True competitive advantage
It’s one of the biggest things to which anyone can attribute their success.
Here’s the thing about empathy; it’s not just about being caring. It’s also the ability to understand people on a higher level. This is the true competitive advantage anyone can use to easily create mutually beneficial relationships in both business and my personal life.
When you know that empathy can be your superpower, you can have conflicting thoughts. Questions like “am I being empathetic because I care or am I being empathetic because I know being understanding will give me leverage in the situation?” will pop into your head.
The answer is both. Being a nice person is always the best option. But here’s the thing if you’re using it strategically, unless you’re a seriously not-nice human being (which if you’re reading this, I’d wager you’re not), strategic empathy is going to make you care. The more you care, the more advantage you have.
As an agent, you’re working with people in some of the most stressful and tense moments of their lives. If you can understand what the other person is feeling and what their goals are, you can reverse engineer those aims and map it back to your goals too. That knowledge sets you both up to win.
Here’s three reasons why empathy makes you a superior estate agent
When coming up with a list of key agent skills, it's not uncommon to see phrases like "good communicator" or "strong decision-making abilities" come up. While such attributes are certainly important, we think they fall behind being empathetic.
In our business, we can define empathy as how well we’re able to identify with your clients to understand their feelings and perspectives, in order to guide your actions and advice.
Makes sense, right?
Empathy is key to connecting with your clients and earning their trust and respect--and there are plenty of examples that prove its value.
Empathy fuels productivity and performance.
An empathetic outlook has been found to significantly improve productivity.
Imagine if you could improve your conversion rate by even just 10%.
When everything is said and done, all your clients (potential and secured) want is to be understood. They want to know you understand their problems and concerns on a deep, personal level, and that you have the answers they need to guide them through the challenges they’re facing. They don’t care about fees, they don’t care about best price guides, and they don’t care about window cards on the high street.
They care that you care.
The key to creating trust is to show clients that you know exactly how they feel, and how to fix what's wrong. When you can do that, everything else is simple.
How do you do that? Ask questions and tell stories.
(For you managers and business owners out there; these same principles are just as important when leading your internal team. Your team will be more productive and perform better when they know you understand them versus just being another employee.)
Empathy improves your working relationships
How many times have the absolute best results you’ve achieved been for the clients you absolutely liked the most? That’s empathy. When you take the time to know your clients better, they take the time to make you feel more appreciated and valued and you in turn work harder for them (as I write this out, sitting on my couch watching Super Sunday, it’s more clear now than ever that empathy leads to a virtuous cycle).
Empathy is one of your best avenues for showing your clients that you care about their needs and value their contributions.
Empathy fosters collaboration.
This one relates to bringing a deal together, and most importantly, keeping it together.
Buyers don’t like to be hounded. Sellers don’t like to chase their agents. Solicitors don’t like it when agents constantly chase them.
A good deal rarely succeeds or fails based on the efforts of one person - they require the collaborative input of several parties. As an agent it’s your job to understand what all these parties are going through at any one time, and act (or in some cases, not act) accordingly.
You’re not the only agent ringing your buyers - make sure they know you know that.
Make your seller feel like they’re the only client you have. Call them daily if you have to - there’s not a moment that goes by they’re not wondering if you’ve had any calls or made an appointments.
Solicitors deal with upwards of 20 files at a time. You’re not the only agent calling them. Establish fair lines of communication and let them know you won’t be one of the agents who hounds them needlessly.
Empathy creates an environment where everyone in the transaction understands the challenges and feelings of the other parties and becomes more willing to cooperate for their shared good.
Bringing it all together...
The above examples are just a small sample of how empathy can transform your business.
By learning to better understand your clients and demonstrating that you actually care about their needs, you will cultivate stronger performance and better results than ever before.