Getting Personal: How to Work With Different Personalities

by J. Marshall Pearson


In a recent transaction, Martin Walsh, an agent with @properties, was preparing a listing presentation for some new clients. He was aware that the husband was a successful business-person and, since his team creates each presentation on a client-by-client basis, they compiled a very thorough listing presentation.

His wife arrived first, and Walsh initiated a conversation regarding their neighborhood, family and expectation for the sale. The husband arrived, and before Walsh could launch into his presentation, he explained that he only had several key questions to ask, and that he didn’t need to waste any time with a lengthy ordeal.

“Clearly this is a client who is used to controlling the room. The last thing you want to do is lose control of the room,” says Walsh. “My elaborate listing presentation was not going to be the plan. It was time to re-assess.”

Walsh re-iterated his desire to not waste anyone’s time, and answered the client’s questions thoroughly, but without any added narrative.

“I had presumed he was a data-driven guy and would want all the details to make the most informed decision,” Walsh said. “Clearly, he was a ‘bullet-point’ guy and a quick decision maker.”

The client’s last question was whether or not Walsh had the necessary paperwork on hand, and the property will head to market next week. Walsh was ready and able to abandon his plan and adjust on the fly according to the clients’ personalities, and doing so will result in another set of pleased customers and a completed transaction.

Before the flurry of open house visits or listing presentations can begin, agents get to know their new clients. They ask them questions and find out their motivation for buying or selling. The questionnaires given to clients typically focus on what they’re looking for in a home – do they prefer two bedrooms or three? The city or the suburbs? But some agents take these questionnaires a step further, and have their clients complete some form of questionnaire to determine exactly what their personality is and how they should be communicating with them. Not only does it make sense to become familiar with your clients, but ensuring a foundation of compatibility can help the transaction run smoothly and leave both parties satisfied. As always, the ultimate goal is a happy client and referral business, and personality questionnaires are an easy way to increase those odds.

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