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The Realtor's Role: Assume Nothing! Anticipate, Ask, Assess, Analyze, Advise:
Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and...Los Angeles at large is known for being very culturally diverse and is now drawing a large number of foreign investors. In today's global real estate market, when it comes to finding a home or selling a home for a client, we have to be prepared with the right questions, devise a plan to be sure we communicate properly, and go the extra mile to be sure we are up-to-date with new lending policies, foreign affairs and basic cultural practices that could make or break a deal. I'm not suggesting you run out and buy a CD set to learn how to speak Mandarin, but a basic book in everyday business practices wouldn't hurt.
Most importantly, ASSUME NOTHING! I have learned through my travels that what may seem "normal" (I hate that word) to me, may be completely preposterous to someone else. Take Exhibit A: Below is a photo I took when I was in Cambodia at a public restroom or WC (Water Closet) near Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat happens to be one of the most spectacular pieces of real estate I have ever seen and its beauty and history draws hundreds or thousands of tourists from all over the world each year. As primitive as Cambodia may seem, this sign is genius! It anticipates the foreign visitor who has never seen a western toilet before (and there are millions), and instructs the "client" on the proper use without using a single word. Brilliant way to avoid confusion and get the point across clearly! You got it, right?!
Now apply this approach to your clients, and I can guarantee the road to a closed deal will be much easier. I recommend the A6 approach (6 happens to be my lucky number) when getting a new client: Anticipate, Ask, Assess, Analyze, Advise and Assume Nothing!
1. Anticipate: Before meeting with a client, compile a list of questions to ask (create a client profile sheet), also, based on your initial encounter, you should get a feel for what obstacles may arise during your journey together. Will they qualify? Are they telling you the truth about the retainer wall in the backyard? Be prepared for problems before they hit.
2. Ask: You have your profile sheet now, so use it. Ask the buyer or seller questions that will paint a clear picture of what they expect out of the agent/client relationship and the ultimate purchase or sale of a home. Don't be shy to ask cultural or religious questions. Approach these topics strictly from an open-minded, professional approach so you can better serve your client. When you find yourself out of questions, review what you have noted and clarify your notes with your client.
3. Assess: Whether it is a pending foreclosure or nervous first-time buyer, be sure to look at the big picture and then break it out into smaller sections (I recommend creating a timeline that you may or may not want to share with your client). Your are the trusted professional, so as you gather your information, be sure to look for any hidden "treasures" (they may want to be near an elderly parent in an assisted living facility, Feng Shui may be important, the address cannot contain the number 4 for cultural beliefs) and uncover them before they become the forgotten Easter egg that starts to stink.
4. Analyze: You should know your clients brother's kids names by now, so take the data you have compiled and create the perfect plan so the end result is...A successfully closed deal, with multiple referrals from your client!
5. Advise: Now that you know your client (KYC), you know what they want and don't want, and you know how to get it for them, guide them through the process of buying or selling a home in a manner that leaves them feeling like they learned something in the process and chose the most valuable agent on the planet.
6. Assume Nothing! I hate it when a doctor tells you something is wrong and they use terms that only Doogie Howser would know. Just because terms like SFR, CC, ROI, Cap Rate, etc may be in our daily lives, it does not mean our clients are privy to real estate lingo. Often times our egos get in the way and we forget to confirm with our clients that they understand everything. Our clients have egos too and may not want to admit they do not know something, leaving them a bit uneasy. Always confirm with your clients that they understand what is going on, this will keep the communication and trust flowing.
So if the tourism board in Cambodia can communicate clearly, I surely hope I can in LALA land.
With a real estate background in USA, China, India and Mexico, Alison has acquired a wealth of knowledge in acquisitions, dispositions, development and market research across the globe.
Prior to working with Sotheby’s International Realty, she worked with top Fortune 500 companies and developers (Morgan Stanley, Gerrity International, Wal-Mart, SCITIC CP, Mantri). Her cultivation of strong international relationships has helped develop invaluable skills which she incorporates into her residential transactions here in her hometown of Los Angeles. Her exceptional knowledge of her markets, refined negotiating skills, unique marketing strategies, and personalized asset valuation techniques are just a short list of what she provides each client.
Alison began her career in 2003 with a mentor in a highly successful commercial developer and owner of several multi-family unit developments, then transitioned into commercial real estate acquisitions and development abroad. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and a Certificate in Business Administration, both from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
In and outside her career, Alison has a special place in her heart for senior citizens and holds the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation. She serves as a Founding Board Member and donor for Westchester Playa Village, a non-profit organization assisting senior citizens remain in their homes as they age, and is also a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training in support of her sister, a survivor of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.