Raise Your Emotional Intelligence and Sell More Real Estate

Here’s How to Use Emotions to Grow Your Business and Build Better Relationships

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

All buying decisions are emotionally driven, and nowhere is that more obvious than in real estate. Whether your client is purchasing their first property or selling their childhood home due to the death of a loved one, there's no way to buy and sell real estate without emotion. As an agent who represents and supports your clients, you must be attuned to this fact. It’s essential that you boost your emotional intelligence, or EI for short. Otherwise, you won’t have the social awareness to help your clients navigate through this exciting, scary, and emotionally exhausting process.

But beyond social awareness, emotional intelligence is crucial for self awareness as well as relationship and self management. To succeed in real estate and grow your business exponentially, you’ll need to understand and manage both your emotions and the emotions of those around you.

In this post, we’ll give you tips on how to improve your emotional intelligence that you can implement right away. Let’s get started.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (or EI for short) is the ability to understand yourself and other people. EI also helps you understand what motivates people to act the way that they do. Those with high EI are able to moderate their own emotions as well as empathize with others. Without high EI, you’ll appear rude, careless, and unattentive— none of the traits anyone wants in a real estate agent.

Emotional intelligence is made up up five components:

Self awareness - The ability to identify and understand your emotions.

Self regulation - The ability to manage and express your emotions in healthy, professional, and appropriate ways.

Empathy - The ability to understand how someone else feels and how you would feel if you were that person.

Motivation - The drive to set and achieve internal and external goals.

Social skills - The ability to positively interact with others in social situation.

So, how does this translate to selling more real estate? Read on.

Why Do Real Estate Agents Need to be Emotionally Intelligent?


We know you're book smart or else you never would have passed the rigorous real estate exam to become a licensed agent. However, you also need emotional intelligence to grow your business from the ground up. Here's why:

Real estate is all about the human angle. You are working face to face with other humans as they undertake one of the biggest financial transactions of their lives. It's essential that you understand their emotional state. What motivates them to sell? What holds them back from buying? What is their emotional trigger and how can you use that knowledge ethically to help them accomplish their goals?

It's normal for home buyers and sellers to go through a gamut of emotions, from frustration to elation to fear to remorse. If you're not prepared, you might find yourself frustrated and disappointed, too. Many new agents feel disillusioned and unprepared during their first year in real estate, and that's often due to absorbing their clients’ visceral emotions. If you’re not expecting a whiplash range of emotions and if you’re not equipped to handle them, you won’t succeed in real estate and you won’t be happy with your new career.

On the other hand, if you learn to improve your emotional intelligence, you will be able to develop stronger relationships with your clients, help them reach their goals, and enjoy future referrals from those clients for years down the road.

How to Raise Your Emotional Intelligence

Let’s discuss how to improve your emotional intelligence and build a better real estate business.

Understand Your Client's Why

You know the “what”— what your client wants to do (i.e. buy or sell). But do you know why? Why are they wanting to buy a home in this area at this time for this price? Sometimes, the buyer's reason is more nuanced than you initially assumed. Understanding their motivations can help you find the right home— one that neither of you would have considered had you not uncovered their “why.”

It's also important that you help your clients understand your “why.” Why are you showing them this home when they wanted that one? Why are you encouraging them to list at this price when they want to list at a higher one? Because you understand their reason “why,” you can show them how this choice lines up with their needs.

Be Empathetic

When your client is driving you up the wall because of their indecisiveness or obstinance, just remember that they're making a huge financial decision that will impact them for many years into the future. While you're relying on your professional experience to advise them, your client is mostly relying on your word and their gut— and that can be a scary position to be in.

Instead of pressuring them to make a decision right away, which could backfire and lead to disastrous results, place yourself in their position and remember that this process isn't easy. Figure out what you would need, if you were in your client’s shoes, to take the next step. Sometimes, all that’s needed is for you to act as a sounding board for your clients. Other times, your clients may benefit from a supportive “I’ve been there and this is what I did” bit of advice.

Accept Criticism

Criticism hurts. No one wants negative feedback, especially the kind you find on Yelp or Google Reviews. But don't reject criticism just because it doesn't feel good. Use criticism as a tool for self-improvement. Welcome reviews— all reviews. Actively seek out feedback by sending survey emails to your past clients. Ask them to share your honest opinions. This gives you a chance to see yourself through the eyes of others and make adjustments as needed. Better self awareness leads to higher emotional intelligence. Don't skip this step.

Be Enthusiastic


When you're excited about a property or an offer, your client will be, too. Enthusiasm, just like many other emotions, is contagious.

If you arrive at a showing with low energy or a bad attitude, your client will pick up on your glum posture and end up feeling negatively about the entire property. However, if you show up with a huge smile on your face and a cheerful, optimistic disposition, your client will likewise mirror you. Enthusiasm doesn't necessarily guarantee success, but it is one of the top characteristics of all successful real estate agents.

Trigger an Emotional Response

In addition to enthusiasm, there are other ways you can use emotions to close a sale.

As we've already discussed, emotions and real estate go hand-in-hand. Instead of being on the reacting end, you can also use emotion to sell more. Here's how:

Use FOMO. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a big motivator. It may be a negative emotion, but it’s one the biggest drivers. You can trigger FOMO by gently reminding your buyer that a specific property may sell quickly due to the current market. Or you can use fear when encouraging a seller to list at your advised price instead of sticking with an inflated one.

Remember that appealing to someone's emotion is more effective than appealing to their sense of logic. Buying is always emotional.

Final Thoughts

Agents with high emotional intelligence sell more and are able to attract more referrals and repeat business from satisfied clients. Improving your emotional intelligence will also allow you to flourish in other areas of your life. Become a better agent and person by understanding what makes you and those around you tick.

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