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housebuying“I have boiled the real estate industry down to three words: We need to be seen, found and trusted.” This is just one of the golden nuggets of wisdom that Jackie Leavenworth explored in the webinar, “The Secrets Of Successful Negotiation.”

Throughout the webinar, Leavenworth looked at how agents can “click” with people to develop better negotiation results, identify differences in people that may hinder negotiations and recognize default negotiation styles.

“I have literally been able to turn some of my relationships around 180 degrees because when we don’t get along with other people, it doesn’t mean other people are broken, it just means they’re different,” Leavenworth says. “We need to learn how to work with them if we want to improve the relationship and, therefore, do business.”

Build Trust
When negotiating successfully, Leavenworth says step one is to build trust and a rapport. “What we really want to do is learn to click with anyone we work with, if we choose to,” she says. “When an emotional click happens, it’s great but there are people in our world—whether we work with them, live with them or have to be around them in some fashion—that we just don’t click with.”

If that’s the case, Leavenworth says when a “click” doesn’t happen, there are ways to make it happen, citing Click: The Forces Behind How We Fully Engage with People, Work, and Everything We Do by brothers Ori and Rom Brafman, which gives some accelerators to build the relationship. Those include vulnerability, physical proximity, resonance similarity and environment.

“In today’s world of email, text, instant message and chat, we are not getting face to face with people,” Leavenworth says. “One of the ways to build a click is proximity. While technology is great for networking, it lacks social glue. It’s about relationship building.”

For agents meeting a seller at their house for the first time, Leavenworth suggests looking around for photos, trophies or other signs of things that you might have in common. Express that commonality with your new client to begin building the relationship. “It doesn’t matter how big the commonality is,” Leavenworth says. “It’s the fact that you can actually find that one commonality, and that builds trust.”

Mirror to Click
Leavenworth talks about the importance of mirroring a person’s behavior style in an experience she had with a man named Bill, a senior manager at a real estate company. “When Bill talked to you,” she says, “he was very methodical and thought through everything he was going to say next, because he didn’t want to say anything that might hurt you.” One day, Bill asked to talk to her about their differences in communication styles.

During the discussion, he asked Leavenworth to visualize what would happen if a steamroller met a Twinkie, explaining that was how he felt sometimes when they talked, calling her the steamroller. Mortified, Leavenworth realized that it was a huge learning day, because it taught her that she had to try and match other people’s communication styles.

“I’m extremely outgoing and I talk fast and loudly and I realized if I care about a relationship, I have to bring myself to the other person’s level,” she explains. “I had to get slower for Bill, soften my voice and I learned there are certain people I just have to mirror.”

Include Nonverbal Communication
The study of NLP (neuro-linguistic programing) examines the way people process information and the messages they try to relay to others. This is done in three ways: body gestures, tone of a voice and the words chosen. “What this study says is that 55 percent of our message is received by the other person based on our body language and gesture. That’s over half my message!” she says. “Another 38 percent is through my tone. If you put those numbers together, that means just seven percent is done through words.”

Since a majority of communication in real estate is done through email and text, it limits the amount of information received since people are only getting seven percent of the message —just the words.

To try to combat this, Leavenworth reminds viewers about different technology options that can help bridge this communication gap. Through video conferencing such as Facetime, Skype, or even Periscope, agents can reach their clients in a way that fulfills these three types of communication. Leavenworth recommends getting “face to face with people as much as you can—even if it’s virtually—if you want to be a really successful negotiator.”

For more of Leavenworth’s solid negotiation practices, such as determining your own personality style, view the full webinar. Visit the Secrets of Top Selling Agents webpage for more free real estate education including best practices, top real estate technology and more. Be sure to sign up for the upcoming webinar, “Team Building and Accountability,” on Wednesday, August 26 at 1 p.m. ET featuring Lisa Archer.

For more information, visit