The 4 Personality Styles and What They Mean within Real Estate | Real Estate Blog
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The 4 Personality Styles and What They Mean within Real Estate

Good afternoon … good morning … good evening … whatever time of day you’re watching … Mike Ferry TV … the week of June 8th. The year is going by quickly … the pandemic is helping us now because it’s going away and it’s making our business much better.

Three weeks ago … three-and-a-half weeks ago … I did our annual Management Retreat. We did it virtually from here in our studio in Las Vegas versus doing it live with 325 great Brokers and Managers. It was interesting because what I want to cover today with you I covered with them also … and I’ve had a lot of requests … and I was quite taken by surprise … the number of requests. The Brokers said, “Could you share this one segment of what you did our agents because we think it’s that important?”

And I was kind of surprised because the material … and you can see it here on the board and I’ll go through it with you … gosh, I’ve been talking about it for 40 years at all my seminars … but I guess it’s the kind of material where we kind of set it aside at times and we don’t give it the respect or the study that it probably deserves in helping each of us not only become better salespeople … better leaders … better Managers … better Listing Agents, etc. but it also helps us in terms of our daily life with our family and our friends.

So, I guess, it would have been … I’m trying to think of the year … probably 1973 … I was invited to attend a seminar in Newport Beach, California and the speaker was a fellow named Larry Wilson from Minneapolis, Minnesota … and he owned a company called the Wilson Learning Institute … and I was told this seminar was something that I had to attend. My boss at the time said, “I want you to be there.” It was $2,000 for the week, which in 1973 was a lot of money.

So, I paid the $2,000 and there were 20 people attending this 1-week event. I have to tell you … Larry Wilson was, in my opinion, magical … he became a great mentor and a great friend for myself for a long, long time until he passed away, which we lost a great one. But he taught us about the four personality styles … and he really went into depth. In fact, it was kind of fun because prior to attending the event itself, we had to take and fill out a bunch of documents and forms … and one of the forms and documents was a questionnaire with … I think it was 100 questions … that we had to give to 15 different people in different categories that we knew in our life … friends, family, etc. and they had to answer the 100 questions … and we didn’t know why, but we did all the assignment prior to the class starting. Then, when Larry started the class, he said that everybody in the room … there was 20 of us … had to stand up and describe our work, our life and how we operated … whatever we chose to operate in terms of business.

Then, he said after … and we all went around the room and did that, which was kind of interesting because we took notes on each other. Then he spent about an hour briefly describing the four personality styles. Then he asked us to do something fun. He said, “Now, I want you to talk to the person to your immediate right” … and there were 20 people sitting at a big square table … and he said, “I want you to interview them for 5 to 7 minutes and then they will interview you … and then each of you will decide what is the personality style based on this very basic understanding of what that person is.”

I’m sitting next to a guy … his name is Danny … a nice guy. We chatted back and forth for about 7 … 8 minutes each and when we finished, we went around the room. Now, the third part of our first day … we had to stand up and introduce the person next to us and based upon what we’ve heard, identify this person’s personality style.

Well, this particular man next to me was a B-52 jet pilot … bomber pilot for the Air Force. That’s pretty, pretty analytical in my opinion … and then he actually flew for the Blue Angels for a while … really analytical … so I described this man to the group and then I stood and said … “and based upon the knowledge of what I’ve learned about my friend Danny, he is an analytical.” And Danny, I had discovered, his goal was to become a speaker … and that was great … good for him.

Well, when I said “high analytical” he stood up and said, “I am not analytical and I can give you 12 to 15 specific reasons why I’m not.”

To which Larry said, “You’ve just identified yourself as an analytical.”

Well, we spent the week studying this stuff and I’ve said to Sabrina many times over the years … it was probably one of the more important weeks of my adult life in learning about people, about how to deal with people, about selling, about how to become a good salesperson, about how to deal with the different types of people … it was just an important week. But I’ve also said to Sabrina … it was also a very difficult week because I learned the material and in many cases I can talk to somebody for 3 to 4 minutes and identify their personality style because if you’re willing to ask, for example, the prequalifying questions on a listing … if you’re willing to ask them all … or the prequalifying questions with a Buyer … and you’re willing to ask them all … and then you’re willing to listen to what the people say, you’re probably going to find out very quickly who they are in terms of personality if you want to find out.

So, I’ll give you an example of this. In our coaching that we do, we ask in our prequalifying questionnaire on a Coaching client what personality style they believe they are … and the majority of them all say, “I’m a driver” and they’re not … but that’s very common. Then, we ask the Coach in the first couple of calls working with an individual like yourself to ask a lot of questions and determine the personality style of that Coaching client … and then once they determine that, to make sure that is the actual style … and then we say to the Coach, “Write the person’s name on the file and write the personality style and make sure you coach to that style.” Now, we’re going someplace very important on listing property and working with Buyers.

So, let’s first look at the four styles that Larry Wilson identified. Analytical personality style … very common. Now, understand there’s four styles, which means that all people fall into one of the four categories. Now, I know a lot of Real Estate people that say, “Oh, no, no, no, no … I’m at least three of those.” Nobody is.

Now, Larry Wilson will teach us something in a minute, but understand … nobody is three styles. Maybe you’re having some hallucinations … maybe you’re having some mental challenges or breakdowns, which may make you think that way, but if you’re thinking as a normal, logical human being, everybody is one style.

Analytical … you can tell by … they accumulate facts, they accumulate figures, they accumulate details … they’re very, very, very specific-oriented. Their job functions, many times, give them away … a doctor, an attorney, a pilot, an accountant, a technology person is almost always going to be high analytical because they love the facts, the figures, the details. I mean, think about the people that are so smart in technology today and how they ever can come to the conclusions that they come to.  The accountant figuring out the tax forms for you … all those types of jobs would make them an analytical person.

The second, of course, is the driver. It’s a person that is very direct and very much in control most of the time. But, you see, I wrote the words “non-emotional.” Generally speaking, the analytical and driver are not emotional people. They’re very direct … they’re serious about what they do. So, the driver is a person that will many times be in charge of a group of people because that’s where they seem to migrate to.

Then we talk about the amiable personality, which I have always said … I think they make the best Real Estate people in the world … and the reason I think that is because the amiable is a person that has a very deep understanding of other people … is very concerned about the welfare of other people … is very concerned how people feel. So, they’re very much a good team player. If you’re working as a Broker, Manager, agent, team leader … if you’re building a team … these people make great team players. Their goal is to make everybody happy all the time. They want everybody to feel good about whatever they’re doing, so the amiable is a great person. But you notice down here we put “highly emotional” for these two versus “non-emotional” for these two.

Then, the expressive … I wrote … the life of the party, they talk a lot … they walk into a room and the room lights up every single time. Now, what’s interesting about the four is Real Estate people always want to say to me, “Well, Mike … I’m right here in the middle of all four” and nobody is. Now, what Larry Wilson taught us was this … very non-emotional … very high emotion … but on the driver/expressive side, they make fast decisions … but on the amiable/analytical side, very slow decisions.

You know, trying to get sometimes your accountant to give you an answer is a challenge because they’re trying to make sure everything is done properly before they give you … Mike Vance, one of my mentors used to say, “You can take all the accountants and all the economists in the world and put them head to toe … they’d wrap around the world twice and they still wouldn’t come to a conclusion because they are very slow in the decision-making process.”

So, here’s what Larry Wilson taught us … everybody is one. So, based on this very cursory look … I’d like you to decide which of the four you are … and I think you should discuss that with your spouse and with your kids, if you have kids that would understand this. Talk to your Manager … talk to your Broker … find out which of the four they think you are … because, see, here’s what Larry taught us … it is not who you think you are … it’s how everybody perceives you … sees you … hears you … understands you … is how you are.


So, I used to think of myself as being a person that was somewhat expressive … and quite honestly, I used to think of myself of being somewhat on the amiable side. I’d like to please people and make them successful … make them happy … until I had the test done … and I was tested 5 times over about 10 years by Larry Wilson’s company … and I came out 100% a driver personality in every test. But here’s what Larry says, “We all have a defined style and it doesn’t matter because not one of them is better than the other.” There’s not a right style. Now, I think they make the best Real Estate people, personally, by observation … but what he said is, “Under stress … you often have a backup style.”


So, I’m a driver … under stress, they determined I was a stronger driver. My beautiful wife, Sabrina, is analytical … under stress becomes a driver/expressive. So, often people will change their style under stress. Why am I going through all this with you on our Mike Ferry TV? Because your Sellers and Buyers are under stress because of the virus. They’re under stress because of the fact that they don’t know if they can qualify and buy … and they don’t know if their home will sell … so rather than walking in and pounding a listing presentation to them … ask all the prequalifying questions, listen to the answer, then determine which of the four they are … and then present in a manner that helps them become better with you in terms of giving you information.


So, for example, if you determined the Seller is analytical … on your listing presentation, you’ll probably want to say something along the lines of, “Mr. Seller, I’d like to make sure that we give you all the facts and figures to make a good decision tonight. What figures and facts do you need from me to make a good decision?” The analytical thrives on that.


If I’m dealing with a driver … “Mr. Driver, I know we don’t want to take a lot of time … we don’t want to waste your time, so would you like to get this done quickly?”


And they’re going to say “Yes” … and now proceed fast.


With the amiable … “Mr. and Mrs. Smith, you know, I want to make sure that whoever buys your home loves your home as much as you love your home … and if they’re raising their family, they enjoy it as much as you’ve enjoyed it. What would you like me to say to them about your home to make them feel as comfortable as you feel with the home?’


Then with the expressive … you simply say, “Give me five great reasons why a person should buy your house. What are your five best features?”


“1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … 5 … 6” … and they’ll give you 10 real fast.


See, knowing who they are before you make your presentation allows you to make a much better presentation. Well, I took … let’s see … 8 times 5 is 40 hours of training … when I took this original class. Then I spent probably … I would say for the next 10 years, I bet I spent 15 … 20 hours a month studying this material of Larry Wilson’s. Then I reviewed it and studied it and played it ever since … and in 14 minutes and 30 seconds I’ve tried to give you a little bit of an update to what all this is about and how it might help you.


Replay this message every day until next week. Enjoy the experience. Talk to you next week.


Mike Ferry is the global leader in real estate coaching and training. Watch Mike each week as he discusses a variety of topics to help real estate agents and brokers. Grow your real estate business by improving your mindset, developing your skills and creating a plan of action to increase your production!

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