A realtor’s business primarily revolves around people and how much people trust him/her. Therefore it is quite important for a realtor to be fair and transparent in his/her dealings.

Thanks to the internet, there isn’t a lot that you can hide from the public eye. If you’ve ever made a snarky racial remark even as a joke, there’s a chance someone might complain about that on social media and it might go viral thereby ruining your image for good. Powerful movements like the #metoo campaign have demonstrated that people can unite over common causes regardless of their differences. The world has become sensitive to racial and cultural issues, and the realtors need to do the same.

A realtor should always be conscious of the values of the society he/she operates in. They need to uphold and respect the cultural values of their community, and above all, they need to be fair and ethical.

Understanding cultural sensitivity will not only help you connect better with people, it will also help you retain customers as well. Look at it this way: if you’re buying some expensive piece of jewelry, you’d be happier going to someone who understood your values.  The same is true for a property. People buy from realtors who make them feel comfortable. If a realtor is rude to them or seems disinterested due to any reason, they’ll take their business elsewhere.

Listed below are 5 tips that can help you connect with people better by being more culturally sensitive:

1. Research

real estate beginner researchIt is always good to research the values of the people or demographic that you’re targeting. Study their culture inside out and find things that may help you connect with them better. Also be sure to learn about the things that are cultural taboos. For instance, drinking is not something that will appeal to a Muslim community so it’s best not to dwell too much on this topic when you’re trying to land a Muslim client. Similarly, Muslim women do not prefer handshakes, if you’re going to meet one don’t greet them with a handshake. Little things like this will help you win the trust of your clients and make a good impression.

The excuse of ignorance doesn’t work anymore. A few simple clicks on Google can help you look up the values of any culture you want. Study up before meeting a potential client so you don’t accidentally find yourself on the other side of an accusation.

2. Community Events

It is always a good idea to have a good network. Going to community events will not only help you remain connected with the people in your target community, but it will also help you keep track of the local community news. In this way, you can be sure to understand the likes and dislikes of the community, and you can also reinforce your community involvement. This will especially be useful if your target community is highly diverse. Attending community events will give you a deeper insight into your community’s values and it’ll help you avoid any pitfalls that may land you into trouble.

3. Learn a New Language

If you can manage easily, try learning a new language. Learning to communicate in your community’s native language will help you show them that you’re truly involved in their wellbeing and you care about their culture. Moreover, it will also help you understand the struggles of foreigners who’re learning English. It can be a great conversation starter at community events.

If you don’t have time to learn a language, just study some common phrases or greetings in foreign languages. Even greeting people in their local language can create a good impression and promotes warmth and acceptance.

4. Don’t Hesitate to Offer an Apology

real estate agent ApologyIf you unknowingly cross a boundary that you shouldn’t have crossed, be quick to admit your mistake and apologize. Being evasive or defensive will only make things so much worse for you. If you apologize, chances are you will be forgiven and the matter will be forgotten. If you’re insensitive and evasive, someone might complain about you on social media or they might tell their peers which will reflect badly on your career.

5. Say No to Politics

This is old school but it’s worth repeating, never get involved in political debates. People are quite passionate when it comes to their political beliefs. You don’t want to offend anyone by suggesting someone they support isn’t credible or worthy.

Conclusion

Summing it up, always remember that you’re doing business with people, not things, so people always come first. Know the values of your community and stay clear of anything that might upset them. It goes without saying that racial discrimination or bias of any manner can seriously dent your reputation. So behave maturely and you’ll go a long way.