Key Highlights

  • Consciously review you listening skills
  • Constantly improve your best listening skills

Excellent Listening Skills are Foundational Skills for Success

Most of us think we’re good listeners but…many real estate agents (and other professionals) too often interrupt our clients/prospects.  The result?  We miss what our clients/prospects are saying.

Always remember – when we’re talking, we’re not listening.

When “doing” a listing presentation, think of offering your prospects a listening consultation. Ask your prospects about what aspects of their lifestyle matters most, where they live, where they want to live and about the factors spurring their desires to sell or buy.

Consider These Best Practices of Listening

  1. Your clients/prospects ought to be speaking two-thirds of the time. If you ask great questions, they could talk 90% of the time.
  2. Establish and maintain great eye contact. Your clients/prospects will appreciate your focus on them plus they’ll be able to learn a lot about you while you’re listening (not interrupting) to them with your ears AND your eyes.
  3. Your asking clarifying questions of your clients/prospects will help you learn what matters to them. Asking relevant questions with open-ended words such as “how” and “what” will lead to their open-ended answers.  “How” and “what” questions also help you dig deeper without putting your clients/prospects on the defensive and feeling as though they have to explain themselves. Forget asking “why.”
  4. While listening, write down what they’re saying. You’ll be less likely to interrupt them and your clients/prospects will think what they’re saying is important…that they are important.
  5. Your clients/prospects are center stage, not you. Give them written information (prior to your meeting with them) about your professional background, your specific areas of expertise, etc.  By the time you’re meeting together, your clients/prospects ought to have a good sense of what you bring to their needs and wants.
  6. No industry jargon.
  7. Ask your clients/prospects if what you’re saying is clear, if it makes sense to them, etc.
  8. Remember – it’s their house and their decision, not yours. Be a source of information, not judgment.
  9. Honesty is the only policy…nothing less. If you don’t know something, say so AND also say that you’ll find out and then get back to them with the accurate information ASAP.
  10. Again…every time you’re talking, you’re not listening.


Thanks to Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and writing for Inman.

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