Real estate skills must be varied, as agents work with people, finances, and art, such as interior design and architecture. To stand out in the competitive real estate industry, here are five skills every real estate agent should have.     

Communication Skills 

What makes a good realtor? In a report by the National Association of REALTORS®, 86% of dual specialist respondents indicated that superior communication capabilities are one of the most foremost skills for residential real estate agents. The communication skills of real estate professionals is more developed as they work with diverse clients.

Clients use various communication tools such as phones, computers, or social media. Some might prefer to contact the real estate agent when they need, while others enjoy regular contact. Find out what your client’s communication preferences are in the beginning of the business relationship, then make a note in the customer relationship tool (CRM) for future reference.      

Understanding Social Cues   

The most impactful communication from real estate clients is often not the words they use but their non-verbal communication. According to research, non-verbal communication is generally unconscious, culturally determined, and varies by gender. Social cues are taken from a tone of voice, how close you stand to another person, the use of gestures, posture, touching, facial expressions, and eye contact. 

In the United States, making eye contact is a sign of interest, while looking away could indicate disinterest or discomfort. In some cultures, eye contact is deemed a sign of aggression. It is necessary to understand social cues, as estate agents work with clients from many cultural and social backgrounds.


Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It is one of the real estate skills that should not be underestimated. When you provide a quality service to all your clients and negotiate the best deal for all parties, integrity becomes part of your reputation. It takes only one moment of unethical behavior to ruin a career. 

Ability to Negotiate   

The ability to negotiate is valuable real estate knowledge. Experienced real estate professionals want to get the best deal for the seller and buyer, and sometimes this means educating the client on negotiation best practices. Other times, it is knowing when to walk away from a transaction and try another day.     

Harvard Law School states there are a few underused negotiation techniques one should utilize to increase your bargaining power. 

  • Reframe anxiety as excitement
  • Anchor the discussion with a draft agreement
  • Draw on the power of silence
  • Ask for advice from the other party
  • Put a fair offer to the test with final-offer arbitration. 

Active Listening Skills

What makes a good real estate agent is their ability to listen. You need to hear what your client wants, and to do that, you must listen actively. According to Psychology Today, active listening is “a way of listening that involves full attention to what is being said for the primary purpose of understanding the speaker.” To be an active listener, you must:

  • Listen without taking a position or making judgements.
  • Let the speaker finish their thoughts without interruption.
  • Show that your attention is focused through eye contact and body language.
  • Repeat what you heard to check for accuracy.
  • Ask questions to clarify main points.
  • Summarize in short what you heard and understood.

Actions to avoid during active listening include, a lack of eye contact, making jokes, listening to decide what your answer will be, and suddenly changing the subject.

The Institute of Real Estate Education instructors is agents, brokers, teachers, and board members certified in distance education. Do you want to become a real estate broker? We offer an online Utah Real Estate Broker Licensing Course, where we cover national and Utah real estate law. Do you want to know how to become a successful real estate agent and what real estate skills you need? Contact the Institute of Real Estate Education today.