Selling with Soul has nothing to do with new age philosophies, holier-than-thou attitudes or even learning to dance. It's really just a catchy phrase for following the Golden Rule in your day-to-day practice of real estate. That you treat your clients and prospects respectfully, as you would like to be treated. That you are competent, reliable and fair. That you appreciate the commissions paid to you directly by your sellers, and indirectly by your buyers. That you don't take these hefty paychecks for granted. That you truly want to earn your commission, not just show up at closing with hand outstretched.
But there's more! If you Sell with Soul, not only will you be a breath of fresh air to the home-buying and -selling public, you can also make gobs and gobs of money while sleeping soundly at night. You make all this money because you're good at your job. You are a Good Real Estate Agent! You find your buyers the right homes, not just because you know your market, but also because you listen to your clients and strive to meet their needs for a home, not just your need for a commission. Your seller's homes sell, not just because they're priced right, but because you've helped them recognize and correct any obstacles to sale...instead of bullying them for a price reduction.
Soulful real estate agents know how to hold their sales together. They usually get through the inspection period, even a difficult one, not just because they are good negotiators, but also because they have great resources for getting repairs made. Their listings appraise because they are prepared for the appraiser and know how to defend their sales price. Throughout the transaction, they strive for a win/win whenever possible and they don't antagonize the other team, just because they're sitting on the other side of the closing table.
And of course, an agent who Sells Soulfully will be rewarded with plenty of repeat business and referrals. She won't have to spend thousands of dollars on personal promotion, or to pester strangers to ask for their business; no, her friends and past clients will be her own personal marketing department. She'll be proud of the business she's developed and will have no problem selling herself at listing appointments or holiday parties.
But lest you believe that soulful real estate agents are simply nice guys and gals who smile sweetly and then get trampled over by the rest of the real estate community, that just ain't so. While you don't have to be a "natural" salesperson to be a soulful one, your natural instincts to protect your client will ensure that you are not a pushover. But instead of protecting that client by blustering and posturing and setting up unnecessary confrontations, you do it with creativity, good negotiating skills and old-fashioned good manners. Oh, and throw in a healthy serving of competency.
Neither are soulful real estate agents simply For-Sale-Signs-For-Hire or Tour-Guides-for-the-Unmotivated-Buyer. We don't knowingly take overpriced listings because that means we misled our seller with regards to market value. We don't waste our energy that should be devoted to our "real" clients or take time away from our families to entertain unmotivated clients with no real need to buy or sell. (That may sound a bit "un-soulful" to you, but it isn't. We treat the business of real estate with respect and have every right to expect the same in return from those people we choose to work with. We are not afraid to walk away from overly difficult or unmotivated clients who are draining our personal energy that is needed and appreciated elsewhere.)
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This all sounds pretty rosy, doesn't it? As in, Be Nice and They Will Come? Real Estate in Utopia? I read over the above and smile... because, well, it's not that easy of course. Real estate is a tough business and the staggering failure/drop-out rate can attest to that. Every client, every sale, every situation is unique and it's not always easy, or even possible (for us human-types, anyway) to play by the Golden Rule perfectly, every time.
But it's not impossible or even difficult to be a soulful real estate agent most of the time. If you are a basically decent person who wants to make a fantastic living, sleep well at night and respect himself in the morning, then I salute you. And wish you the best in your real estate career.