Since the dawn of civilization (I love when I get to start off like that), whenever people have talked about homes, they were talking about people. Real estate is a people business, maybe more so than any other type of sales.
Whether we’re talking about managing your team or converting leads, it’s essential that we are always improving our interpersonal skills and learning to communicate effectively with different personality types.
This is where personality profiles come in. Using personality profiles can help you to become a better salesperson, a better leader, a more productive team member, and even a better friend or spouse.
The DiSC Personality Assessment
There are a TON of different personality and strength assessments on the market, but right now, I want to focus on DiSC profiles, which will possibly be the most beneficial when interacting with leads and clients.
DiSC is one of the oldest and most proven personality assessments in the world. What makes it so popular is that there are only 4 personality types, and once you understand them it is easy to get a general idea of which one a lead or potential hire falls into within minutes of meeting them.
The DiSC Personality Types
DiSC stands for…
Now, I don’t normally do this, but if you’re interested in finding out your own type, I’d suggest stopping here and taking a free assessment before going any further, because knowing the types could unconsciously effect the way you answer the questions. I’m not going to give you a link, because which version of the test you choose might say as much about you as the answers you give!
Also, keep in mind that no one type is better than any other. In life and business, we need all these types to complement each other.
Now that we’ve established that no personality type is good or bad, I do need to mention that every type does come with its own common negative attributes which serve as a counter to the positive. Let’s call these the shadow aspects.
Shadow aspects appear when someone is stressed or when their personality type becomes overdeveloped. Many who have never even considered personality profiles already see themselves in a certain way (a people-pleaser, a dominating corporate climber, a by-the-numbers intellectual) and when they rely too heavily on these ideas of themselves, their positive aspects can bloat into something harmful and alienating.
By understanding what type we most closely resemble and what their shadow aspects are, we can help to keep those behaviors in check.
So, let’s get down to the personality types…
Dominant personalities aren’t always cold or power obsessed; often, they’re just efficient. Traits of a high D personality are:
When their shadow qualities come out under pressure, D-types can be:
- Impatient, leading to rash decisions
- Overly critical
The main identifier of a D-type is that they get straight to the point. They want to know what you can do for them and how quickly you can do it.
Selling to a D isn’t as hard as it might seem, because they are very quick to make decisions if you can demonstrate value to them – you just need to mirror their personality. Talk quickly and directly, and only once you’ve demonstrated your competency should you try to build rapport.
D-types want to work with experts in areas that they are unfamiliar with so that they can concentrate on their own work. Establishing your expertise for D’s has as much to do with your confidence as it does your credentials.
Concrete statements such as, “This is what I think that you should do,” will go a long way. And make sure to follow it with an equally concrete proposal – “I believe that you should do this, this, and that. If you are looking to get the most value out of this property, that’s the way to go. Would you like me to do those things for you?”
First, let’s address why this letter is lowercase. Does it have some symbolic meaning? Nope. It doesn’t mean anything other than this is specifically the Wiley Publishing version of the program. The lowercase “i” was actually a printing error that they decided to copyright instead of correct.
The Influencer profile is the most common personality type for real estate agents. It is estimated that about 60% of all salespeople fall into this category.
i-types are the most extroverted, people-oriented group. They love to talk, connect with others, and have their voices heard. Influence personalities tend to be:
- Easy to get along with
The key here is that they are able to energize people and gain popularity.
Some shadow aspects to i personalities include:
- Fear of rejection
- Disorganization and lack of attention to detail
- Putting being liked before doing a good job
It shouldn’t be too difficult to identify i-types, as they’re likely very willing and eager to engage you in conversation. They might be more interested in asking you personal questions than in asking you about their home.
Influence types will only work with you if they know you, like you, and trust you. So, once you’ve identified an i, take the time to build rapport with them, get to know their spouses, their lives, their dog’s name. Follow up regularly and make yourself a positive, friendly part of their lives.
Steadiness personalities are like the introverted version of i-types. They’re people oriented, but without the same level of energy or enthusiasm. They are:
Their shadow aspects include:
- Tendency to avoid conflict
- Blending into a crowd
- Fear of change
- Inability to speak up
This group is also called the “Stability” type because that is generally what they value most. Do you know people who love doing mundane tasks and eat the same food for lunch every day? These are likely S personalities. They have very cool, calm heads, and they’ll do whatever it takes to maintain this easiness, even if it means being reclusive or putting something off.
For this reason, it’s not a good idea to pitch too hard to an S-type. They want to take their time when making important decisions and pressuring them or contacting too often will make them shut down. Just like with an i-type, take the time to build a relationship but with a lighter touch. Give them a lot of assurances and try to guarantee as much as you can, but only if you’re actually able to deliver on what you promise.
Conscientious types are easy to identify because of their extraordinary attention to detail. Steve Jobs had a lot of the D traits, but his extreme focus on facts and figures points to him being primarily a C-type. You could actually call C profiles the reverse D, in that they are task-oriented but introverted. C is without a doubt the most introverted category on the list, and the least concerned with building relationships.
They are often:
Above all, they value precision and sure things. They’re not gamblers and will only place well-informed bets with statistical odds of success.
When a C-type’s shadow side emerges, they tend to become:
- Afraid of criticism
- Unable to act
When trying selling to them, you could say that “C” stands for “Certainty.” You won’t have any luck converting these leads into clients if you don’t come prepared. They will have LOTS of questions. You should bring case studies so they can read the statistics for themselves. Your rate of success will directly correspond to the amount of certainty you are able to provide.
When giving them your presentation, make sure to frequently ask:
- Do you understand what I’m saying?
- Does that make sense?
- Do you have any questions?
- Are you sure there’s no other questions? If you think of anything else, feel free to call me.
The Greatest Gift of Personality Profiles
Yes, using personality profiles like DiSC can help you to be a better salesperson and build a more efficient team, but that’s not all they have to offer.
The greatest benefit of using personality profiles in your business is to increase your empathy, understanding, and patience.
I said at the beginning that real estate is a people-business. We encounter a huge variety of people of a regular basis, and I bet you often come across those that you just don’t click with. You find yourself saying things like, “That guy is so strange,” or, “She’s just rude. Why does she have to be such a jerk?”
Putting people into categories seems like it might be simplifying them, but if that’s what it takes to help us understand them, it’s not such a bad thing. Maybe those people aren’t as strange or rude as you thought; maybe they’re just different than you. Keep that in mind whenever you find yourself struggling to connect with another person.
P.S. A Note on Other Personality Tests
Although DiSC is the only personality assessment we covered here, it’s not the only one you should be using. DiSC might be best for sales and quick evaluations, but each different system has its own unique strengths. Here are just a couple more to get you thinking about the possibilities.
One of the most popular in the world, Enneagram is primarily used to help discern your own internal emotions and motivations by placing you into one of sixteen personality types. This makes it best for goal setting, though it might not be the best option for salespeople who need to discern someone’s characteristics on the spot.
A more recent but extremely effective assessment is Red Bull’s Wingfinder. This test is scientifically proven to help identify your strengths and target your areas of improvement. If you’re hiring new staff, this would make a great part of the interview or onboarding process. Also, it’s completely free.