13 Active Listening Tips For Real Estate Agents

Managing Real Estate Broker

People don't care what you know until they know that you care. 

One of the best ways to show people that you care is to learn to listen to what they are saying and to respond to what they are saying in a positive manner.

"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." Epictetus


Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. Born 55AD Died 135 AD...  Funny how some things never change and how we seldom learn from those that have gone before us...


In sales, if you are not listening, you miss important information and potentially lose sales.

Practicing active listening increases the probability that you will comprehend your client’s needs and wants and improve your effectiveness at closing transactions.

Unfortunately, people are typically not taught how to listen well and solid listening skills need to be developed.

The following are some Active Listening Tips that I've been encouraging our agents to practice and use since we opened our doors in 1984.


1.  Talk less... limit your own talking to 30% of the conversation

2.  Don’t interrupt

3.  Use listening responses... such as...  “yes,” “go on”

4.  If something that the client says is unclear,  ask the client to elaborate

5.  Pay attention with eye contact

6.  Take notes

7.  Don’t jump to conclusions

8.  Don’t argue with or criticize the client


9.  Don’t impose your opinion on the client

10. Listen with an open mind and try to recognize the emotion behind what they are saying

11. Listen to the exact words your clients use... 


12. Utilizing the clients own words and phrases can be very powerful in communicating with them

11. Focus on what your client is saying, not on your next questions

12. Avoid disruptions



13. Confirm Your Understanding

To avoid misunderstandings and promote the sales process, try paraphrasing what you heard your clients say to verify that you understood their message correctly and then asking for a confirmation.


Restate in your own words what you perceive the clients major needs and or concerns are and ask him or her if your perceptions are correct... 


“So, to make sure I understand, you are looking for a 4-bedroom house with a bright kitchen. Is that correct?”


Also, ask your client to prioritize their needs and or concerns so that you understand clearly what their most important issues are.


This technique will help you ensure that you understand your clients requirements and will help you remember them better. It will also help develop a positive relationship with your client by showing that you are concerned about getting the details right.


"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." Epictetus








Comments (31)

Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Beth, all great tips. Listening is paramount to being able to help some one successfully reach their goals.

Nov 19, 2014 11:55 AM
Jack O'Neal
HomeSmart Elite Group - Gilbert, AZ

Great advise. All of these things are important. I think being able to listen and not interupt is a good quality to have.

Nov 19, 2014 12:38 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Richard, Beth,  I am still learning the 'Art of Listening' - as I jump to interrupt or answer even before the sentence is completed. Getting lot better, though.

Nov 19, 2014 01:02 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Great advice and  for life as well as anything else at all I think.

Nov 19, 2014 01:53 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Listening well is definitely key to successful relationships.  I still struggle a bit with focusing on what a speaker is saying and not on my next question (statement/etc).

Nov 19, 2014 06:51 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

All classic, tried and true concepts. And always good to have a reminder!

Nov 19, 2014 07:41 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for sharing the great tips . They are useful in our personal as well as in our business life

Nov 19, 2014 08:04 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

So true.  And this is something I need to constantly work on.

Nov 19, 2014 08:50 PM
Goran Utvic
Goran Utvic Real Estate Broker/Construction Consultant - Chicago, IL
Chicago 2 Flat Specialist

Great tips... Anyone that's been in the business for 30 years is a wealth of info in my opinion.


Thank you for sharing

Nov 19, 2014 09:02 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Yes to Beth and her ways....They hold quite nicely. The other day while I was in a conversation, the other person kept repeating themselves. I called it to their attention and they argued about it. My sobering words were this...If I don't follow you, I will ask questions. If you are not sure I am following you, ask me

Nov 19, 2014 10:51 PM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Beth-Great info for realtors and all people.

Nov 20, 2014 12:02 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Hi RIchard and Beth, it would be great for all of us to sharpen up our listening skills.

Nov 20, 2014 12:37 AM
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Beth~ this post rocks! Communication or lack of is crucial... If we are not communicating properly there will be a problem But with back and forth understanding, everything seems to work out great....

Nov 20, 2014 02:02 AM
Scott Webster
William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance - Wilton, CT

Great post. Listening is a skill that we can all improve upon!

Nov 20, 2014 03:14 AM
Summer Robertson
Team Properties Group, LLC - Gillette, WY
Your Gillette, WY Real estate Resource

Great tips!.. Great reminders that are easily forgotten!

Nov 20, 2014 05:21 AM
Pat Champion
John Roberts Realty - Eustis, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

Great listening techniques I'm going to work on putting some of these into place. Thanks for sharing have a great afternoon.

Nov 20, 2014 06:06 AM
Richard Robibero, e-Pro, ABR, SRS
Panorama R.E. Limited - Toronto, ON
Selling Your Home as if it were My Own!

Great tips. I honestly try to listen and not judge.


What if someone is not listening to you? Can you smack them?

Nov 20, 2014 07:18 AM
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

This is Avery good list, Beth.  Most people don't listen and they prove by not getting the point.

Nov 20, 2014 08:05 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is excellent advice. Some of us definitely need to polish our listening skills.

Nov 21, 2014 10:50 PM
Claude Labbe
RLAH / @properties - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

If you truly can listen, then the speaker will know you really care. Moving from there is a true relationship.

Nov 23, 2014 01:06 PM