As a real estate professional, we are consistently meeting new people. As a result, communication is a key element of our trade. Not only are we meeting new clients and assisting current ones, we must know how to effectively speak with other agents, title company employees, appraisers, inspectors, etc. Furthermore, real estate agents and brokers negotiate and consult when trying to buy or sell a property. If you have a listing that has expired, you may receive a call from an agent explaining why their company may be able to get your property sold. Making such phone calls are not easy! Our company specializes in selling farms and ranches, so add the element of farmers and ranchers as being closed off and a bit tricky to conversate with, and you have yourself a recipe for an awkward and uncomfortable meeting! The reality is, we want your feedback, and we want to represent you and your property. With a few ideas on how professionals can convey our intentions and thoughts, perhaps I can help alleviate some of the anxiety.
First thing’s first. The beginning. So, it might seem obvious and you might be wondering how effective it is but asking someone how they are doing is one of the easiest icebreakers. As we might expect, a popular response is going to be “good.” But do not be deterred. Take it a little further by asking if they had a good week or if they might have plans for the weekend. This leads into a second method, ask a question. If you want to get to know someone and what their personality is, ask them their opinion on a matter or a recent topic. Never assume. Build a rapport by asking open ended questions to show your interest and desire to help. Additionally, listen and listen actively.
In addition, break the initial ice by finding a link. Maybe you share a common friend or interest. I find that some of my ranching clients can be put at ease and open up once they find out that I have a substantial background in ranching and farming. The common ground allows us an unspoken understanding and a trust. If all else fails and you cannot seem to think on your feet of a clever way to begin a conversation, coffee and the weather never fail! Time and again, these trusty methods have proven to be the champions of small talk. Do you want to see a farmer or rancher get passionate? Bring up the weather. They can talk about rainfall and the climate and the dust for days! As you connect over a cup of coffee or discussing the current meteorological trends, be authentic in your questioning and watch the bond form. Authenticity is rare, and I find it refreshing to be around someone that is unapologetically themselves!
Small talk can seem like a big deal for people. If you can practice some of these communication knacks, you will find that like practicing anything else, you will get better. I extend this challenge to farmers and ranchers. I know that you are out in your field on a tractor for days a time, but the next time you have an opportunity to participate in a call from a professional, take a moment to listen and see if you can’t yourself ask a couple of questions. Practice these skills and watch your other relationships blossom as well for an added bonus!