Some people start their real estate careers right out of high school or college, but most get into real estate after doing something else. Some have retired and others are just looking for a change of pace.

When I write agent bios, I always look at those past careers to see how they might tie in with real estate sales. Often past experiences can reinforce the skills the agent wants to emphasize.

Some past races make the transition more difficult than others. For example, school teachers have to learn to listen for themselves after years of doing the talking. On the other hand, a good school teacher has the skills to educate buyers and sellers about the realities of today’s market.

That’s a skill a bartender might not have, but I think good bartenders possess most of the skills needed for a successful real estate career.

My definition of a good bartender is one with a following: a person who is an “attraction” to the establishment where they work. They can make a good drink, but it’s their people skills that turn casuals into “regulars.”

So what skills do bartenders possess that would make them good real estate agents?

A good bartender knows how to listen. Just think of the time they spend listening to their customers. And while they may not have to listen wholeheartedly to everyone, they do need to pay close attention to their regulars. Just as good real estate agents must pay close attention to their buyers and sellers.

And then you better have A good memory. Not only does he (or she, of course!) need to remember what each person at the bar wants when they hold up a finger for another drink, he also needs to remember what to place in front of a regular when he walks in. And then he needs to remember what that person does, the names of her children, etc. Agents must remember personal information along with their customers’ wants and needs.

A good bartender respects what the customer wants – is not trying to suggest that something else might work. As an agent, you probably won’t show someone a house on a busy street if you’ve specified that you want to live on a quiet cul-de-sac.

A good bartender can talk to people from all walks of life. and treat them equally. It should be friendly and nonjudgmental, except in the most extreme cases. And in those extreme cases you have to think and act fast without getting flustered. Best practices for dealing with surprise buyers and sellers sometimes come from an agent.

A good bartender knows how to keep information confidential.. Good waiters can’t gossip. Can you imagine how quickly they would lose followers if they started mentioning that Mr. Smith came over for a drink with Ms. Jones, or if they mentioned that a salesperson from company X was involved in a long conversation with the owner of company X? Z? ? In the real estate sector, it is essential to maintain the confidentiality of client information.

A good bartender has to have people management skills.. You need to be able to say “You’ve had enough” without turning a customer into an enemy. That takes a bit of finesse! This skill could translate well to the finesse needed when clients ask an agent to do things that go against regulations.

So, if you’re a bartender thinking about a change, consider real estate. You have the skills!

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