We often hear from our colleagues, coaches, and industry gurus that more than being in the business of real estate, we are all in the business of relationships. It isn’t really about how much capital you have or how clever you structure a deal or how sophisticated your marketing tools are – rather, it’s more about how well you can develop and nurture relationships. The more successful real estate investors will reveal to you that one of their secrets to getting ahead in the business is their great relationships with brokers, developers, agents, lenders, lawyers, property management teams, investors, and all the other key players in the industry. So, how do you form and develop those relationships? Start with communication first and foremost.
We talked about communication in the light of building relationships and influencing people in one of my interviews with Trevor McGregor, a Master Platinum Coach with 30,000 coaching sessions to his name, leader of mastermind groups, mentor to business owners and Fortune 500 executives while also an active real estate investor himself. He shared the “3Cs of communications” crucial in developing skills that could define your success in the business. I’ll outline our discussion here and I’m sure you can pick up some nuggets to help you navigate the industry successfully. The full conversation with Trevor is available here. You can also hear about key tips to achieving your goals in this episode.
Become A Master of Influence
To be an effective real estate professional, you must be able to influence people, and the key to influencing people is to become a master communicator. That sounds intimidating, I know. But the good news is – you can improve your communication skills to become, if not a master communicator, then the best communicator that you can possibly be. A good place to start is to define what good communication is. Simply put, it’s the process of sending and receiving information. But what makes communication good and effective is when you can convey correct, complete, precise messages with courtesy and respect to the sender. It’s really about how all of us interact and exchange ideas, have the sense to say our message at the right time, and be able to get others to believe in what we say.
Learning how to communicate effectively makes you more competent in what you do. It is an art as well as a skill developed with constant practice. Speaking or writing with clarity, and using active listening skills are both parts of the equation as well. As you move further along in your real estate career or business, communication expands to influencing others by way of encouraging discussions, establishing a sense of trust, conveying goals, and winning people over to you and your vision. As an effective communicator, you can get people moving and working towards your common goal.
Trevor outlined the 3Cs, a set of skills required for an influential communication process.
The 3Cs of Communication
“The very first thing that you must have when you’re talking to brokers when you’re talking to people that might want to invest, when you’re talking to your general contractors, when you’re talking to anybody, is certainty. You must bring certainty to the conversation,” says Trevor.
Certainty is believing in what you’re saying. There’s a strong correlation between your belief and passion in what you’re saying, and your ability to communicate it. If you have complete faith and certainty in your message, the easier it will be for you to talk about it, and your audience is more likely to believe and accept your message.
Have you ever noticed that when you talk about things you love – your kids, your hobbies, favorite things, baseball, etc. – words flow without much effort? You don’t stammer, you don’t hesitate, and you feel secure while speaking. Talking about topics that you are passionate about, that you believe in, and are sure of makes you a better communicator. The reverse, of course, applies too. The less certain or the less passionate you are about your message, the less likely that people will believe you. Certainty shapes your ability to communicate effectively and your power to persuade others to adopt your views.
Therefore, if you are in real estate because of your passion for the business, it will be easy for you to communicate about it. Your passion will drive you to learn everything about real estate so that you can speak about any facets of it with certainty. Keep practicing and soon you’ll be influencing people, building relationships, and gaining their trust.
“We’ve all had that experience, something goes wrong in the organization, and everyone is pointing a finger at everyone else. When you sort through issues like this, you’ll discover one common thread: a breakdown in communication. Typically, someone said something that was misinterpreted along the way by someone else. Too many assumptions were made, and not enough questions were asked. A lack of clarity in communication can do a great deal of damage,” explains Trevor.
Clarity is fundamental in communication. As information is shared, you have the responsibility to convey a message that’s simple, easy to understand, and framed in a context that retains its meaning. Conversely, if you are receiving the message, you have the responsibility to ask questions on any points that are unclear.
Clear, simple, and concise messaging is key to influencing others to take action. With clarity, you tell people exactly what you want with little room for misinterpretations and errors. In our business, or even life in general, lack of clarity causes a lack of understanding and failure in communication. Frustration sets in, conflicts arise, animosity seeps in, and before you know it, relationships are damaged and ended. The risks and costs of failed communications in business can be immense as they can reduce revenues, constrain growth, destroy relationships, and erode confidence.
In the same manner, if you focus your attention on the clarity of your communications, you can count on establishing more connections and engagement, and you will gain the trust and confidence of the people you deal with. In addition, you can help resolve conflicts quicker and easier and keep projects and initiatives moving forward.
“If you want to become a master of influence, you have to bring up your ability to speak with confidence because people want to deal with someone who believes in himself,” says Trevor.
Confidence in communication will get your ideas noticed, especially when you’re competing with others for visibility. Therefore, you’ll need to present your thoughts and ideas with a high degree of confidence and belief in your message. Talking about a subject matter with passion and conviction – to a moderate degree lest it could be mistaken for arrogance – will present you as an authority on the topic you’re speaking about and will earn you your audience’s approval, respect, and trust.
This confidence should extend to all your interactions at all levels, for so long as you truly believe in what you’re saying, you will cultivate an esteemed reputation and earn the ability to influence people.
So, start developing your expertise – your ‘superpower’ within the industry. Immerse yourself in your topic area. Trevor suggests regularly attending conferences, going to meetups, listening to podcasts, or taking on a leadership role in a relevant organization. You can also share your knowledge by blogging about your subject on social media platforms. It’s a great way to hone your writing skills while taking steps to stay up-to-date and gain expertise.
All of these skills can’t be learned overnight, but aiming to become a better communicator is a good start. The steps you take now to develop your communication skills will eventually lead you to your goal to become a master of influence. It is simply a matter of taking action, getting out there, and making it happen.
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