education, I certainly encourage people to explore their minds in their respective places of work, especially in a sales environment. In general, the more you know about your product or service, the more people will listen to you. I’ve learned from past sales experiences that people only have about a 30 second window of attention; after this point, the person is uninterested and you’ve lost your audience. If you could capture their focus for that small time period, you’ll earn respect from that listener. This is the basis and foundation of the beginning of a new relationship. When applying this principal to real estate sales, I encourage agents — both those that are new in the field and seasoned — to learn more of what they are representing. I always like to use the car salesperson analogy: With whom would you rather work when buying a car? The person that answered your questions, or the person who said on multiple occasions, “let me get back to you on that.” It is no longer “who” you know, it is “what” you know that will establish credibility. As a person in sales, I have learned that knowledge will strengthen your credibility. This is as important as the initial conversation with your potential new client. Now that trust has been gained, your credibility needs to blossom. To do this, you need to maintain that educational edge. In the field of real estate, knowledge of the systems of the home is a tremendous start. If it is the sale or purchase of a home that you are involved in, learning the fundamentals of the home is highly recommended. Sure, a house is a house, but what about all of the systems of the home? Having hands-on experience of how the furnace works, how the home gets air conditioning, where water comes from and where it goes, voltage and amperage of the electrical system, etc., would broaden an agent’s overall knowledge of the property. For example, when your client calls you up in the middle of the night and asks you about the home with the “hip roof” or the “rusted condenser,” you will know what they are referring to. You may also get questions regarding the plumbing or electrical systems, which you are not qualified to answer, but with a little knowledge, you can understand where to channel energy for the proper and immediate answer. Knowledge is power, but only when it is used properly. The stronger your knowledge base, the more your trust and credibility will be recognized. When this happens, you will get a client for life along with their referrals, which means you will make more money. Jeff Kaplan is the founder/president of Household Inspection Team & Advanced Real Estate Learning Center LLC. The Advanced Real Estate Learning Center LLC has trained over 5,000 agents in 2008. Visit affordableCEtraining.com to register online. Household Inspection team was founded in 1994 and has performed over 15,000 inspections. Visit weinspect.com for more information.