Real estate group sends agents to etiquette school

First National Real Estate has identified manners as a crucial point of difference, as rapid technological change has left agents with less face-to-face experience.

First National has announced that it will offer business and social etiquette training to its Western Australian agents.

“The network believes that in a world of digital disruption and rapid technological change, it has never been more important for real estate agents to differentiate themselves through good manners, thoughtfulness and respectful conduct,” it said.

The training will conducted by Anna Musson, who has appeared on Sunrise and The Project.

First National vice-chair Lynda Briggs said business etiquette is just as important as all other forms of performance training.

“It doesn’t matter how competent or ethical an agent is if his or her conduct, presentation or manners do not uphold a high standard,” Ms Briggs said.

Ewan Morton, who is in the running to win his third consecutive Industry Thought Leader title at next month’s Real Estate Business Awards, said good manners are one of the essential skills agents need if they want to achieve success.

“It’s very important, and I’d go so far as to say I think there are some segments of the agent community that actually don’t know how to behave,” Mr Morton told Real Estate Business.

He said there are many younger agents who communicate well through technology, but who can struggle with face-to-face contact and subtleties such as tone and body language.

“All these different technologies that have made communication faster have in some ways made communication more difficult, because people have lost the art and the confidence to be able to have face-to-face conversation.”

That in turn has left some younger agents ill-equipped to handle confrontational conversations, according to Mr Morton.

“Some of the young ones can find it intimidating to have to communicate with an older person who just actually wants to get the truth or find out what’s going on, and they retreat to email and to poor communication.

“Those guys who are older know that that's completely ridiculous and you're better off to go down and meet the person and have the discussion about what the issues are.”

[Related: The art of communication is at risk of being lost]

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