Learn how to use the mirror technique in real estate negotiations to enhance customer service and client conversion.
The mirror technique in real estate is absolutely key when it comes to negotiation. This technique is often referred to as “Mirror and Matching“. This is one of the most useful sales and negotiation skill sets. Most real estate agents have had some exposure to this concept, but this training will help you perfect your skills.
VIDEO: How to Use the Mirror Technique in Real Estate Negotiations
Mirror technique in real estate: communication styles
First you need to build rapport and get on the same wavelength as the other person you are negotiating with. That is to say, you need to try to assimilate to their communication style.
If you go slow, you can pick up on clues and cues. As a result you’ll be able to see how they communicate, and it will allow you to pick up on that and mirror it back to them to increase their comfort level.
Mirror and matching
When you use the mirror technique in real estate, you are trying to imitate the other person’s behaviors – both verbal and nonverbal. The best place to do this is in person. The second best place is over Zoom. The last choice would be over the phone.
Above all, find a way to make it face to face because then you can get a better idea of where they are coming from so that you can more effectively mirror and match them.
It is impossible to read body language and mannerisms over the phone.
Example: When a house doesn’t appraise
Let’s say you list a house and you warn your seller that it’s a high price that may not appraise. Sure enough, halfway through the transaction, your seller’s home does not appraise. It comes up $35k short.
So now you have to deliver that news to your seller. Your seller gets angry. And he’s angry at you because you brought the bad news. His home selling experience is not good because of this news. He screams at you. “I can’t believe it! After all this, I’m losing $35k! No, tell the buyer they can come up $35k and pay it themselves or I’ll put it back on the market. Did you even give them comps?”
Firstly, you say to your seller, “Hey, relax. Calm down. It will be okay.” You are doing the opposite of mirror and matching. This person is really angry and you are telling him to relax. That’s not the right way to handle someone who is mad. In other words, you are actually throwing gasoline on a fire.
Next, he’s going to say, “You’re telling me to relax?!” and become even more angry. You clearly don’t understand why he is mad. You’re not at all validating his feelings. You’re just giving him more reasons to show you why he feels so mad. Until you get it, he’s only going to get more heated.
How to use the mirror technique in real estate
Meanwhile, here’s a better way to respond to the last example. “You are frustrated and exasperated about this situation. You sound extremely upset. And I don’t blame you. I would feel that way too. You are clearly angry. I am angry too. This is not fun news for me to give you. You and I work hard to get this great price for your house, and some random appraiser comes in and appraises it too low. I’m sorry. I’m mad. Do you want to hear what I think we should do about this?”
As a result, your seller can now calm down a bit. They got their message across. Therefore, they now feel like you understand their frustration.
“OK – so what do we do now?” your seller asks you. Likewise, you can respond in a calm tone.
“Unfortunately, this does happen a lot. It’s no fun. If you will remember when we priced the house, I did mention that this was a possibility. The appraiser brought us back down. My advice, rather than go back on the market, is to try and meet the buyer halfway with that $35k, and we can move forward. How does that sound?”
First you calmed him down. So now, he can listen to your logic. You used the mirror technique to mirror his emotions, which allowed him to feel “seen” and validated.
Not only did you understand his emotion, but you mirrored it back using your voice, tone, and body language.
Methods for the mirror technique in real estate
- Physiology: Match their physical posture & mannerisms.
- First, if they sit forward, you sit forward.
- Second, if they cross their legs, you cross your legs.
- Third, if they slowly drink water, you also take slow sips.
- Fourth, if they talk with their hands, so do you.
- Speech Rate: Speak at the same speed they do.
- Don’t speak in the fifth gear when they are back in first gear.
- “D” & “I” behaviors speak more quickly than “S” & “C” behaviors.
- Volume: Speak as quietly or loudly as they do.
- If you match their volume, you will gradually bring them back to a normal volume.
- Softer speakers start to feel more comfortable, and begin to speak up.
- Louder speakers will relax and soften their voice.
- Tonality & Pitch: Make your voice sound like their voice.
- Mirror their emotion: anger, stress, sorrow, excitement.
- Subtly match their accent or speech patterns.
- Match their level of vocabulary and grammar – don’t be too fancy or too casual for your client.
- If they have a higher pitched voice, increase your voice’s pitch.
- If they have a deeper voice, lower your voice’s pitch.
- Key Word (or Phrase) Back-Tracking: Use their favorite words by actively restating what they say.
- Using your client’s vocabulary is a way of communicating that you understand their needs.
- If they constantly say they, “don’t need to sell,” then always validate them by stating, “I understand that you don’t need to sell,” or, “it’s a good thing that you don’t need to sell”.
- Use words that your client often stresses or uses. Example: If a prospective home buyer is constantly mentioning the “feel” of different homes (“It feels good for a family” or “This home feels cold and dark”), then you should talk about how each home “feels” too!
Not manipulation; this is customer service
You are NOT manipulating people by using these mirror and matching techniques. By using the mirror technique in real estate, you are actually rising to the next level of customer service by making every effort to speak their language.
You are embracing their set of values, their way of talking, and their feelings. This is negotiation at its finest.
The goal: connection
Negotiation skills training will help you connect with more clients and earn more business. You will be the person that a prospective buyer or seller “clicks” with.
They may not be able to put a finger on why they “click” with you, but it’s because you make them feel comfortable and understood. Therefore, by using techniques like mirror and matching, you can build rapport and rise above the other real estate agents that prospective clients meet with as they search for an agent. Consequently, they will like you better because you “get” it.
The other agents who don’t get picked will say, “Oh, it’s because that agent must have cut their commission to get more business.” But you’ll know that it’s because your communication and negotiation skill set is higher. No commission cuts needed.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Mirror & Matching PDF
You mirror and match so that you can communicate with your clients more effectively. When we behave in a manner that they prefer it helps them to be comfortable and focus on our message without distraction. Today we are giving you a free download of our Mirror & Matching PDF; use it as a guide as you learn how to use the mirror technique in real estate.
Review: Mirror technique in real estate
- Be patient in your negotiations
- Moreover, seek first to understand and go into the negotiation with an open mind; rid yourself of preconceived notions
- Use active listening to build rapport and learn about the other person’s perspective
- Slow it down, come from curiosity, and get them to talk by adding gaps in your conversation
- Stay positive and reward the other person for talking by being receptive and warm, no matter the situation
- Mirror and match using physiology, rate of speech, volume, tonality & pitch, and key word or phrase back-tracking
- In conclusion: Build a connection that is genuine
Want to learn more?
- Read The High-Performing Real Estate Team. You can buy Brian Icenhower’s best-selling book on Amazon.
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