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First Person

Nikki Beauchamp On Why Listening Sets Her Apart

“There is a saying that you have two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. I always listen and observe more than I speak. When you do that, people actually give you the information to have a constructive conversation with them." Nikki explains how showing a genuine interest in people allows conversation to easily fall into place.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Why paying attention sets you apart from your competition.
  • Why making an intro is an easy way to offer value.
  • A simple trick to open your invite list can double your network and establish you as a connector.
"A simple introduction shows you're paying attention beyond just getting a deal done.” -Nikki Beauchamp

Rather read it? Check out the full transcript here:

Mike Schneider: Welcome back for another episode of First Person, and I'm here with Nikki Beauchamp from Engel and Volkers in Manhattan.

Nikki Beauchamp: Indeed.

Mike Schneider: Thank you for coming on.

Nikki Beauchamp: Thank you for having me.

Mike Schneider: Our fun kind of get to you know you is this 60 second speed round. Are you ready?

Nikki Beauchamp:I'm ready.

Mike Schneider: Alright, what was your first job?

Nikki Beauchamp: My first job was volunteering helping a local pharmacist. Sort of doing some bookkeeping and stuff like that.

Mike Schneider: Okay, not actually doing the pharmacist-.

Nikki Beauchamp: No, no, no. No pharmacy stuff. It's like some number stuff.

Mike Schneider: First car.

Nikki Beauchamp:First car, I'm a New Yorker so…

Mike Schneider: Do you even have a car?

Nikki Beauchamp:I don't have a car.

Mike Schneider: Alright, that works. First listing?

Nikki Beauchamp: My first listening was on 51st Street just off of Beekman Place.

Mike Schneider: Okay. First thing you say when you meet someone new?

Nikki Beauchamp: Hi, my name is Nikki.

Mike Schneider: First thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Nikki Beauchamp:First thing I do when I wake up in the morning is have water.

Mike Schneider: First pet?

Nikki Beauchamp:My first pet was a dog.

Mike Schneider: First album, record?

Nikki Beauchamp:I grew up playing the piano and the clarinet so it was probably something Mozart or Chopin or one of those.

Mike Schneider:First computer, do you remember? You can skip it.

Nikki Beauchamp:Yeah, I don't ... That's a long time.

Mike Schneider: First home you bought?

Nikki Beauchamp:First home I bought was a co-op in New York City.

Mike Schneider: First flight you took and where'd you go?

Nikki Beauchamp:First flight I was probably about two years old, and I think I was going to Puerto Rico.

Mike Schneider: Nice. First website domain name?

Nikki Beauchamp:First domain name I think was my name .com. Like Something like that.

Mike Schneider: Alright, that's great when you have a unique name. was taken when I got to it so. That's great. Well, that was 60 seconds. You got through almost all of them. That was great.

Nikki Beauchamp:Okay. Sounds good.

Mike Schneider: Our company is all about relationships, and we build technology, but we like to hear from real estate professionals like you who've built your business around relationships. What does that mean? What does that look like on a day to day basis?

Nikki Beauchamp: There is a saying that you have two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. I always listen and observe more than I speak. When you do that, people actually give you the information to have a constructive conversation with them. Be interested in them, and everything else is easy.

Mike Schneider: Wow. I like that you paused there because I was just about to jump in. That's great so you listened, observe.

Nikki Beauchamp:Listen, observe, yeah.

Mike Schneider: Then what? I'm fascinated about the long term. One of the the challenges with this is if you're in a relationship business, you have probably hundreds of past clients, and thousands of people in this long term game. How do you manage that?

Nikki Beauchamp:It can get complicated and messy. Technology makes it a little bit better. I'm a big fan of high touch. So I like to call people on the phone, I like to write handwritten notes.

Mike Schneider: Which is not the thing in New York from what I've learned from a lot of people. Calling people on the phone, that probably stands out.

Nikki Beauchamp:No, well the whole ... So my role is if you send me a text, and if we have like three back and forth, it's easier to actually get on the phone for five minutes.

Mike Schneider: Totally agree.

Nikki Beauchamp:Versus like sixteen texts. Then they always come in in the wrong order. It's a puzzle. I like puzzles, but not that kind of puzzle.

Mike Schneider: Yes, I'm with you. I like the hierarchy of, "If we can meet in person, that's always better than a phone call." But a phone call is always better than text, and text message is always better than just an email, right?

Nikki Beauchamp: And I think there's this idea of immediacy with text. I'm a big fan of being present in the moment. So if we're having a conversation or we're out looking at apartments, unless it relates to you in that timeframe, that can wait until we're done.

Mike Schneider: Great. So you're deepening it in the moment. That's the things: be present.

Nikki Beauchamp:It's hard because I think that's exactly the way we're sort of going away from that. So the more that you do that, the more people bond to you 'cause they feel like you're actually paying attention, and you're treating them with value and respect.

Mike Schneider: So how do you go from that ... We talked about first thing you say when you meet someone, but how do you go from that early to building trust in your relationships and getting to win their business eventually?

Nikki Beauchamp: You establish that it's not about me, it's about them. I will tell you when an apartment is wrong for you. Usually my face tells you. I've had a lot of interesting-

Mike Schneider: 'Cause you're listening. You're-

Nikki Beauchamp:I'm listening, and if you walk into an apartment and it's ... I have some funny anecdotes around that, but-

Mike Schneider: We like funny anecdotes.

Nikki Beauchamp:So I was in an apartment with some clients: the parents and the kids. It was for the kids. The kids were like, "Yeah, this is totally amazing." The mother did not like the apartment. She turned around and she looked at my face, and she says to them, "Do you see that face? That face is telling you this is not the right place for you." Knowing your data, knowing your market, and the more that you provide that value because now I've written [Gonezilla 00:04:54] and Street Easy, and everything else, but there's that context that I have from-

Mike Schneider: You know if it's gonna be a good investment-

Nikki Beauchamp: From a good fit, or I've actually listened to you. You're telling me you want this, but maybe you could actually get all of those things in a different neighborhood. The more you establish that bond, people do seek out your expertise, and they will say, "What do you think about this?" It's like, "Well based on what you've told me," then you're kind of regurgitate what they said. It's not really my opinion, but it's your opinion. You just don't realize that you have the opinion.

Mike Schneider: Yep. Two other quick questions, and then we'll wrap up so it's pretty quick, it's pretty painless. I'm curious [crosstalk 00:05:29]

Nikki Beauchamp:Very painless. No pain.

Mike Schneider: 'Cause you've had no pain. You've had hundreds of past clients, thousands of relationships, and we can't possibly keep up with all of them. So maybe it's someone you sold a condo to four years ago, and now you want to rekindle that. What do you do to spark that to get back into a relationship?

Nikki Beauchamp:I think that technology is really useful for that. Now with social media, and you can try to remain, even peripherally aware of what's going on in someone's life. You can know that they just moved or looking for a new job. Then you use that to kind of spark it. Like, "Oh, I saw that you just recently started working at LinkedIn. I'd love to introduce you to someone that I know there who ..." Just try to do things like that. It shows that you're paying attention beyond it's just about getting a deal done.

Mike Schneider: Well, I ask how you just did something else there. You immediately want to add some value to them. You didn't just say, "I saw you [inaudible 00:06:22] about LinkedIn, let's grab a drink."

Nikki Beauchamp: Yeah, let's grab a drink. It's like hey, I would love to introduce you to someone that I know there who you would really connect with.

Mike Schneider: Yeah. So you're not only looking for the intro, you're looking for what else can I [crosstalk 00:06:32]

Nikki Beauchamp:What else can you do to provide value that they can't really get from anywhere else?

Mike Schneider: Yeah. That's great. Do you have any ... Last question, are there a couple of protips ... You're talking to someone who wants to either be more engaged in their relationships or do other things. What are some of your tips and tricks you get from?

Nikki Beauchamp:I think the first thing you have to do is actually look at your history, and let's say you have a thousand people in your database. There are probably about 20 of them that have been the most important or the key people. You kind of focus on that segment.

Mike Schneider: Can you give us a little bit more? What do you mean by your history?

Nikki Beauchamp:[crosstalk 00:07:11] Maybe you have done multiple deals with them.

Mike Schneider: Sure.

Nikki Beauchamp: And sort of focusing that way.

Mike Schneider:Yep.

Nikki Beauchamp: And not that you want to attach value, but you kind of do want to see where everything is coming from, and sort of invest there first. Then branch out from there.

Mike Schneider: Great. Anything else you can throw out in terms of tips or tricks for having great conversations, or deepening relationships, or inviting people with things. I think-

Nikki Beauchamp:I think inviting, trying to connect people, is really really wonderful. If you know ... I try to sometimes gently like once every other month a dinner where I will say, "Okay, there's gonna be a dinner. I would like for you to invite one person." Let's say I pick five people, and each one can invite someone, but those five people already have something in common. The people they bring are also going to have something in common, but now I am the person who's connected them all to each other.

Mike Schneider: Connected all of them and you expand your reach.

Nikki Beauchamp: And I expanded my reach all at once.

Mike Schneider: There's a tip.

Nikki Beauchamp: And you can do it very easily. You could go to spin class, you could go to yoga, it could be anything.

Mike Schneider: There it is. Nikki, thank you for sharing some wisdom on building your business on relationships. Really appreciate it.

Nikki Beauchamp:My pleasure.

Mike Schneider: Thank you.

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