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Four Memory Slips That May Cost An Agent Real Estate Sales

May 1, 2020

Posted by

Roger Seip

Roger Seip is Vice President of Product Development for Freedom Speakers and Trainers, a company that specializes in memory training. His workshops are presented all over the country.  To learn m Read more

Your palms begin to sweat and you avoid eye contact with someone you know you’ve listed, but you just can’t remember his name. 

Your heart sinks as you hang up the phone after a call from a potential seller; you forgot you’d made an appointment with her.

You pound your forehead in frustration as you realize, too late, what you should have told a buyer about the property that would have made the sale.

Learning how to prevent these sticky memory-related situations can put you on track to becoming a highly effective and well-respected real estate professional.

1.) Forgetting a prospect’s name.

You meet a prospect and shake his hand. He tells you his name, and no sooner does the handshake break than you have forgotten it. Socially, people find very few things more annoying than having their names forgotten or mispronounced, and in real estate, what’s annoying can become deeply offensive, enough so that you can lose sales.

When you immediately forget a prospect’s name, two challenges arise. First, because you know that you have forgotten the name, you become totally preoccupied with trying to remember it, so it’s difficult to pay attention to what is being said about the property that the prospect wants to buy or sell. Second, if the prospect perceives that you’ve

forgotten his or her name, it sends a very negative message about you, as if you don’t care about the person or are simply not very smart. Typically, neither of these perceptions is true, but if you can’t pay attention long enough to remember a name, you give that impression.

With a little practice, you’ll find that this particular memory slip is the easiest to avoid.  First, slow down and listen. Focus on the prospect for five seconds at the beginning of the introduction and concentrate on his or her name.  Next, repeat the name back in a conversational manner.  When someone says, “My name is Bob,” respond with, “Bob.  Nice to meet you, Bob.”

2.) Forgetting the name of an established client.

As a real estate agent, have you ever gone to a meeting or been at the grocery store and run into someone that you sold a house to or for…and gone completely blank on a name to go with the face?  Most often, this slip occurs when you meet the client outside the context of your profession:  You may feel like you know that you know the person, but you can’t remember how. You may even remember the details of the listing or purchase, but you can’t for the life of you remember the person’s name.

This phenomenon is not only frustrating and embarrassing; it can also cost you a lot of money.  Learning to avoid such a situation takes a commitment to work on improving your memory.  You can improve your chances of remembering a forgotten client’s name by learning to manage your stress.  When you know that you know something, but you can’t pull it up in your mind, it’s usually because you are stressing yourself out about it.  The stress blocks your brain’s ability to retrieve the information. So try taking a deep breath and doing a little positive self-talk.  Tell yourself, “I know that I know this.  Just hang in there and be a little patient.”  Oftentimes, the name or other necessary information will then come to you.

3.) Forgetting an appointment or showing up late.

Any real estate professional knows that showing up late is terrible, but forgetting an appointment altogether is even worse. The solution is simple but requires a commitment on your part to be better organized and to take the time you need to plan. Many common memory challenges arise when people have too much going on and try to rush to get everything done. The key here is to be systematic. Take an hour once a week to review what you have coming up and to plan, in detail, what you need to do and when.

4.) “I should have said…”

If you’ve ever thought of the perfect thing to say to someone ten minutes after you needed to say it…you’re just like every other human in the world. But for a real estate agent, this can easily cost you a sale. Have you ever thought of the perfect answer to someone’s question or objection right after the prospect walked out the door? Or closed the door on you? Wondering what went wrong, your brain suddenly turns up again and you think, “Oh, no! I’m so stupid! I should’ve said that!” (Or shown them that property or demonstrated that unique feature of the home or answered their objection with that response in my sales manual.)

You can overcome this challenge by memorizing information systematically. Systematic learning is not rote memorization, but developing a system to help you store and retrieve information easily.

To recall information and train your memory, you must learn to speak the language of your memory, which means creating pictures. When you must recall information, if you can see something, it becomes much easier to recall it, even with a great deal of detail. Creating mental images and an organizational system in your brain will make the information easier to find; if it’s in a big pile, you may know it’s there somewhere, but who knows how long it will take to find it?

Confidence Is Key

Real estate professionals need to take their business seriously enough to put effort into learning. Many “wing it,” and don’t make nearly as much money as they want to as a result. No one gets rich in selling by accident. Those who dedicate themselves to learning and growing are always the most successful.

The good news is that you can learn to overcome memory slips and will grow as an effective real estate professional as you do, because you will gain greater confidence. All other things being equal, the agent with more confidence will always get the listings and sales -- and the commissions, too -- over someone who has less confidence or none at all. The formula for real estate success is the same as the formula for improving your memory: preparation, listening, and proper learning.