Simply put, one of the most important parts of our job is to be there for our clients. From the first day, without fail. Making that responsibility a central part of our business DNA ensures that everyone gets from A to Z, without missing a step, without stress, and with a happy ending.
While the details of our processes vary for buyers and sellers, the main ideas are the same - anticipate needs for information and action, communicate them clearly, provide any needed assistance, and follow-up promptly.
Whether buyer or seller, we start our client relationships with a thorough discussion of our clients' goals. With that in mind, we identify what is going to happen, and lay out a road map and timeline for achieving success. We ensure that our clients understand the process and everyone's responsibilities. And then we begin.
We use both written and verbal communication to keep ourselves and our clients on track. We'll use e-mail, texting and/or phone calls at every step, depending on our clients' preferences.
As an example, when a home goes under contract, for either buyers or sellers, we prepare a written dates memo, identifying each step of the transaction process, whose responsibility it is, when it needs to be completed, and what resources are available for making it happen. As each date approaches, we'll contact our clients, most likely by phone, to check that everything is happening as it should.
Another example - with listings, we'll provide a written weekly status report, with a look at the market segment we're involved with, a summary of our marketing efforts, feedback from showings, and any other relevant information. But we also have at least a weekly phone discussion with our sellers.
We use internal check lists, flow charts and a big whiteboard with all client dates and deadlines to keep ourselves on track, and we run internal status checks on our progress at least twice weekly to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. It's maybe not the slickest system, but it works to ensure that none of our clients ever gets the feeling that they are being ignored or that they are in the dark about things that are happening.
And once we close, we stay in touch. We'll contact our clients 3 days, 3 weeks and 3 months after a closing to ensure that everything is going well. If there is a problem, we're on it. After that, we stay in touch through our client communication program, with e-mails, newsletters, Sunset Magazine subscriptions, and other methods of letting them know we're still here and always available for their real estate needs.
Simply getting a client from A to Z isn't enough in the long run. It's up to us to ensure that it was a transparent and enjoyable experience, and good communication is the foundation for achieving that result. Our systems help make that happen.