Show Your Buyers and Sellers You Care
I just returned from Phoenix for the 2017 CRS Sellabration convention. It was 2 very full days of intense learning from top producing agents from around the country on a wide range of topics focused on systems, marketing, operations and leadership, and performance and development.
I’ll share my top takeaways in a future post.
I had dinner my last night there with 2 good friends who are part of my mastermind group, and the question came up - what was your biggest takeaway?
I only had to think for a few seconds. My immediate thought, from all I heard, was we need to show our clients we care.
Sounds simple enough doesn’t it?
After listening to speakers about their strategies to succeed in listing presentations, farming strategies, communication, systems, staying in touch with clients, and other topics, I think much of it boils down to showing buyers and sellers we care. It starts before we even meet them, and continues until closing and beyond, unless we decide to stop, or we drop the ball.
Here are just some of the ways we can show we care about our buyers and sellers:
This is a big one, and it’s a key component from the very first contact - an email from your website, a call, a text message – and throughout the purchase or sale transaction and beyond. A slow response, or worse a lack of one, could easily send a message you don’t care. Your intentions might be good about following up, but the proof is in your actions and timing.
We all know the stats about following up very quickly with Internet leads. But how quickly do you respond to your buyers and sellers when they have a question or reach out to you for some reason? Responding immediately may not be realistic, but many hours later or the next day may send the wrong message to your clients. Responsiveness is key.
Asking questions of buyers and sellers is another important indicator that you care, especially during the early phase when you are getting acquainted, or even when deciding if you are going to work together or not. Buyers and sellers have important issues they are concerned about, and loads of questions, and it’s pretty important that we identify what those issues are and address them – why are they selling, what are their plans, what are their most important needs in a new house. Obviously it ties in with listening well!
This is another key item. And while we all know how important this skill is, I bet there are times a buyer or seller may have the sense their agent is not listening to them – a question not being responded to; a comment made that has nothing to do with what the client was asking; interrupting or cutting them short; talking too much; not asking them questions. And what about your body language when face to face? You may feel you care, but your actions might suggest otherwise.
You have to show you are listening, and paying attention.
Providing Information and Explanations
Providing the information your clients need, whether asked for or not, or explaining things to them so they understand, shows you care. Perhaps even more so when you anticipate an issue or problem that might arise. It demonstrates you are thinking about THEM and their needs, and that you want to help them solve a problem or avoid one. And isn’t that an important part of our role when representing buyers and sellers?
Staying in Touch After the Transaction Ends
Easy to do but often not done. What message are you sending if you are not staying in touch? That all the client is was a transaction and a commission? Hmmm. There are lots of ways to be in touch after closing – cards, calls, sharing information that is helpful to them as homeowners, pop-bys with small gifts, client appreciation parties.
What’s appropriate and comfortable will depend on you, and perhaps your clients, but not staying in touch sends a pretty clear message about not caring. I know I can improve in this area a bit.
Telling Them the Truth
They might not like what we have to share – the price you want for your house is not realistic given the market; you will not find a home for that price in the area you are interested in - but being truthful is pretty darn important. And it’s an ethical issue, too, if we aren’t.
I think, fundamentally, that buyers and sellers do appreciate honesty and that we care enough to not misrepresent things to them even if they are not pleased with what we have to tell them. You don’t want your doctor to lie to you, do you, even if you don’t like the diagnosis?!
And here’s one last thought. Before you even establish a relationship with a buyer or seller, your lead generation may or may not show you care. If you are using drip campaigns make sure your message is crafted for the recipient. A blanket drip email to all prospects won’t work – they are each unique. The wrong email shows you aren’t listening to them and their needs, which may imply you don’t care and you haven’t even met them! And they won’t either. Responsiveness is important here, too. The faster the better.
We’ve all heard the Roosevelt quote that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” No doubt it’s not just specific to the real estate business! Demonstrating that caring from start to finish to our buyers and sellers, in as many ways as possible, can create an unforgetable relationship.
How do YOU show you care for your buyers and sellers?
Are there things you can add to this list?