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We’ve all fallen victim to it at one time or another. You’re in the middle of a conversation with someone—maybe even a potential client—and you become distracted. As a new agent, practicing active listening and communicating your comprehension to the other person you’re talking to will only serve to enhance the relationships you build with colleagues and clients.

Sometimes, however, it’s easier said than done. Here are four helpful steps you can take to become a better listener and, in turn, provide better overall customer service:

Maintain consistent eye contact. Body language is hugely important in showing another person that you’re interested in what they’re saying. Of course, you don’t want to stare unblinkingly at the other person, but keeping a consistent gaze will communicate to the other person that you’re listening and not focused on other things around you.

Nod when appropriate. Another helpful body language trick you can use when having a conversation is nodding. Often, you’ll smile and nod in conversation without even realizing it, but try to be mindful that you’re doing both. Nodding occasionally while talking to someone will show them that you’re not only listening, but that you’re agreeable and want to hear more.

Avoid closed questions. Asking a closed question often prompts a “yes” or “no” response. By asking more open questions, you’ll likely receive longer and more thoughtful responses. This will show the other person that you have time for them and that you’re interested in understanding how they formed a certain opinion.

Remember details. One of the best ways to become a better listener is to focus on and remember certain details. Nothing shows someone that you’re paying attention better than bringing up a point that one of you made earlier in the conversation—or better yet, from a previous conversation. Doing this while in conversation with a client will make them feel incredibly valued.

Jameson Doris is RISMedia’s blog/social media editor. RISMedia is the residential real estate industry’s definitive source for news and information. Email Jameson your real estate news ideas at