How to Talk About Real Estate Without Being Salesy

I’ve written about how to engage people in a conversation about real estate before but the question came up again recently: How do you introduce yourself at a party without being overly salesy or pushy?

Props to those of you who are aware of being sales-y. I often hear Realtors talk about their success in the guise of the humblebrag—a statement that is clearly bragging but shrouded in some sort of humility. For example, “I know what you mean about being busy! Today I had to write up three contracts!” Even if it’s true, it’s obnoxious and self-aggrandizing (not to mention now the conversation has been turned to you ?).

When you actually love what you do (and want people to know you are good at it) you don’t have to hide it but there is a way to engage people in conversation without being obnoxious.

The secret to talking about real estate is simple. All you have to do is listen.

Listening is an incredibly underrated skill that most people suck at. But being attentive can help you build relationships with clients and better engage with acquaintances. Some of the most successful people I know listen more than they talk (and read more than they write).

The thing about conversations is often times we aren’t even fully listening to what people are saying. Research suggests that the average person only acknowledges about 25 percent of what is actually being said. Instead, we are crafting a response to what we think we heard. That’s where Realtors get the bad rep of being salesy. If you want to be trusted and heard, practice listening.

Very early on in my real estate career, I received invaluable advice from my mentor: Anytime you engage with someone, make it about them. Never turn the conversation on yourself. If you want to build rapport and confidence, ask people questions about them,

My favorite question to ask people is, “What do you do for a living?” It’s a great opportunity to learn about a person. People love talking about their career, their passions, and their hobbies. And you’ll notice, more often than not, when the conversation starts to wane, they’ll lob the question back in your direction. That is, after all, the nature of a conversation.

Golden Opportunity

This is your shot to share with someone what you love to do. And you will light up because you truly love what you do—helping people live the American dream and handling the single largest financial investment that a person will make.

This is not the opportunity to be shy or humble! If you truly love real estate, show your passion. Enthusiasm and talent are inspiring (not salesy). Just make sure to be authentic and honest. Be positive and proud about your passion and success but resist the urge to diminish it in some way.

Of course, there are always those people who won’t return the question. And that’s fine. Don’t worry about it. Those people are self-absorbed and self-focused. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out how to get them to ask you about what you do. Just listen and move on. They probably aren’t someone you want as a client anyway.

But once you have someone’s attention, you have the perfect opportunity to articulate your value and let your enthusiasm shine. Give them just enough to leave them wanting more!

The next person you engage with, ask them questions. Your only job is to listen. What did you learn when you finally stopped talking and started listening?