The art of selling real estate: Here’s what you need to know

Selling real property attracts a lot of people because of the potential to earn hefty sales commissions. But doing so is not a walk in the park; it requires a lot of hard work, strategic thinking, and patience.

Experienced and seasoned sellers know well enough to address the challenges that confront novice sellers. They work diligently to perfect their craft in order to prosper in the real estate industry.  

Let me share some tips to keep you in the game, and hopefully allow you to be successful in your desired career.

Know the ins and outs of the business. You should never plunge into selling without knowing the basics. While you may be able to get away with it early on, you will have difficulty sustaining your sales career. As such, you should have a keen understanding of the real estate industry, be knowledgeable about the details of the properties you are selling, and have a good grasp of what it takes to make a sale.   

Newbies are unlikely to personally experience all types of selling issues and concerns. Given such complexities, it would be beneficial to exchange know-how with colleagues, and get pointers from mentors and talented sellers.  

Never stop learning. Continuing education provides sellers with opportunities to upgrade their skill sets, improve their productivity, acquire new techniques, and if needed, rekindle their passion and motivation to do their best.  

Research about buyers’ background. It is not enough to ask for leads from relatives, colleagues and friends. Be aware where these leads are coming from, e.g., your referrer’s office, his professional organization, interest clubs, and networks. 

Prospecting, however, is just the start of the selling process.  You need to qualify potential buyers, so it will be easier for you to convert their requirements into a victorious closure.  

Remember that time is never wasted even with buyers who may not seem interested because they can eventually direct you to more referrals. 

Don’t forget to keep a record of all transactions, whether or not those interactions ultimately resulted in a sale or not. You will always find it useful to revert back to them at some future time.

Create trust and build on the interest of buyers. There is usually no immediate “connection” between you and the buyer at the start of the selling process.  Consequently, it is important that you establish your credentials to gain your buyer’s attention and thrust.  

 Learn how to properly make a personal introduction. Use testimonials, as needed.  If you are a techie, use technology to your advantage. Make your powerpoint presentation and videos attractive and eye-catching. Show photographs and realistic perspectives and interiors of projects under construction, to help highlight the property features. 

Once you have caught their interest, keep them engaged. Ask appropriate questions, and observe their gestures. Learn to read closing signals.

Never consider a sale to be a one-off transaction.  Continue to engage with your buyers, even after making such a sale.  An excellent after service will also result in added endorsements to their friends and colleagues.

Excellent products/developers’ reputation are not enough to close the deal. Selling an excellent property by an outstanding developer helps but does not guarantee the sale. Experienced buyers know fully well what they want and need. Consequently, sellers should listen and be mindful when making presentations.  Sellers should be able to adapt their sales pitch to their buyers’ needs and interests.  

Sellers should not be fixated with canned presentations. Be aware of the time allocated for you by your potential buyers. Sharing too much information about the property is not enough to close a sale. Adjust your talk according to their requirements. Do not be overconfident.

Incorporate personal touches in your presentations, and if needed, give “extras” as everyone loves freebies. Go for the closing spiel always. 

Practice handling criticisms. Listen and be attentive. Learn to handle issues, concerns and objections – adopt and adjust, use varied selling and closing techniques, re-create interest. Demonstrate persistence by communicating regularly, and keeping channels open. 

Know and understand the purchase decision process: who are the players, who are the decision makers and connect with them. Recognize what they want, what they need, and the reasons that will make them buy, e.g., features, return on investment, own use, gift, affordability, etc., make closing the sale simpler. 

Learn how to manage criticisms and be ready with a pro-active counter response. Practice it.  

Don’t be emotional. Rebound from unsuccessful transactions. Stay motivated.

Consider presenting to groups.  Time is of the essence. Build on the opportunity of being able to sell or present to a group. Identify the group’s “gatekeeper.”  Know who their organizer, leader, representative, or influencer is.

Explore the possibility of team selling too. Distribute various tasks and expand your team’s reach.

Learn to stand out and rise above the competition. Don’t do what everybody is doing. Be unique, and make people special.

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Henry L. Yap is an architect, fellow in environmental planning, fellow in real estate management, and one of the undersecretaries of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.