Let us set the scene for you really quick..picture two real estate agents at the same point in their career–no advantages on either side.
The first agent (let’s call them ‘Agent A’) takes pride in making sure they have all their bases covered, all the time. Agent A makes sure that they are working ahead to keep open houses scheduled, deadlines met, contracts signed…you get the idea. Agent A is a proactive worker. Meaning they take initiative, and do additional work without having to be asked.
The other agent (Agent B) is also a hard worker, but tends to let their clients tell them when they need something. For example, they rarely send listings or provide information unless asked. While there may seem like there is nothing wrong with this, clients tend to feel as if they are the ones doing all the work. Agent B is a reactive worker, meaning they will do the work, but AFTER the fact.
Generally speaking, there are benefits and drawbacks to both sides. In this blog post, we’ll break down what it means to be proactive versus reactive so you can decide for yourself which quality fits your situation best.
Proactive vs Reactive
Being proactive means you’re taking the lead in a situation, rather than responding to it.
This can be beneficial in proving to your client you can be trusted, and that you don’t need to be asked for something to get done. Being proactive implies you’re taking the necessary steps to make sure things turn out how they should, not necessarily reacting to what’s already happened. You take initiative.
On the other hand, being reactive means you wait for something (good or bad) to happen before you take any action.
Here are a few examples:
- You don’t set up an open house until they ask you to
- You don’t send leads listings until they ask
- You wait until your client has questions before offering additional info
This can cause some frustration between you and your clients because it makes them feel like they aren’t a priority (and they should be).
There are no clear-cut guidelines here; there isn’t one singular way to do things. Being proactive and reactive both have their upsides. You’ll need to make your own decisions based on all sorts of things, for example:
- The situation
- Your client’s personality
And even more factors that are specific to each relationship. We can’t speak for all situations, but generally being proactive is always a good choice because you’re always trying to stay ahead of any potential issues or obstacles instead of just reacting when they happen.
So what does that mean for real estate?
The ability to anticipate and prepare for what might happen is a key skill in this business. Being reactive and playing catch up would be a waste of time, not to mention giving your clients the impression you aren’t committed or prioritizing their needs.
The real estate industry is full of unknowns, and is pretty consistent in throwing a wrench in your plans. You have to be ready for anything.
You are responsible for keeping yourself and your clients prepared. Are your first time home buyers thinking of putting in an offer? It’s your job to thoroughly explain what to expect, and provide solutions for possible conflict. Come at every situation with confidence that you are prepared to tackle anything that may try to force you off the path to success. If you don’t have that confidence, it’s time to build it!
That doesn’t go to say being reactive is ALWAYS bad.
It’s important to learn both skills, because sometimes you’ll have no choice but to be reactive. You can’t always predict what or when something is going to happen. Knowing how to react in a professional, well-thought-out way will help you out in the long run.
The best thing about real estate is it’s always changing. However, the market is complex, and there are tons of factors you have to think about before making any decision in this business. In a nutshell, both skills are great, and are essentially the same thing, being proactive just means you’re reacting ahead of time. Save yourself loads of time by anticipating what could happen, and providing a solution before it causes conflict.
It’s important to be proactive in an industry where being reactive can cause many problems, but also having positive reactive skills for when things happen unexpectedly.
Understanding the benefits of both is your key to success!