If you’re a real estate agent

or plan to become one, it’s important to review the competencies that individuals in this field typically possess. There are a variety of skills, including communication, local knowledge, and networking, that can help you succeed in real estate. Understanding the technical knowledge and interpersonal strengths this field requires can allow you to improve your selling strategies and further your professional development.

In this article, we explain what real estate agent skills are with examples and review how to improve and highlight them throughout the hiring process.

What are real estate agent skills?

Real estate agent skills are strengths and abilities that individuals in this field use to help clients buy and sell properties. Individuals in this field often spend their time negotiating contracts, researching properties, communicating with clients, and marketing their business all in one day. They’re often most interested in finding the right property for their clients. Real estate agents may use a variety of interpersonal skills and technical knowledge to learn about their client’s priorities and expectations to find the property that suits their requirements. 

Examples of skills for real estate agents

Here are some of the skills for real estate agents:

Communication skills

It’s essential for real estate agents to communicate clearly with potential and current clients. Real estate agents who work as part of a team also use these skills to share ideas and information with their colleagues. Marketing a real estate business also requires excellent communication skills

, as individuals use these strengths to network and foster professional relationships with potential clients. 

It’s essential for real estate agents who are interested in being a broker and listing homes for sale to be able to write clear property listings that may appeal to buyers. Strong communication skills may involve using active listening and clear and concise language to ensure all parties understand each other effectively.

Problem-solving skills

Real estate agents regularly help their clients overcome challenges when looking for a new home. For instance, a client might tell a real estate agent they require a house by a specific date or they might have a very specific list of things they want in their new home that are unique. A real estate agent can use their problem-solving skills to handle these situations effectively so that they make a sale and their clients are happy. 

Technology skills

Real estate agents often use technology to share home listings with clients. Technological advances have added many things to the real estate process, including a variety of applications that individuals can use for home searches, the rise of 3D tours for home listings, and how agents share new listings. Some real estate agents may decide to show houses to clients using video conferencing if the client lives in another city or state and can’t be present for a tour. Technology can also be useful for real estate agents when handling communication and marketing.

Knowledge of your industry

Real estate is a competitive industry, and things can change quickly. For instance, there might be a lot of homes on the market but not as many buyers, or there might be a hot real estate market with not enough inventory for the buyers who are looking. It’s also important for real estate agents to stay up-to-date with the latest market trends related to what types of houses are popular or what neighborhoods are attractive to certain types of buyers.

Negotiation skills

Real estate agents are often involved in negotiations, especially as a representative for their clients. This means it’s important for individuals in this field to feel comfortable negotiating while adhering to the regulations and rules of their local real estate industry. For instance, real estate agents often present an offer in writing to the broker representing a property that’s for sale, and then the negotiation process can be complex. It’s important for individuals in this field to understand what their client requires so that they can present those requests during the negotiations.

Local knowledge

It’s essential for real estate agents to be extremely knowledgeable about the local area in which they work. This includes local housing trends and where local amenities are located, different school districts, the types of neighborhoods in that area and the general housing prices in different parts of the area. Clients usually hire real estate agents to be an expert resource for them regarding these types of things while they look for a home.

Organizational skills

Real estate agents are responsible for a lot of tasks, including serving multiple clients at a time, so remaining organized is important. Real estate agents might have a lot of documents and files to manage, either physically or digitally, and keeping those organized makes it easier to find the right document when it’s required. They also maintain a schedule so that they are meeting clients and colleagues at a time they’ve agreed upon, especially as being reliable is important for real estate agents.

Ethics and integrity

Real estate agents work in an industry that is carefully regulated to ensure consumers are protected, especially because real estate purchases are a significant expense. This means it’s essential for real estate to have an in-depth understanding of ethics and integrity; a positive, trusting relationship between agents and their clients is important.

Networking skills

Real estate agents are often networking, even when they are enjoying personal time outside of work. Because so many people prefer to work with a real estate agent that they either know or that someone recommends, networking is important for real estate agents to find new clients. This may mean attending local events or asking people you know to share your information with anyone they know who is looking for a real estate agent.

Knowledge of real estate law

Real estate law can be complex and can vary depending on where you live and work. Real estate agents require a basic understanding of real estate law, especially as it applies to the paperwork involved with a property purchase. For instance, a real estate agent representing a client who is purchasing a house may fill out a contract for an offer, finalize the sale of the house, and close on the sale. While the real estate agent may work with others for these contracts, they should have some understanding of what’s involved.

Understanding of architecture

Architectural terms are often important for real estate agents to know, as clients may ask for a specific style of home or architectural feature. For instance, if a client asks to be shown a Colonial-style home and the real estate agent isn’t familiar with that style, they might instead show the client a different style of home, and the client might be disappointed.

Marketing skills

Real estate agents regularly market their services in their community, especially those real estate agents who work independently. Marketing for real estate agents might include physical advertisements like signs and billboards, digital advertisements like social media postings, or other efforts like writing articles or blogging. Marketing a real estate business can bring in more clients, which grows the real estate agent’s business.

How to improve real estate agent skills

Here are steps you can take to improve your real estate agent skills:

1. Take pre-licensing courses

It’s essential to pass a licensing exam before you can become an agent, and in some states that includes taking required pre-licensing courses. In other states, the pre-licensing courses are optional but can help you learn the concepts covered on the exam. These courses are often your first introduction to some of the most important parts of being a real estate agent and can help you learn the skills required to be successful.

2. Join professional organizations

Joining professional organizations gives you the opportunity to network, learn from professional training events, and access materials that might not otherwise be available. An example of this is the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which real estate agents join if they want to call themselves Realtors. The NAR offers a variety of ways for its members to learn new skills, which can be helpful, especially for new real estate agents.

3. Obtain certifications

There are many types of certifications available for real estate agents that can grow your current skills, teach you new skills and make you a more marketable agent. Some of these certifications require a certain amount or type of work experience, while others only require you to study a topic and pass an exam. Earning a new certification can show clients you have specialized skills.

4. Complete continuing education

Real estate agents may complete continuing education hours to remain licensed, and these courses can often reinforce existing skills or teach you entirely new skills. Since continuing education is often required anyway, it can be a great opportunity to learn new things and become a stronger agent.

5. Read and research on your own

Another great way to learn new skills is to study independently. This might mean reading books and articles about the skill you want to develop, such as marketing, communications or even real estate law. It might also mean regularly reviewing industry blogs and news sites, watching videos about your industry or subscribing to relevant magazines.

Real estate agent skills in the workplace

You can develop real estate skills in a variety of professional environments, not only while you’re working as a real estate agent. If you’ve previously held positions in other industries, you might have already learned things like how to communicate clearly or the effective ways to network. Once you’re working as a real estate agent, you are likely to use many of the skills listed above every day, or at least with regularity. Depending on the type of real estate company you work for, they may also have training opportunities to increase your skills.