3 ways to stop the hustle and forge real relationships

When we invest in the quality of our relationships, the business will take care of itself

We’ve all been there: Hustling for referrals around the clock. Attending endless get-to-know-you breakfasts, coffees, happy hours, and charity events. Viewing real human beings as nothing more than prospects and leads for our sales funnels. Feeling stagnant as we get nowhere.

What are we doing wrong?

These top-of-mind sales tactics keep us “in front of” rather than “with” people. It’s a good start, but these actions keep us focused on staying relevant rather than real. The age of putting up a business front is over.

Technology, artificial intelligence, and automation are replacing many of the moving parts of real estate transactions. Once this transformation is complete, all that will be left is our ability to forge real, heart-centered human connections — something technology won’t be able to replicate or replace, at least not anytime soon.

Taking a “top of heart” worldview

Being “top of heart” is about relearning what human nature already knows: Relationships, including business relationships, originate from the heart, not the head. A top of heart worldview is about getting real with others as you build genuine and meaningful human connections, and then simply allowing business to flow as a result.

How can you start?

Get intentional. Let your heart lead the way as you shift your business to become more human.

As you sit down with a client, associate, or vendor, ask yourself: What are some ways you can set aside the business at hand to care for the person in front of you? How can you be more human in this moment? How would you like the other person to feel at the end of this interaction?

Let’s imagine you’re having lunch with a client who’s thinking about selling her home. Her husband has already moved out, and they’re separating. It’s clear that she’s struggling with this huge, emotional life event.

Rather than pounce on the transactional opportunity, slow down and honor the emotion. Set the business aside for a moment and allow your client to lead the way. When you see the human in front of you — and not just the transaction — you’ll form a top of heart relationship.

Get curious. Get curious about others in ways that are relevant and useful. How can you best serve the person you’re with? What are their hopes? Their dreams? Their fears?

Ask open-ended questions to learn what’s in another person’s heart. For example, you might say: “Tell me, what’s exciting in your life right now?” Or, upon learning your client’s daughter is heading off to school out of state, you might exclaim, “How exciting that Carly is going off to college! What’s your dream for her? And how do you feel about that?”

As you feel empathy and compassion in the conversation, pay attention. These moments can be markers indicating an opportunity to connect more deeply. As we develop stronger bonds, we form a team; “you” and “me” is replaced with “we.” We face life’s celebrations and challenges together. As a bonus, when selling a house becomes the challenge, we’re the obvious first call.

Get aligned. Take note of the emotions, goals, interests, and experiences you share with other people.

As emotion bubbles up in your conversations, explore how it can strengthen your relationships. Practice acknowledging others’ feelings by sharing your observations.

For example, let’s say your buyer says, ”I don’t feel like the sellers are telling us the whole story about that repair they did last year.” You could say, “It sounds like you’re losing some trust with these people. Am I right, or am I totally off base?”

With this simple response, you’re getting to the heart of the matter rather than making an assumption. Once you learn your buyer’s truth, you’ll be able to respond with support and empathy.

Acknowledging your buyer’s emotion — whether it’s fear or anger or uncertainty — will bring you closer and build trust between you. It will deepen your human connection. This intersection between a genuine, trusting relationship and your real estate expertise is where all the referrals live.

The takeaway

The quality of our lives can be measured by the quality of our relationships. When we slow down and get intentional, curious, and aligned with others, our lives get better.

We don’t have to hustle from one networking event to another, exchanging countless business cards, to reach our goals in real estate. When we invest in the quality of our relationships, our referrals will multiply, and business will take care of itself.

Grant Muller is a Certified High Performance Coach™ and a team leader with the Grant Muller Group of Compass and is on a mission to help high achievers who have tried every tool and tactic to sell more, achieve more, and find more fulfillment but aren’t quite making the progress they desire.