Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | November 30, 2011

Being Professional

Having been a Real Estate Professional for over 20 years I have come to understand a few principals that may aid you in your line of work, so please allow me to pass along a few tidbits of experience.

Given the full-throttle force of technology and social media in today’s world, you wouldn’t be wrong to think that Twitter and blogging have reshaped the way we do business.

As a professional, I have come to depend on Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and certain apps to communicate with our clients, to market or simply promote their properties. Such social media tools and the Internet are an important part of our daily repertoire. For many, it has become an entrenched part of their business culture.

For some, it’s a matter of getting there. For others, they probably never will.

But it’s a mistake to give cyberspace and its accompanying workings more power than its face value because, frankly, they’re only tools with which to apply our trade.

I have to ask myself on occasion if social media and the web are the cornerstone for modern professionals and come to the conclusion that, yes, they probably are, strictly from a functional standpoint.

To be a professional I have no desire to present myself as a toy soldier, stiff, with a tailor-made suit, a splashy BMW or Mercedes, nor do I intend to exchange high-fives and a sloppy appearance, as neither fit a professional bill.  But my daughter (partner) and I do live in a fairly casual world today, and that doesn’t mean we can be ultra laid-back in our approach with clients. We must treat them with respect and kindness. Dress neatly, keep our car tidy when chauffeuring and if we have enjoyed something that lingers on your breath, we do something about it.

We have found that one sure-fire way to disengage clients is by not knowing our market. Of course, we can’t be expected to know everything, but we can be expected to have reasonable answers at your fingertips when questions get asked.

Being 4th and 5th generation Victorian’s, we don’t have much of an issue with knowing our way around, but if you are new to the area and don’t know the schools, hospitals, churches in the area in which you market, it doesn’t matter what form of retail you are involved in, do your homework. Bone up on speciality shops, restaurants and cafes in the neighbourhood as well as statistics about crime, especially if it’s on the low side. Know of cultural attractions such as museums and libraries.

Enjoying the human race is not something you can fake, so if you are not a people-person, look for another profession. People can smell a rat. Always be honest.

The world would be a much better place if we all communicated on a higher level. Our task is to listen to what our clients want and help them get what they are looking for. Other communication skills will rise to the surface; for us it is when negotiating, bargaining, writing, advertising, and promoting those properties we are entrusted with come into play. The better you are at getting your client’s message across, the easier your job will be.

Be well-connected. In our case, we know real estate lawyers, property inspectors and mortgage professionals on a first-name basis. You need to be someone who understands the ins and outs of your profession, someone who gets it innately and someone who understands the value of professional networking.

Above all else; honesty and integrity are the most important attributes of any professional. Don’t over promise and never under deliver, because that will only serve to perpetuate your profession’s bad reputation as a whole and spread the word that you’re not worth the ink on your business card.

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