There is no doubt that real estate sales can be a very emotional endeavor. Over the course of my nearly 20 years in real estate, I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to see many deals fall apart and never make it to the proverbial closing table. While each buyer, seller, property, and transaction are unique, in many cases, the root cause for why transactions don’t make it to closing can routinely be traced back to EQ or the lack thereof.
So what exactly is EQ?
It’s the concept of emotional intelligence, commonly referred to as emotional quotient or EQ. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as:
- the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
Emotional intelligence is generally said to include at least three skills:
- Emotional awareness, or the ability to identify and name one’s own emotions.
- The ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem-solving.
- The ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one’s own emotions when necessary and helping others to do the same.
An emotionally intelligent person is highly conscious of their emotional states, even negativity—frustration, sadness, or something more subtle and can identify and manage them. Such people are especially tuned in to the emotions that others experience. Understandably, sensitivity to emotional signals both from within oneself and one’s social environment could make one a better parent, friend, leader, or realtor.
Now that you have a better understanding of EQ, you’re probably are starting to realize how and why EQ is the hallmark in why one deal closes and others are a burning crater of emotional turmoil. Fortunately, EQ skills can be learned and developed. According to research, here are some telltale signs of people with low EQ and those with high EQ.
People with low EQ:
- Often feel misunderstood
- Get upset easily
- Become overwhelmed by their emotions
- Have problems being assertive
People with high EQ:
- Understand the links between their emotions and how they react
- Remain calm and composed during stressful situations (contract negotiations)
- Can influence others toward a common goal (closing)
- Handle difficult people with tact and diplomacy
Improving and developing your own EQ can be done using these three steps:
- Pause: When you sense that emotions are shifting in the moment internally or in others, take a moment to gauge your own emotional temperature and to empathize with the emotional state of others (mindfulness). This will allow your response to be better targeted for maximum benefit, dramatically enhancing your ability to negotiate emotionally charged moments successfully.
- Seek Feedback: Ask colleagues, friends, or family how they would rate your ability to respond to challenging situations, how adaptable or empathetic you are, and/or how well you handle conflict. It may not always be what you want to hear, but it will often be what you need to hear to identify areas of improvement.
- Journaling: Your goal here is to write down your emotions and create time to experience them nonjudgmentally. Once you’ve identified situations you want to process, sit down for 10-15 minutes, and document the emotions you’re experiencing – it doesn’t need to be limited to one feeling. Your job is not to know WHY this is happening. Your job is to observe WHAT is happening, which will allow you to build the muscle of sustained, nonjudgmental, present-moment emotional awareness.
By increasing your mindfulness and EQ, your client, realtor, and real estate transaction coordinator relationships will naturally improve, and so will your ability to close more deals smoothly without enormous emotional expense.