Common Ground

by Craig Witt

Real estate depends upon great relationship, but how can you build relationships when email and the Internet have reduced face-to-face interactions? Craig Witt of EXIT Realty explains.


Relationship building is key to any business that involves P2P interaction. The Internet has drastically reduced the ability for face-to-face interaction and replaced it with impersonal, electronic emoticons and misinterpreted written tones.

Any business that survives based on doing deals belly-to-belly require the most basic of interaction, once known as a “meeting.”

Thousands of books have been written on the art of selling ranging from the most basic appointment setting to closing the deal. Contained within many, you will find an emphasis on personality detection and body language interpretation.

So tell me, how do you determine body language and other behavior over email? Thanks to the launch of video, we can have a slightly better chance of communicating face to face, without literally being together.

Real estate is and will always be a P2P industry, as it relates to the residential side of the business. I realize the commercial/industrial and investment side can certainly be done without in-person client and agent interaction, but that is not what we are talking about here.

I am talking about the agent acting as the trusted advisor to the client, whereby the emotional component is at play, and both establish trust so the client receives the service they are expecting. This is not only relationship building, but establishing common ground.

A great way to build a sustainable real estate career is to list like crazy, and grow that referral base that drives business to you, instead of you relying on your own efforts to generate leads; the hard work is always on the front-end. I have heard it said that many successful agents receive their business from 20-25 clients in there sphere.

If that is the case, build that sphere, nurture the relationships, and they will feed your family for your entire career. All great relationships start with establishing common ground, similar interests, life activities in common, or being connected to common people.

You only have one chance to make a first impression and people make decisions often on belief; have you sold yourself in a way that is trustworthy and competent, and demonstrated that you are looking out for them instead of yourself. Establishing common ground upfront can develop into a long-lasting relationship and years of spin business again feeding your family by doing the hard work upfront and simply putting others first.

Real estate is a people business. Go find people, tell them what you do, and build your business.

Craig-W-EXIT-Corp-Photo-Resized-SmallCraig Witt is the president of the North Central Division of EXIT Realty Corp., which includes Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

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