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Whether you are a self-diagnosed introvert or you received the “official” label via the pleasure of taking a personal traits test at some point, you have been told to avoid careers that require extensive human interaction… like sales, and by association, real estate.
You have been told that these jobs require you to be aggressive… a “go-getter.” You have to knock on doors, make cold calls, “hustle,” and the old school saying… “keep calling until they buy or die.” Well, it’s time to flip the script. We live in a new world, and I can tell you that introverts can, have, and are excelling in sales and real estate.
There has never been a more perfect example of introverts thriving in real estate than in the past year. While extroverts in real estate have needed to shift their strategy and adapt to working from home and less in-person interactions, introverts have been “business as usual.” For introverts, the technology advancement has brought the acceptance of doing business differently… the way they prefer.
An introvert can be a successful real estate agent because many have good listening skills, observant, self-motivated, and attentive to detail. They think carefully before they speak, so clients often have confidence in their words.
If you are an introvert who struggles to believe that you can also succeed in a real estate career, this is the post for you.
Before we start, I want to emphasize that I have nothing against extroverted people. In fact, you guys have some great qualities that I admire. However, I would like to use this post to demonstrate that introverted sales agents may also succeed in the real estate industry.
Here, you will find out what makes introverts great at sales and real estate. I also talked to an experienced real estate broker who went through the same path as you are. I’m sure you will benefit from her sharing.
When choosing a real estate school, I prefer one where you could take the courses online. This way, you could study at your own pace whenever and wherever. RealEstateExpress is a trustworthy real estate education provider. You may click here to see whether they offer pre-licensing course in your state. (**)
Introverts Have Great Attributes for the Real Estate Business
When you dissect the role of a Realtor® is and what they are NOT, you will quickly understand why introverts can succeed in real estate. First, real estate is less “salesy” than most people realize.
Outdated sales techniques of getting people to start shaking their head yes to little questions, so the motion is almost instinctual when you want them to nod yes to the house is almost comical now.
Real estate isn’t big crowds and never-ending social events. And while there are those very successful brokers out there that door knock and cold call, those brokers are very transactional and often seen as disingenuous.
I had the chance to pick the brain of a real estate broker, Andrea Lard, with Distinct Real Estate in Denver, Colorado, who is both an introvert but also has a degree in behavioral science.
She has been a full-time broker for 25 years, and she offered some insight. She says that:"A great Realtor® is first and foremost a great listener, researcher, analyst, problem solver, negotiator, and guidance counselor. All of which align with the characteristics of an introvert." Click To Tweet
Introverts prefer to listen and observe before speaking, or giving recommendation.
In real estate, this is invaluable. I’ve met way too many sales agents who only focus on talking about how amazing a property is without understanding the clients’ needs.
Does the client have kids? Is the school zone important to them? Do they need to live close to the subway line? Or they need a big garage for their multiple cars?
A property could be great for a particular person but not so much for another prospective buyer. Buyers and sellers all have unique situations and circumstances. Rather than wasting time and energy on meaningless small talk, a successful Realtor® will focus on important details and ask the relevant questions.
They seek out to understand both the pain and pleasure points throughout the process and react or adapt to meet their client’s needs.
Thus, many clients feel more confident about the agent’s suggestions. The recommendation is concrete and everything is back up by careful fact-finding.
Furthermore, you would expect a pause from an introvert after listening to you because they think deeply and analyze your saying before sharing their ideas. Some would even take a step further and consider how clients will consume their ideas. So they will break down their thoughts in an easy-to-understand manner and mainly focus on the relevant details.
Introverts Realtor® enjoys small, but quality meeting
Speaking in groups can be overwhelming to introverts. They do not enjoy competing with others in speaking up their minds. The good news is that is seldom the case needed for a real estate agent.
After all, details being discussed in a real estate meeting are client-sensitive, so most are limited to 2-3 people (i.e., financial, budget, mortgage, employment, marriage plan.)
Introverts are known to have deeper relationships and treasure relationships
Building a long-term relationship is not just about saying things to please the clients. Rather, you are constantly putting yourself in the clients’ perspective.
Even when sending out an appreciation gift to clients, it needs to be thoughtful. If your clients don’t cook, sending them a cookware store gift card is meaningless. On the other hand, if your clients enjoy watching movies, a set of family theater tickets would be ideal. This all goes back to being observant.
Admittedly, this relationship-building process could take more time and effort. That is why introverted real estate agents may have fewer clients than an extrovert, but those connections tend to be very loyal and can last for decades.
Andrea says that, as a broker, it is less expensive in the long run and more fruitful/natural to nurture a referral business through building strong relationships than seeking out new clients.
Keep in mind that the real estate business should not transactional but relational.
Introverted real estate agents are critical thinkers
In the real estate industry, many people would try to convince you of their ways of doing things. For instance, during the buy-sell negotiation process, the other parties could talk you down into accepting their offer. On the other hand, your clients may make a decision based on sentiment out of fear or greed.
Rather than being pushed around in doing things in other people’s way, introverts have the quality to thrive working alone, reading, researching independently, and being reflective. They would spend more time thinking and validating whether someone’s words hold.
This is invaluable when it comes to risk management. Suppose there is a new real estate investment opportunity. Introverts tend not to be tempted by fancy marketing campaigns and only take calculated risks after observing and introspecting.
This personality also leads them to be attentive to the details of a real estate contract.
However, I’m not saying introverts do not listen or learn from others. Many real estate companies offer endless amounts of group training, classes, and seminars. Introverted people would listen to the experiences of others and being reflective in how they can improve the process and avoid mishaps.
Introverts real estate agents are great self-starters
Being a real estate salesperson indeed has its own set of challenges. Many sales agents quit the industry in the first few years of business.
But since most introverts already conduct their own research and have carefully accounted for the different scenario before entering the industry, lower sales volumes in the early days are less likely to catch them by surprise.
In addition, introverted agents do not require as much external reassurance or approval from other people. When times are tough, they can always relate to why they chose this career path initially. Although they also appreciate compliments, they value greater the intrinsic rewards from a sale.
Also, I have met many introverts who are quick learners. I’m not saying that they can consume knowledge quicker than others. But whenever there is something they do not understand, they would try to read all the resources available on that particular topic.
On the other hand, I have met many non-introverted salespeople who depend on others in giving them quick answers. During training sessions, they are quick in asking questions. But without the thought process in really understand the logic behind it, the knowledge rarely sticks in their mind. Though, you would be stunned by how many times they would be asking the same basic questions.
Old Myths and Misconceptions About Introverts No Longer Hold True
Over recent years, the improvements in technology and a better understanding of how introverts operate have shattered the myths and misconceptions about introvert’s abilities to be leaders, salespeople, and Realtors®.
Once thought to be shy, timid, standoffish, antisocial and lonely people, introverts are now being seen as “quiet powerhouses in the office.” With the internet and email, real estate brokers no longer need to knock on doors and cold call. Introverts have harnessed their abilities and are interacting in ways that are suitable for them.
Rather than prospecting random strangers one-by-one and hope for the best, you can scale your marketing effort through online campaigns. In fact, online marketing allows you to show your promotional messages to a very targeted group of audiences so that you no longer waste your time and budget on unwanted clientele.
Emailing a detailed market update or newsletter not only gives an introvert a reason to sit and do research but allows them to interact and share information at the comfort of their office—no need to discuss the market at a happy hour social event.
Further, social media has opened doors for introverts to interact and be social in a more comfortable setting. Andrea shared that nowadays, she “interacts” with many clients via Facebook/FaceTime and Zoom.
Old client events like happy hours, attending organized groups at sporting events, and parties went away with the pandemic, and she turned to online events. Two popular events she did that had a great turnout were a Zoom comedy show and a bingo night. She sent invites through social media and email with the link and interacted with clients during the event while sitting in the comfort of her own home.
She wasn’t the center of attention and didn’t have to entertain or talk. She interacted through chat boxes. After the event, she had a genuine reason to call attendees and ask what they thought. It was a natural flow with clients and helped strengthen relationships during a difficult time.
I agree with Andrea that online event is a great alternative to interact with clients. Although I understand that we need real human interaction every once in a while, I see the trend that many companies are reducing budgets in social events or seminars.
I personally used to host a business network group. But it became more and more difficult to invite people to join events. People are more used to online interaction and less attractive to attending a physical event.
I believe this change will be here to stay, which aligns nicely with the business model of many introverted Realtor®.
Helpful Tips for Introverts from a Successful Realtor®
To give you a better insight from someone in the field, I had a long talk with Andrea Lard. Since she has been a successful Realtor® with 25 years of experience, I asked her if she could share any tips and advice for someone who wants to become a real estate agent but is introverted.
Here are her words of wisdom.
Andrea Lard, CRS, Realtor at Distinct Real Estate LLC
“I think when I look back at starting my career in real estate, I wish I would have sought out a successful introverted mentor to observe or follow. Just getting your real estate license doesn’t actually train you on how to be successful. I quietly fumbled around for a few years, trying to “research” what to do and how to do it successfully.
There were a lot of fails and missteps, forcing myself to try to be extroverted and doing the cheesy scripts and calls. I hated it and thought of quitting.
The key to finding the successful introvert is joining one of the bigger national brokerages and note who doesn’t go to all of the meetings. The brokers who regularly don’t show to meetings are either busy doing real estate or are introverts (or both).
Take the office roster, go to the meetings or training and see who doesn’t show up. Then, email them and ask if you can pick their brain. Immediately ask if they are an introvert. Interview them… preferably by email, of course!
I would also say, don’t change who you are. Rather, seek out your close connections that already know and like you. Focus your marketing budget and energy on them. Your highest and easiest payouts will be based on referrals, and your loyal clients will be your loudest cheerleaders. Let them do the work for you!
Send HANDWRITTEN notes and birthday cards in the mail. These have gotten amazing responses over the years. Nobody is doing handwritten notes and cards, so they stand out better than email.
Another great tip is texting. Just a quick, “Hey, I was driving through your neighborhood to show a house today and thought of you… how are you doing?” It shows you are active in the market, and you took the time to recognize where they live and wondered how they are doing.
A genuine, natural text message that can lead to real estate conversations. They may know the house you were showing and then ask for the value of their home. Works like a charm!
Finally, don’t waste money on “shiny bobbles.” More specifically, don’t pay for leads, direct mail postcards, and farming. As an introvert, it sounds like a great way to avoid people and generate business, but the truth is, the return is little to zero.
Spend the money on adding value to the lives of people you know. I send recipes to my eye doctor because he likes to cook, ice cream to my vet and staff on hot days, Yeti tumblers for adult birthdays, and colossal cupcakes delivered to kids for their birthdays. I get free social media shout-outs, and it just feels good.
Finally, if you are looking for training that is more genuine and fits the introverted characteristics, I highly recommend NinjaSelling.com.
This will reinforce the idea that you don’t need to change who you are and be an extrovert, but rather embrace your qualities and use them to your advantage!”
Final thoughts about introverted real estate agents
First, we need to put to rest the notion that an introvert (well, this actually applies to anyone) needs to be aggressive and chase after the deal, the “close” or clients.
However, the ways we interact with each other change over the years, and prospects expect a lot more than closing a sale. We need to lose the mindset of “getting” clients. Forced small talk and scripted conversations are way out of the past.
Pretending to out-smart a client and persuade them to a “one-size-fits-all” solution without knowing their needs is only a path to failure.
Whether you are an introvert or not, you may read “The Go-Giver” by Bob Burg and John David Mann. It is a great short read on a “go-getter” that changes his mindset from getting to giving.
A successful real estate agent would put others first and adding value to their lives. When you stop chasing and focus on adding value to another’s life, you attract others to you.
Introverts aren’t “chasers” or “getters,” and that coupled with other introverted characteristics makes for the perfect Realtor®.
(Here’s a related post you may be interested: 30 Mind-Blowing Tips to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent)
If you are reading up to this point, I bet you must be interested in getting a real estate license. Your first step is to complete the pre-licensing courses. You should select one that has an excellent reputation and long-term track record of satisfying students. RealEstateExpress is exactly that! You may click here to check it out yourself. (**)
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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. Some of the posts on RealEstateCareerHQ.com may contain views and opinions from the interviewees. They do not reflect our view or position.