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Read the play

By Manos Findikakis
12 June 2024 | 12 minute read
agents agency manos reb ekxnyj

There are a few factors which separate the good agents from the great, but arguably one of the most important is an ability to “read the play”.

Call it empathy, people skills or just an inner sense of what makes people tick, it’s a superpower that allows you to gauge a situation, understand the people involved and then know how to respond.

And yes, it’s something that can indeed be learnt, because at its heart it’s all shifting your focus from the deal and is instead about putting people first.


A little personal insight

I’m a numbers person. It’s no secret and no surprise to anyone that knows me well.

When I first got into real estate, I backed everything up with numbers. I talked too much, and listened only for the opportunity to reply, instead of digging deep and asking great questions to find out what the seller or buyer really wanted.

Black and white was my go-to zone. That’s what was important to me, and I wrongly assumed that everyone else thought that too.

It took me some time to understand that listening and reading the play is what wins in real estate.

So what exactly is reading the play?

It’s EQ 101

First and foremost, reading the play is about one simple thing: positioning yourself in the shoes of the people you are dealing with. In other words, it’s emotional intelligence.

Reading the play is being customer centric. It’s about listening, then asking the right questions at the right time.

Reading the play is knowing when to be silent and knowing when to pause. It’s about knowing when to say what needs to be said, and then saying it in a way which is palatable, in the person’s interest and kind.

But it’s also about more. If you really want to read the play, you have to get good at the basics.

Reading the play is attacking your to-do list. It is knowing the things that should be on that list, and the things that you should discard from it.

It’s about avoiding distraction. It’s also about sharpening the saw. If you want to really read the play, you need to get good at what you do, and then keep honing the skills required.

In the process, it’s about learning from mistakes. It’s about discovering what works and what doesn’t and being willing to change tack to meet the person you’re dealing with where they are.

It’s what closes deals

Reading the play is what closes deals. It’s what makes you memorable in the eyes of your clients, and ensures you are the person they recommend to their family and friends.

Reading the play elevates you to a position of authority. It allows you to thrive no matter the market, and regardless of the type of sale, property or people you are negotiating that transaction with.

Reading the play makes you versatile, evergreen and current. It gives you longevity in an industry that shifts, changes and is fiercely competitive along the way.

People first, numbers second

Interest rate rises, cost of living expenses, inflation, borrowing capacity, clearance rates, median property values and everything else in between they are just numbers.

In this market, in every market, it’s all about “reading the play”. It’s about having the emotional intelligence to put people first and navigate whatever market we are in, no matter what the numbers say.

Manos Findikakis is the CEO of Agents’Agency.

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