There is a standard assumption about any salesperson, especially in real estate, that they are outgoing, extroverted and able to talk to anybody about anything at any given time. I never really thought about that image much until I jumped into real estate full time, but when writing my last post to my blog about the secret to a successful career in real estate (http://activerain.com/blogsview/37619/The-Secret-to-Success), I started thinking about this characterization more.
I am a third generation Realtor® and much of my family does fit the common image of an extroverted and outgoing people-person. Take for example, my mom (who also just happens to be an interior designer and Realtor®). She can talk to anybody about anything and loves doing so. She is one of those personality types that nobody dislikes and with numerous friends and acquaintances.
I on the other hand tend to be a bit more introverted. Though I enjoy people, I tend to be a bit of a thinker and sometimes like privacy and quiet when facing a difficult problem. The more I thought about my personality, the more I realized that I did not really fit the mold of a "typical real estate agent."
I now realize that it really does not matter the type of personality you have or how you interact with others as much as your genuine understanding of other people, and a simple desire to help others. As I investigated this discovery more I realized the numerous personality types in my own office. Sure there tend to be more extroverted, outgoing types...it can be difficult to get started without a lot of close interpersonal relationships. I have also noticed other extremely successful agents with different personality traits.
When I look more closely at why I got into real estate I was surprised at the answer. Though I keep my law license and still occasionally practice law on the side, I left the full-time practice of law because I was unable to do what I wanted to do most...help others. I turned to real estate in part because of my family background (and perhaps some prodding from God), but found another avenue where I could use my knowledge, background and experience to help people. Thus I discovered that the true discerning trait that most real estate agents have is not an extroverted, outgoing personality, but instead the ability to relate to others with genuine (definitely not false) understanding and compassion (with a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit thrown in).