Two Quick Ways Realtors Can Use Psychology to Close Their Next Sale

The real estate industry continues to make modest gains after recovering from the housing bubble that started in 2006 and ultimately hit record lows in 2012. In February the National Association of Realtors® reported that existing-home sales are up 4.7 percent in comparison to last year. Additionally, President Obama is working to make it easier for first-time homebuyers to get mortgages. So, the wheels are in motion and realtors need to bring their “a-game.”

With this in mind, we wanted to pass on a few tips for real estate agents from Canter Brokerage’s Vice President Anna Ward who taps into her psychology background for a real estate advantage. Anna’s experience dates back to 1999, which was her first year in real estate. That year she sold 104 homes and she has continued on a rapid sales pace since then by using psychology to make sales happen.

Here are two tips from Anna.

Anna’s Tip #1: Be Aware of Different Customer Personalities

Everyone processes things a little differently and in the sales cycle one miscalculation or misinterpretation can potentially derail the deal. This is why it is important for agents to learn as much as possible about the personality of their prospects and clients.

There are four fundamental psychological personality types, which are known as the four temperaments or humors. Personalities are categorized as the driver, the amiable one, the analytical one and the expressive.

Take a look at the pop culture examples in the image below to gain a better understanding of this concept.


  • Driver – Results-oriented, focused, fast decision makers
    • Raphael, Miranda, Jane, Elaine, John Lennon, The Thing
  • Amiable – Warm, dependable, sensitive, avoids conflict, quick decision makers
    • Donatello, Carrie, Velma, George, George Harrison, The Invisible Woman
  • Analytical – Well-organized, enjoy facts, thinks critically, slow decision makers
    • Leonardo, Charlotte, Fred, Jerry, Sir Paul McCartney, Mr. Fantastic
  • Expressive – Outgoing and enthusiastic, social, slow decision makers
    • Michelangelo, Samantha, Scooby & Shaggy, Kramer, Ringo Starr, Human Torch

Agents who understand and can adapt their style to these personality types are able to better serve clients and help them find a balance of motivation to buy/sell vs. financial flexibility. There are a number of ways to identify the specific personality of someone who attends an open house or walks into an agent’s office. The best way to do this is by approaching each interaction in the same manner that you would if you were interviewing for a job, which leads to the next tip.

Anna’s Tip #2: Pretend You Are in a Job Interview to Identify Buyer/Seller’s “Tells”

As an agent you work to win the approval of a buyer or seller so consider every meeting as basically a job interview. Having this mindset will allow you to study the client or prospect in effort to identify or tease out their “tells.” In poker, a “tell” is a change in demeanor or a mannerism that allows other players to figure out the quality of their opponent’s cards. For our purposes, these “tells” will help agents recognize a personality type.

The focus of the conversation should be on the client, their interests and how they see themselves living in the home and neighborhood. Several items to pay attention to during meetings with clients are the rate of speech, speech delivery, handshakes and walking speeds. In Anna Ward’s experience, fast-decision makers tend to have firmer handshakes, they speak quicker and they often walk faster. These traits will generally lend themselves to the driver and the amiable personalities. The opposite can be expected from an analytical or expressive.

If you would like more information on psychology and real estate then check out the learning and sales strategies at Canter University. It is a free comprehensive educational program for all agents to learn and work on their trade.

We’ve also provided another useful tool for agents to distribute to clients who are selling their home. Click below for a helpful move-out checklist full of excellent reminders that can simplify the moving process.