JohnHart’s 12 Skills for Exponential Growth in Real Estate: Skill #12 – Persuading Others

We’re ending JohnHart’s 12 Skills for Exponential Growth in Real Estate series strong with the often misunderstood art, or should we say science, of persuasion. Persuading others is an integral skill that transcends a profession in real estate. And it’s easy to confuse it with influencing, the skill we previously explored in this series. While the two go hand-in-hand, both stand on their own with distinction. 

Persuading People is a Science

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You’ll notice that we refer to the science of persuading others. That’s because persuasion isn’t always a natural gift. Persuasive skills can be taught, learned, developed, and mastered. As with any skill, there are multiple routes of development that you could take. But at JohnHart Real Estate, one particular belief set stands out.  

The Teachings of Robert Cialdini

When considering the science of persuading others, our CEO, founder, and principal broker Harout Keuroghlian consistently cites the teachings of renowned psychologist Robert Cialdini. Arguably, Cialdini’s most enduring lesson is his 6 Principles of Persuasion. After reviewing the seminars and techniques of countless advisors focusing on the theme of persuading others, Cialdini narrowed down these teachings to six common denominators that could be universally applied. Let’s take a closer look at these.   

01. Reciprocity

In today’s overly saturated marketing environment, people learn at an early age to dodge a sales pitch. But brushing off a pitch becomes uncomfortable for most people if they’ve received something from the salesperson. 

Gifts can come in many forms. A compliment could be a gift. A branded coffee mug could be one. Heck, a well-timed cup of coffee could be more effective than either one of these. But once you’ve given someone something, especially something they value, the most amazing thing happens. They feel obligated to return the favor by hearing you out. 

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This is the principle of reciprocity: the tendency for people to want to return favors. Maybe it’s appreciation. Or it could be an aversion to feeling like they owe a debt of some sort. But giving, even if it’s something small, is a core principle of persuading others. 

02. Commitment and Consistency

When people keep their word, they love to tell you about it. That’s because honor is one of the most timeless virtues in our society. If you can convince someone to commit to an appointment, you’ve tapped into one of the most powerful tools of persuasion. 

Of course, there’s always the potential for “flaking”, perhaps something that real estate agents in Los Angeles understand better than professionals in smaller cities. But people often take pride in staying true to their word, rendering commitment another clear principle of persuading others. 

03. Social Proof

Cialdini sometimes also refers to this Principle of Persuasion as “consensus.” It references a person’s tendency to look to others for leadership; a concept that parallels the less flattering term, “herd mentality.” But following the leader is hardwired into our DNA. 

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Of course, the challenge is that people don’t automatically accept just anyone as a leader worth following. If you can illustrate that people are following your advice, others are bound to follow. It’s why client testimonials and referrals are such powerful gifts for real estate agents. 

04. Authority

One of the most effective means of persuading others is authority. We can confirm that JohnHart Real Estate’s agents are experts in their field, but we’re not who they need to convince. 

So, how do you illustrate your expertise? You talk passionately about your interests; whether through blogging, speaking at seminars, making YouTube videos or Instagram reels, etc. You get the picture. 

Don’t be shy about your credentials either. Let people know about your licenses, certifications, degrees, and achievements. Even speaking with confidence and just a bit more speed than normal can assure people that you know what you’re talking about. 

05. Liking

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Most people in need of direction start by trying to find some sort of common ground; a point of relatability. At JohnHart Real Estate, we like to include the hobbies and interests of our agents in their agent bios. Even though these bios are meant to focus on their professional achievements and philosophies, clients are often more willing to work with someone who shares their interests. Cialdini refers to this Principle of Persuasion as “liking.” 

06. Scarcity

Collectors will understand this Principle of Persuasion well. Scarcity is a prime motivator for urgent action. Why? Because people dread not having enough of something they desire. Or even potentially desire. If someone is already on the fence about making a decision, highlighting a product’s rarity can quickly clarify a decision. 

Truth Stands Between Manipulating and Persuading 

But there’s a gulf of difference between persuading people and manipulating people, and it’s always filled with the truth. We’ve mentioned it before, but JohnHart promotes a clients-over-commissions philosophy. That means we’re not in the manipulation game. We want to educate our clients, not deceive them. 

Manipulation is a short-range play with meager returns. A manipulator may win in the short term, but will a manipulated client return after being burned? We wouldn’t bet on it. So, when practicing the science of persuasion, it always pays to make sure your efforts are rooted in authenticity. You’re not tricking others into doing what you want. You’re persuading others to do what they want. 

The Eternal Road of Development Lies Before You

And that brings a close to skill number 12 of 12 in JohnHart’s Skills for Exponential Growth in Real Estate. We hope you’ve enjoyed the ride but, more importantly, learned a thing or two to give your career an edge. These aren’t one-and-done lessons, but rather fundamentals that need to be exercised and developed in perpetuity. We recommend that you return to them often and review their wisdom with fresh eyes. May you find value in every step of this lifelong journey! 

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After working with, and for, many different real estate firms, it became apparent to Harout that there was a major disconnect between what consumers needed/wanted and the service that was being provided to them. It was upon this realization that Harout founded and opened JohnHart Real Estate; and as the CEO/Principal Broker he has continued to break from the norm and redefine real estate with an insatiable appetite to give his clients the service and attention they deserve.

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