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Are You Building Relationships with Clients in Real Estate

Real Estate Agent with HomeStarr Realty RS143922A

When selling and listing Real Estate,  we also want to build relationships. Do we accomplish this by sending everything through DocuSign instead of meeting our clients face-to-face and explaining the paperwork? 

Was this the original intent of DocuSign, or did we get lazy? Yes, it is convenient, but translation needs to be recovered somehow. Do people understand what they are signing?  

It is a magnificent tool; many people in specific situations cannot sign in person, so it is perfection. Is it necessary to use it in every transaction? 

Why have we lost the value of face-to-face contact with our clients and explaining contracts? Are we building relationships? Call me old fashion. I am sure there are many transactions where the clients only see the agent to see the property or the initial interview, and then after that, everything is done by e-sign. That is fine for some things, but others need a personal touch. Many people want to avoid being bothered and will not be, which is fine. I will tell you many crave that face-to-face contact, and they will remember you and thank you.  

Are you building relationships with your clients in Real Estate?  

If you are not sitting across from people and looking into their eyes, how do you know how they feel? How do you overcome their fears and make them feel confident? 

How do you read their body language when something uncomfortable happens and give them an educated answer to what bothers them? As I said, many situations could be done, and relationships can be built and have been built without face-to-face contact. Still, some people need the contract explained personally and need to know what happens in certain situations. 

Their minds start to drift, and they begin to worry about information that other people who become experts have filled their heads with nonsense, so you have to soothe and smooth their worries. 

Many others have walked this road before and do not need this, but believe me, they appreciate the time because selling and buying a house is very stressful. It is one of the most costly transactions they will make in a lifetime. The extra time you spend will be greatly appreciated and remembered. 


Posted by

Hannah Williams is known throughout Philadelphia as HelpfulHannah – and if you’ve spent more than five minutes with her, you know exactly why. She’s an expert at anticipating people’s needs, she has a real feel for real estate, and she’s an accomplished problem-solver.

Hannah has been helping people buy and sell homes all over Philadelphia since 1984. Many of her clients purchased their first, second and even third homes with her expert help, and Hannah wouldn’t have it any other way.


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Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Hannah Williams ,

So many agents don't realize this! Relationships are everything in this business if you expect repeat business! I just heard from a client I sold in 2008 and he is thinking of selling. He told me he would never call anyone but me.... Made my day!

Feb 17, 2024 04:28 PM
Hannah Williams

Dorie Dillard Austin TX  He would never think of calling anyone else but YOU!  I am sure you took the extra time to develop a relationship with him. The additional time you take comes back to you. 

Not Surprised you are the best Dorie 

Feb 17, 2024 04:36 PM
Elyse Berman, PA

I'm not surprised either Dorie Dillard Austin TX .  You are the best!  That's why he would never think of calling anyone else.

Feb 19, 2024 10:47 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Feb 17, 2024 06:34 PM
Hannah Williams

Thank you so much, Kathy Streib, for including me. I am so honored. I am on my way out the door for a funeral but will return later.

Feb 18, 2024 06:35 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Hannah Williams  I have had so many repeat clients over the decades because I believe in building long term relationships.... interestingly half of my clients I have never met, all e-mails, texts and phone calls, Endre

Feb 17, 2024 10:04 PM
Hannah Williams

Endre Barath, Jr. As I said, many situations could be done, and relationships can be built and have been built without face-to-face contact.

Feb 18, 2024 06:33 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

You have solid advice and I am sure you build a lot of great relationships with your clients!

Feb 18, 2024 04:38 AM
Hannah Williams

I am sure you also have Brian England Thanks for your comment 

Feb 18, 2024 11:06 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

There is a place for docusign type services - they are great when people are not in the same place as we are, or two signers won't be in the same place. But nothing beats face-to-face explanations and personal review of the documents. When people get docusign documents, very few read them. They just click "sign". Even if they are instructed not to do so until reviewing with their agent.

Feb 18, 2024 04:49 AM
Hannah Williams

Kat Palmiotti  They seldom read the documents; even if they do, many do not understand the terminology. I agree with you, and it seems you are with me. There is a time and place for everything. I am not saying not to use it as it is an amazing tool. Is it necessary to use it for all transactions?  You make an excellent point . 

Feb 18, 2024 11:13 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Hanna,
Time is always of the essence in real estate, and I think Docusign was originally intended more for efficiency when buyers and/or sellers were out of town. It was not intended to replace the face-to-face interaction between the agent and clients. I believe a heavy reliance on Docusign places a much higher level of liability on the agents and agencies due to the reduced communication. We have a fiduciary responsibility to do what is best for the clients. You can't do that without personal communication and interaction. I've had clients willing to sign documents right in front of me without reading them. I'd stop them and say, "Let's go over this, so you fully understand." My last words after the signature were, "Do you feel good about this." If they said "Yes", I would proceed to deliver the documents. Any hesitation required more discussion. You can't get those kinds of readings of body language with Docusign.

Feb 18, 2024 06:13 AM
Hannah Williams

Carol Williams You are a very wise lady. In my humble opinion, there is a high level of liability placed on the agents, more than they are aware of. Unless, as you have stated, we are dealing with clients that are out of the area.

An attorney had me sign an agreement with DocuSign I trusted him. Later, I was told his license had been suspended. He told me he was retiring and handing over his practice to his sons. It was a legal document that I really should not have signed. 

Please do not get me wrong DocuSign is a wonderful tool and is a blessing to Realtors. There are times I think we should meet with our clients and explain the paperwork    

Feb 18, 2024 11:29 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Hannah, Relationships remain pivotal in real estate. In-person interactions like they used to be, hold significant sway in the market!

Feb 18, 2024 06:46 AM
Hannah Williams

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400  I am not knocking DocuSign. It is a fantastic tool. I use it many times, but I also sit many of my clients down and meet them Face to Face when they can and explain the paperwork. 

Feb 18, 2024 11:33 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Hannah, even though I do explain the online contracts to clients on the phone, showing homes and sharing all the pertinent information for a transaction and building that relationship is so important!  Great post.

Feb 18, 2024 06:53 AM
Hannah Williams

Joan Cox  People are making a huge decision. Many times, their heads are swimming with what-ifs. I wonder if I can sit down with them and answer their concerns, work out some numbers, and tell them a few stories to calm their nerves. Then, in the end, my job is easier.   

Feb 18, 2024 11:40 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

People just seem to consistently be in a rush and there are sometimes when the brakes need to be applied as the stop could be like hitting a brick wall, and the result is a financial mess.

Feb 18, 2024 07:03 AM
Hannah Williams

Ed Silva, 203-206-0754: I know you have a calming effect on people, and I am sure you could avoid the problem before they hit that wall. 

Feb 18, 2024 11:44 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

My 45+ yrs in Real Estate has been built on this . Much of what I do today is either Past Clients or former real estate agents 

Feb 18, 2024 07:23 AM
Hannah Williams

Michael J. Perry: You have answered my question! You are building Relationships.

Feb 18, 2024 11:48 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Nothing is better than face to face contacts for building relationships.

Have an outstanding week.

Feb 18, 2024 07:33 AM
Hannah Williams

Roy Kelley  You have an excellent week also!

Feb 18, 2024 11:48 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Hannah and great blog to share with us here in the Rain.  I work hard for my clients and try to explain the contracts that they understand.


Feb 18, 2024 08:15 AM
Hannah Williams

Will Hamm  Thank you, Will. I do not doubt that you explain your contracts to your clients so that they understand what they are signing. 

Feb 18, 2024 11:51 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Good morning. We also need to build authentic relationships with other professional, liked minded real estate agents such as those on AR as well as those within our local geographic areas. I am so glad to have met for example Candice A. Donofrio who is truly a professional and not to mention a hoot and a half.

Feb 18, 2024 10:55 AM
Hannah Williams

Good Afternoon, Leanne Smith. I have always done my best to build authentic relationships with other Real Estate agents in Active Rain and my Community. They do not have to think like me, Leanne, as I am always open-minded to learning something new. If I ever met Candice A. Donofrio, I would adore her. 

Feb 18, 2024 12:02 PM
Candice A. Donofrio


Feb 18, 2024 12:08 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Hannah technology is a marvelous thing, but loss of personal contact is one of technologies major drawbacks.   This is a people business, and requires personal contact in order to grow our business.

Feb 18, 2024 07:13 PM
Hannah Williams

The mortgage person I use, George Souto, met with my clients in the office. They were very unsure of what they wanted to do, and he was very patient in explaining several different scenarios for them to choose from. They were very grateful - Several agents in the office asked for his card and were astonished that he met in person with clients and did not just have them fill in forms on a computer 

Feb 19, 2024 11:34 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

If one wants to build a referral network than it only makes sense that THAT means building long term relationships.  That's what I've been about my entire career - building relationships. Electronic contracts do not distract from that purpose but rather makes it easier for clients, especially if they travel a lot and/or we need to chose and move fast in a multiple offer situation etc.

Feb 19, 2024 10:03 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Anna "Banana" Kruchten  IT works for many transactions. It builds long-lasting relationships, as many people do not have the time to sit down Face to Face, which is what DocuSign was designed for. what I am saying is that it was not designed for the first-time buyer who lives down the street or could stop by the office on their way home from work. Perhaps the agent could stop by their house and explain the changes or not. I use it frequently, mainly for my sellers in different parts of the country. It is so convenient. So much better than mailing.    

Feb 19, 2024 11:46 AM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

Hannah Williams I think a lot of this came about during Covid.  Even when I do send a document to be signed, I'm on the phone with them explaining what they're signing.  Often, they're out of state or out of the area.   But personal relationships are important in this business.  

Feb 19, 2024 11:52 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Elyse Berman, PA  : I hear you and agree.  Personal relationships are so meaningful. I think I was misunderstood. I use DocuSign for clients who are out of town, but if they are nearby, I will try to meet with them at the office or home. 

Feb 19, 2024 02:54 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

It is important to spend face-to-face time with a client. Having said that, the paperwork involved in either a purchase or sale transaction is voluminous...almost overwhelming. The only way to get everything signed in a timely manner is with electronic signatures. I send paper work to my clients by attachment for their review - and discussion, if needed. Then, they get the same forms to sign electronically. 

Feb 22, 2024 04:02 PM
Hannah Williams

John Juarez  Everyone must do what works best for them. Thank you for taking the time to give your opinion 

Feb 24, 2024 11:26 AM
Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Homes

Thanks for a great post Hannah Williams. I totally agree. Nothing can totallyreplace the human interaction and face to face communication. 

Feb 24, 2024 05:28 AM
Hannah Williams

Thank you, Joyce Marsh it does take extra time and perhaps extra paper but I cannot tell you how many clients thank me for taking the time to do so 

Feb 24, 2024 11:21 AM