Yes, I’m talking about those people. In fact, I’m one of them, and I was a successful real estate agent for 15 years.
So much of a real estate agent’s work involves interacting with people—knocking on doors, making phone calls, having in-person meetings, showing homes, making new connections in the community, and so on. It sounds like the perfect job for someone who is outgoing—a “people person” or a “social butterfly.”
Part of this misconception has to do with our skewed idea of what it means to be extroverted vs. introverted. So let’s start there.
Introversion vs. Extroversion
Carl Jung coined these terms, stating: “Each person seems to be energized more by either the external world (extroversion) or the internal world (introversion).”
Although many people associate the term “introverted” with shyness, it’s actually meant to describe people who are reflective, who think before they speak, and who prefer to interact with people one-on-one or in small groups. Extroverts, on the other hand, thrive in large groups and do their best thinking when they can talk it out.
The Greatest Strengths of the Introverted Real Estate Agent
On the surface, a sociable personality may seem like the most important prerequisite for being a real estate agent. But when you dig deeper into what it really takes to build a sustainable real estate business, you’ll remember that it’s about building one-on-one relationships. You can cast a large net and meet dozens of people, but if you don’t develop deep relationships with any of them, those contacts aren’t very valuable.
An article on Entrepreneur.com by Jeffrey Hayzlett explores why introverts may be better at business than extroverts. While I disagree with the notion that one is better than the other (I’ll elaborate in more detail later in this post), this article does a great job of outlining a few more business strengths of an introvert:
- Ability to focus for long periods of time: Because introverts prefer to sort out their thoughts internally before expressing them, they are naturally inclined to fill long periods of time thinking about a problem or task.
- No need for external validation: Introverts trust their gut and don’t need anyone else to tell them that they’ve done a good day’s work. They just know. Since most real estate agents have no one to answer to, this self-reliance is a helpful quality.
- Good at listening and observing: In the article, Hayzlett puts it this way: “Introverts like to make order out of chaos and they achieve that by listening, observing and analyzing a situation.” Listening closely to your real estate clients—and being able to interpret their actions and body language—is crucial to understanding them and building strong relationships.
- Objective, even in chaotic situations: Introverts use their skills in observation to understand both sides of a situation. They are able to remain even-tempered and avoid letting their emotions prevent them from making an objective decision. This comes in handy when working with real estate clients, who are often prone to letting their emotions guide their decisions. An introverted real estate agent is able to help their clients see through their emotions and make practical decisions.
But What About Extroverted Agents?
When comparing introverts and extroverts, one isn’t better than the other. Neither is good or bad; it’s just one more thing that makes all humans different, and that variety is what makes life so interesting and dynamic.
In fact, extroverts have many qualities that make them great real estate agents: because they are both energized and inspired by interacting with groups of people, their time spent meeting new people is also spent generating new ideas. They are also very approachable, and tend to be open to talking about their emotions, which can help clients open up and feel comfortable talking about their hopes and fears.
How To Be One Of The Best
In the end, the best real estate agents will be the people who are constantly working toward improving themselves. By first identifying whether you are introverted or extroverted, you can then make a conscious effort to leverage your strengths while at the same time taking steps toward improving on your weaker areas.
If you’ve never taken the Myers-Briggs test (the personality type test that reveals whether you are an introvert or an extrovert), I suggest you go through the process. It’s a great practice in understanding how you interact with other people, as well as your strengths and weaknesses.
The Myers-Briggs test can be taken at www.mbtionline.com/TaketheMBTI.
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