Home buyers, home sellers, and even agents call me all the time to ask my advice on some real estate matter. These aren’t necessarily homebuyers or home sellers that I am already working with, and these aren’t agents from my own brokerage. These are people who’ve come across my name or heard that I have expertise in a specific area and they seek my advice. I’m eager to help, and the questions are usually pretty straightforward and can be answered in just a few minutes.
Usually, if the caller is a buyer or seller, I ask whether the caller is already working with a real estate agent in his or her community. Or, if the caller is an agent, I ask whether the caller has spoken with his or her broker before giving me a call. It’s funny, but in most of these situations, the caller makes some sort of disparaging remark about his or her agent or even the broker. Often times, the caller says that the agent is not available or has not had time to return the phone call.
It is because of these disparaging remarks that I often wonder: If what sets a good agent apart from a not-so-good agent is merely answering the phone or making time for a client, then it shouldn’t be too hard to be that special agent, that classy agent that provides amazing customer service.
3 Ways to Beat the Bunch with Customer Service
It seems to me that there are several things that agents can do in order to create that awesome relationship with their clients; some of these suggestions are just as easy as answering the phone and making time to meet a client. Here are three ways that agents can stay classy:
- Never defer to email when delivering bad news. Didn’t get the property of their dreams? Didn’t get approved for the loan? Foreclosure date was not postponed? Buyer is backing out of the deal? Those are all messages that need to be delivered in person or on the telephone: not in a phone message, not over email, not by an assistant, and definitely not via text.
- Admit what you don’t know. A huge component of a real estate agent’s success is due to his or her trustworthiness. This means that people can depend upon you because you are honest and effective. As such, you need to tell people what you know and what you don’t. Don’t take a commercial listing if don’t have experience in that area, and don’t promise that you can get a short sale approved if you’ve never negotiated one before. Instead, explain to your prospective client that something is not within your area of expertise, and that you would not want home or her to be disappointed if you could not deliver. So, you would be more than happy to refer them to an excellent specialist that can assist them.
- Handle rejections with poise and self-control. Sit on your hands or tape your mouth shut, if necessary. I once had an agent get so angry about the negotiations that he said, “Put your money where your mouth is.” Instead of spitting bullets, accept the facts as hurdles on the road to success. You can go around them or you can jump over them. But, don’t stop and definitely do not throw a temper tantrum.
When dealing with objections (no matter who you are dealing with), you will have great success if you can leave your drama at the door. Like Ron Burgundy says, “You stay classy, San Diego.”