I'm a firm believer that the quality of service you render to your clients is a major key to your success. No matter how great your marketing techniques are, if you don't serve your clients well, you will soon receive a reputation that will limit the size of your clientele rather than increase it.
I am working with a client who is selling a home in another community. He picked an agent in his community because of the promises in her marketing. The results were disastrous. Sixty days and almost no showings in a red hot market. She didn't live up to her marketing. His new agent didn't have a great marketing machine behind her that was designed to gain clients, but she had a reputation for results. Their house went under contract in a few days.
How do you serve your clients best?
- Be intentional. One of the most common compliments my clients leave on online sites for me is that they felt like they were my only client. That is rarely the case, but once I take a client on, they become a priority. I always answer their emails, texts and phone calls as quickly as possible, and they are never left out of the loop. I'm intentional.
- Be honest. I had to have an honest conversation with a client this week that was difficult. This wonderful family has very specific needs. They probably have more parameters in their home search than any client I have. Finding what they want is like finding a needle in a haystack. We've looked at a lot of homes, and they've made one offer that they were out bid on. The bigger problem is that they only want a house payment of $XXXX. They're approved for much more than that payment. The houses they're looking at exceed the payment, and no smart seller is going to discount his home 20-40%, which is what it would take for them to buy what they want. I showed them a house, and I told them, "This is what your desired payment buys." They were crushed, but at the same time, they had an awakening. Their desires were unrealistic in our market. We're adjusting our search features to be more realistic. It was tought, but I was honest.
- Be encouraging. I have another client who is nearly depressed that she can't find what she wants in her price range. I continuously remind her that the house she wants may not be on the market yet. Be at peace and we'll find it when it shows up. Sometimes it's hard to be honest and encouraging, but I try to be encouraging.
- Be present. Listen to your clients when they talk. That's especially true when they talk to each other. They will give you all of the information you need to help them succeed if you're listening. Couples talk all the time during showings. One of my most recent sales involved a couple who wanted to buy a home that had a major obsolescence issue outside of the home that will make it tough to sell when they sell it. I tried and tried to steer them to a much better house a block away that had better features and a more likely sale-ability down the road. No chance. This particular house had one feature that was first priority in the wife's mind. There was no amount of reasoning the advantages and disadvantages. She was locked in and bought it. She was happy, and I was present.
Your reputation will be a driving force in your market once people know you exist. I use online marketing and minimal print marketing, but my business has been shifting from new clients who saw an ad to new clients who had a friend or family member who used me. The testimony from friends and family has been strong enough to sway them. On one recent occasion, my past clients joined the search for their friend. That was a great day of catching up and making new relationships.
Be intentional. Be honest. Be encouraging, and be present, and you will serve your clients well. I promise.