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Getting Personal: How to Work With Different Personalities

by J. Marshall Pearson

DiSC Profiling

Many agents use the DiSC personality profile as a way to understand their clients, which is based on four basic personality types. The “D” (dominance) personality embodies the traits of confidence and bluntness, and is result-oriented; the “I” (influence) type “places emphasis on influencing or persuading others,” and is optimistic and enthusiastic; “S” types (steadiness) are focused on cooperation, dependability and embody a calm demeanor; and “C” (conscientiousness) types tend to be reasonable, independent and detail-oriented. While any client can certainly embody traits of several of those types, it is accepted among most agents that the four types cover most customers.

Bryan Bomba, a broker at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and the Bryan Bomba Group, utilizes the DiSC system to help him evaluate clients before beginning the buying or selling process. When strategizing before even the initial meeting with his clients, Bomba uses the information gleaned from the DiSC profile to dictate his communication style and the content of the meeting.

“If someone has a ‘D’ personality, they’re not going to listen to 15 questions,” he explains. “I’m going to get right down to it. If I talked to an ‘S’ like that, they would be offended. The information is (gathered) from each client similarly, but in a different way. The idea is to adjust your personality to communicate the way your client will be best served.”

However, not all agents opt to use the DiSC assessment. Sandra Black, an agent with RE/MAX Signature, does not utilize the system herself, and furthermore, she opts not to use any formal pre-transaction survey of any kind. About 90 percent of her customers are through referrals, so they have already been filtered by a former client whom she trusts. Upon making initial contact, she finds that asking detailed questions and listening to her clients’ responses will give her all the advance information necessary.

“Sometimes [my questions] have to do with the kind of property they are looking for, but we also talk about their lifestyle, and their three-, five- and 10-year goals,” she says. “I’ll ask them more about where there are inconsistencies and work with them more on that. Then, I listen hard to what they are telling me.”

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