As a real estate agent, it truly helps to have a polished, presentable conversational style. You want to be able to effectively answer questions, and help your client feel at ease that their with the best possible agent to help them buy or sell a home.

Unfortunately, in today’s world of texting, email, and social media, what’s happened is that many agents are losing their genuine interpersonal skills and relying more and more on impersonal digital communications. While these digital forms of communication are helpful, they don’t replace genuine conversational competence – and without that, you may be losing prospects by coming across as totally fake.

This article is for you, if…

First, You’ve ever been uncomfortable in a conversation with a prospect, a client, a friend, foe, neighbor, significant other, family member or anyone else.  (That should cover it)…

Second, You’ve ever been un-friended by someone on Facebook or alienated due to your politics, religion, diet, habits or other personal reasons that you posted.

Third, You just know you could be a better communicator, conversationalist, prospector or presenter.

Fourth, You know you’re leaving money on the table because you avoid speaking with people.

Simple rules to implement to immediately improve both your conversational competence:

Rule #1: Listen more than you speak.  You speak more so you can maintain control.  Become better at what you do so you don’t use power as your crutch.  Be great at your job and let other people shine.  Remember that you have one mouth and two ears for a reason.

Rule #2: Drop the ‘mirror and match’ mania. There’s zero reason to ‘learn how to SHOW you’re paying attention’, if you are….indeed, actually…PAYING ATTENTION!!!  Yes, watch your pace and your vernacular but don’t over do it.  Nothing replaces being present.

Rule #3: Write down key points in conversation, based on the other person’s most important thoughts to THEM, not necessarily to YOU. Use phrases like ‘I wrote down that…’ and  ‘It sounds like…’

Rule #4: Stop multitasking during all conversations by phone and in person.  It’s been scientifically proven that the brain, when attempting to multitask, is massively stressed and totally inefficient at it.  Nothing is more irritating to someone one the phone than hearing you typing an email, or someone in person watching you check your text messages or email. It’s disrespectful.  Stop doing it.

Rule #5: Selling is not TELLING…it’s asking great questions, and listening to the answers. Great questions are open ended, meaning no ‘yes or no’ answers.  Memorize:  ‘What was that like?’…’How did that feel?’…’Tell me more about that’…etc. Be fascinated by the person you’re speaking with.

Rule #6: You are a ‘Republicrat’.  You can’t win in a political conversation, even if you’re a moderate.  Someone will disagree with you, misunderstand you or simply tune you out based on your political beliefs.  There’s no place for it in business.  Don’t bring it up and don’t make it ‘your thing’.

Rule #7: Listen with the intent of understanding, versus being ready with what to say next. When you pay attention and stay in the moment, you’ll KNOW what to say next!

Rule #8: Don’t Bull- – – in conversations.  People always know, always.  If you don’t know something, use this script: ‘That’s a great question.  I’ll get the answer for you and let you know later today’.  Then write it down and follow through.  People don’t expect you to know everything.  Your ego tells you you’re supposed to know it all.

Rule #9: Stop making it all about you all the time.  When someone is sharing with you, don’t make it just like the time that YOU…(fill in the story).  Don’t equate your experience with theirs.  It’s NOT the same.

Rule #10: Repeating yourself is boring and condescending.  Even to children.  It’s more powerful to say something once and mean it.

Rule #11: Learn about things that other people are interested in and be able to talk about it. Study art, fashion, design, landscaping, architecture and travel.  This will enable you to compliment people when you see what they have enthusiasm for.  Go to museums, auctions, historic home tours, car shows, art shows, garden tours, etc.  You’ll become more interesting yourself!

Rule #12: Be brief.  Stephen Covey said that a good conversation is like a mini skirt. .. ‘Short enough to maintain interest but long enough to cover the subject’.   Just blah is better than blah, blah, blah.  Don’t overcomplicate your speech just to fill the space.

Rule #13: They will forget what you SAID but remember how you made them FEEL.  Be compassionate.  It doesn’t take away from you, it adds to who you are.

Rule #14: When in doubt, follow up immediately. Urgency shows you’re paying attention and for most people that’s more critical than WHAT you’re saying.  Delaying your response sends the message you’re too busy, too important or not interested.

Rule #15: Don’t pontificate.  When you’re in person or on the phone, you’re there to learn something.  This is not your blog or your Facebook page.  Keep yourself in a mindset of service.  Make it more about what you can give than what you can get.  You will always make enough money when you’re doing the right thing for your prospects and clients.

Rule #16: Remember key points about your clients, prospects, friends, family and acquaintances.  This shows respect and being tuned in.  Learn their kids names, their pets names, where they’re from, what they do and what’s important to them.