How I Pivoted from Selling Conventions & Meetings to Selling Real Estate

Posted on: March 9, 2021

Throughout my career in selling meetings and conventions, I learned the key to being successful is being flexible. In the hotel business, every day is different from the previous one. There’s the ‘ups’ and the ‘downs.’ Also, when you work with people, they have a tendency to change their mind and stray from the original proposal. This is due, in many cases, to being exposed to new information.

I learned very early on to empathize with my clients. They’re not there to make my job more difficult, they’re just trying to accomplish a goal. Whether it’s to execute a board of directors meeting for a large corporation or host a popular rock musician in town for a concert. So when COVID-19 changed the hospitality industry, I pivoted from my 30+ year career in hotel sales, to selling real estate.

The three vital keys to my success are flexibility, attention to detail and empathy. Selling real estate encompasses all of the three main traits to be successful in sales. In nearly all residential real estate transactions, emotion plays a large role. You may be selling your current home with fond memories, buying your dream home, or both. Being flexible and empathetic has helped me to navigate through the emotional demands that surface during those conversations.

When I used to run in triathlons, I learned quickly, “prepare for the unexpected”. And that’s never been more relevant to me. What this meant was that you mentally prepare yourself for that flat tire or the person swimming behind you that swims right over top of you, pushing you underneath them. Knowing that anything could arise; and NOT let yourself  be rattled to prevent you from being able to recover and push forward to finish the race. Selling real estate is an exciting profession that utilizes my relationship selling skills that I learned in my many years in hotel sales, which leads me to my next topic - knowing the impact of technology.

Technology has given the consumer an abundance of information to educate them on their purchases. In the hotel business, it was crucial to know what the online rates were (Hotels.com, Priceline etc.) at the time they wanted to reserve their block of rooms. However, the services and amenities provided with reserving a block of rooms with a sales contract from a sales manager far outweigh just reserving individual rooms. Working with a sales manager provides assurances that the rooms will be available; that the rate quoted is the same with everyone in your group; That certain amenities are provided for the group provided that certain predetermined performance goals have been met.

The same can be said in real estate where companies such as Zillow provide consumers a plethora of information. By using a licensed real estate sales agent, the consumer is provided with the intangibles that pure data cannot match - walking you through the entire transaction from pre-listing to post close. Zillow can’t meet your clients at the front door and give them all of the nuances of the home in a story like manner.

Take it from me - real estate sales is the perfect pivot from hotel sales.

Author: Kevin Beckman

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