With physical challenges, players and participants must step off correctly if they want a chance of winning. Whether high-divers, sprint runners, or gymnasts, that first step can mean the difference between first place and last. The same is true of working with real estate tenants. If you nail the initial meeting, your opportunities increase dramatically. Here’s how to set yourself up for a win.

1. Control the Environment

Be sure you are safe wherever you choose to hold the meeting. You can meet in an office or a neutral place. Let someone close to you know where you will be and when. Have your phone all charged up before you meet any new potential customers.

While showing the apartment, be just as mindful of your environment. Ask the tenants to walk before you while they look at the home. Let them do that independently if they want to look at an attic or garage. Otherwise, you might get trapped inside. In addition, be careful of what you share with them. They don’t need to know details about your personal life, and keeping that private is a way to protect yourself.

Finally, you need a quiet environment where you can discuss their real estate needs in privacy and without interruption. Have what you need to make a new file for them.

2. Have Your Brand Message in Mind

Think about your brand message before any initial meeting when working with tenants. What is your value proposition? What do you want them to think of when they hear or read your name? Let them know who you are and what they should expect from them. This conversation can set the stage for an excellent client-real estate agent relationship and tremendous success.

3. Consider and Help Adjust Their Expectations

When working with real estate tenants, their expectations may be obvious or more subtly expressed. Find out what they think you can do for them and the results they expect to achieve. It’s your job as a realtor to discover what they expect. Moreover, you must help them adjust their thinking until their expectations become as realistic as possible.

Indeed, you should remind them of all the things you can do for them and the advantages of working with a real estate agent. However, they may have a distorted view of the real estate market, creditworthiness, or current leasing rates. If you discover that they expect the impossible, you need to use your realtor skills to help them understand how it will likely go.

To learn more about managing expectations and working with real estate tenants, consider taking the real estate agent training course Roadmap to Success: Tenants.

4. Practice Active Listening

How will you recognize when tenants are having unrealistic thoughts? You’ll know by listening to them actively. What is active listening? You must pay close attention to everything they say, their body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. Also, listen nonjudgmentally to ensure you understand what they want and need and don’t discourage them from revealing it to you.

When the tenant says something, summarize what they say and ask if that’s what they mean. If you’re not sure, ask them a question so they can make it more straightforward. Later, return to the things you talked about to ensure they haven’t changed their minds.

5. Do a Needs Assessment

You must remember your real estate training throughout the initial meeting when working with real estate tenants. Remember that your job is to help them get what they need. Ask about where and in what type of dwelling they’re living now. Find out why they are looking for a home. Request an approximation of when they need to move, who will decide, and what facts they will need to make that decision.

6. Use the Most Effective Presentation Sequence

The way you craft your presentation could get the tenant on your side or alienate them completely. The following presentation sequence is one of the essential parts of learning how to become a real estate agent. Follow this plan in the order given.

  1. Ethos: Establish your credibility as a realtor by inspiring them to trust you. Reveal ways you act as an ethical real estate agent.
  2. Pathos: Be empathetic with them, their needs, wants, and struggles. Help them stay optimistic about their situation and get on the same page.
  3. Logos: You should start talking about facts and logic only at the end of the presentation.


Working with real estate tenants only goes well when you take special care in conducting a good initial meeting. Set yourself up for success by managing your environment. Emphasize your brand message and help your clients develop appropriate expectations. Listen to them closely, know their real estate needs, and present what you can offer them in the ethos-pathos-logos sequence. When you do, you will increase the probability of having a better real estate business.