Put People Over Profit – A Real Estate Agent’s Secret to Bigger Profits

Elizabeth Convery, Licensed AgentAugust 4, 2022

Real,Estate,Agent,Handing,The,House,KeyOne top realtor describes how her philosophy of putting ‘customer relationships over transactions’ has led to more profitable long term results.

People do business with people they like and trust. As a salesperson, I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase countless times in your career.  It’s sales training 101, but how seriously do people in our industry actually take this simple, yet incredibly complex sentence?  

Real estate agents are classic for putting the transaction first, often at a cost to the client relationship.  The nature of the real estate financial model, sadly, sometimes forces new and hungry agents to get a deal closed at any cost before they can get paid.  They end up acting emotionally rather than professionally and mistakenly can guide their clients into unfavorable situations.  This approach can yield a quick payday, sure, but will no doubt jeopardize a client relationship for life.  Not to mention, put your reputation squarely on the line when things fall apart.


Referrals are a powerful business development tool

Financial,Advisor,Shaking,Hands,With,Senior,Man,In,Living,RoomDid you know that a satisfied client should yield 2-3 referrals over time? Not to mention, repeat business from the client themselves!

When I first started my career in residential sales, I was introduced to a lovely couple who were pursuing their MBAs at a local university.  They were engaged to be married and were working with me to purchase their first home.  We met for a buyer consultation and I made it clear from the start that getting to know them, understanding their needs for their next home and working honestly on their behalf were my top priorities.  They were immediately put at ease and I listened intently while they described how they’d met, what their ideal home would look like and asked me every question they had prepared for the meeting.  I organized a property tour for them the next weekend and they fell in love with a gorgeous two bedroom, two bath condo in an exciting part of the city.  I prepared a CMA for them and walked them through why the condo was overpriced.  Together, we crafted an offer strategy that made them feel good.  They got the home for a great price and I was there for them throughout the process and kept the relationship going even after the closing.  Next thing I knew, they referred me to another couple from their MBA program, then another.  We eventually joked that I was the real estate agent for the whole class!  

Years later, this couple was transferred out of state.  They called me to advise them on current market rent for their condo.  Years after that, they called again to see if I thought it was a good time to sell it.  This relationship-first approach has led to countless opportunities and even resulted in an easy and fun friendship.


Give advice from your heart to win sales

Couple,And,Real,Estate,Agent,Discussing,Together,At,HomeThroughout my career, I’ve focused on the client relationship first and acted as a real estate advisor, rather than a salesperson.  This approach has led to a referral-based business that has grown significantly and prosperously over time.  Sure, I have lost transactions when a hiccup came up and it was in my client’s best interest to walk away from the deal (and me a commission), but I have never lost a client.  You don’t truly lose a commission until you lose a client.  

The trust that is built when you put the relationship above the transaction and advise your client unemotionally with your expertise guiding the conversation cannot be matched for long-term results.  If you plan to make real estate sales your career and you are committed to building a sustainable business, the key is to start with relationships.

Recognize that a real estate sale is often the largest transaction of the American consumer’s life.  The role of the real estate agent is paramount to making this transaction not only favorable to the client, but a memorable experience.  By approaching your client and the process like an advisor, you are showing your client that their needs are more important than any transaction that can result from the relationship.  This people-first approach makes the client feel cared for, heard and ultimately leads to them telling their family, friends and colleagues.

It takes someone brave to put the relationship before the transaction because building meaningful relationships takes time and as we all know, time is money in this business.  But, ultimately, the value of the relationship is 3x that of the transaction.  By becoming the person that people like and trust, you are introduced to the people they like and trust and your network multiplies over and over again.  

Be the agent who is an unmatched advisor.  In a market that is shifting, there will be a flight to quality.  Those of us who focus on the people first will stand the test of time.  And make a lot of money in between.

About the Author

Elizabeth Convery is founder of VERY Real Estate, a boutique residential real estate firm specializing in sales and advisory based in Philadelphia, that she partnered with Compass RE in 2019. She has valued, financed, acquired or sold over $2 billion worth of properties in a career spanning nearly 20 years. She believes homebuyers deserve a commitment to transparency and trust from their real estate agent and that home ownership is a path to building wealth over time.  Elizabeth has particular expertise in working with first time home buyers and is passionate about raising the homeownership rate among her Millennial peers.

Last Updated: 8/4/2022



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