Have you ever been in a situation where you needed help from customer service, but the representative was too busy reading from their “script” to actually listen to you? Or they failed to understand your problems, or brushed your concerns aside? Of course you have. Unfortunately, this also happens with real estate professionals.
Inman News recently published an article about “4 personal gestures to leave a bigger impact on your clients.” While listening was counted as just one of them, it’s important enough that we’re focusing on that point and sharing our own discussion.
First, let’s consider how impersonal the industry makes things sound. Homes are “inventory” to real estate agents, and statistics are everything. Yet to the majority of your clients, home buying and home selling is a highly emotional process.
Clients are not always looking for the biggest, best, top-everything agent to do business with. Quite frankly, there would be far fewer agents in the industry if this were the case. Clients turn to agents for professional guidance, but they also want an agent who will truly listen.
Think back to the customer service example. When you finally get a call center representative who truly listens and understands your issue, and has intelligent questions and solutions, you don’t stop the conversation and grill them on their credentials. Imagine saying, “Hold it, before we go any further, I need to know how many calls you take in a day, how many of those calls are escalated to your manager, and how long your customers are placed on hold!”
Yet those are some of the metrics that customer service reps are measured by. The difference is, you only know how good they are, by how effective they are at serving you. And when you get a savvy service rep, you never want to let them go! You want their name and phone extension, because, finally, someone in this sea of madness knows what they’re doing.
Imagine a real estate client being so pleased by you, that they never want to let you go. That whenever they have a question about real estate, about home value, or about buying or selling, or know someone who wants to buy or sell, they reach out to YOU. Because you listened and cared about them.
It all begins with being a skilled listener. Before you launch into your listing presentation, before you rattle off statistics, ask your clients about the reason they are selling, and they reason for the timeline they have in mind. Ask about their expectations and their concerns. Ask about their long-range plans. Given them the opportunity to share as much as they are willing to share, rather than cutting them off with quick answers.
And when you tour a seller’s home for the first time, ask questions, gather information, and keep things upbeat. Nothing is more demeaning and discouraging to a homeowner than being told how much is “wrong” with their home right off the bat. Not everyone is financially equipped – or has the time, ability and energy – to tackle a list of repairs and upgrades.
By listening to your client, and asking intelligent, compassionate questions, you’ll discover much more about their motives for selling, including their sense of urgency, and what kind of emotional attachment they have with the home. All this helps you understand what sort of recommendations would be most effective for meeting their goals. You’ll also have some idea how cooperative – or resistant – they might be when it comes to home showings, open houses, and negotiations.
Skillful listening helps you cultivate empathy and compassion for your clients and their situation. What are your clients gaining with this change? What are they giving up? What is the best possible solution for their needs – and how can you help them?
We hope these insights are helpful to you! And when you need marketing, web design or social media help, RealSupport is here for you. Contact us today for your free consultation!
Copywriting & Marketing Specialist