Build Relationships -- Talk to Your Client

Real Estate Agent

Many agents today are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. I know some have come up with catchy slogans, spent thousands on glossy magazine ads, walked many miles knocking on doors, etc. I'm here to tell you those things work the agents have received a decent return on their investment and I encourage them to keep doing it. However none of those things will retain a client. Those things are your foot in the door. In order to stay in the house you have to develop a relationship and a big part of any relationship is communication (just ask any divorce attorney.)

I was talking to an agent the other day and he was telling me how he was going to start walking neighborhoods to beef up his inventory. Out of curiosity I asked him how many listings he had presently. He told me 14, but his friend in South Florida who had been doing this had 36 listings.

Now I think 14 or 36 listings is great and something I would love to see but I said, "egad, I could never keep that many clients regularly updated on the activity (or lack of activity) on their property."

Would you be surprised if the other agent's response was, "I tell my clients they will only hear from me if I have a contract?"

Well, whether you were or not - I was shocked. Then I thought back to how many of my client's have told me they really appreciated my weekly updates even when there was nothing to tell them. The one's who had been listed with someone else prior to me have told me they never received any information about showings or market activity. They sometimes wondered if their property was even being marketed anywhere besides the MLS.

I build my business on relationships. I could take a listing contract, throw the property in MLS and stick a sign in the yard and wait patiently for the offers to come in, every six months asking for an extension. But that isn't what I offer. Clients want my expert opinion, they want to be updated on what I am doing to market the property, and they want to know if anybody has looked at it and what they thought of it, the price and how it compares to others on the market.

I update every client weekly. I tell them the general activity, the number of showings and any feedback, where the property is being advertised and how many times the property has been viewed on various web sites. I also let them know if there are any special events going on and how that will impact traffic. And I give them my opinion on where they stand in price, activity, and market position. Sometimes I will suggest a change in price or plan of action.

The important thing to remember is to talk to your clients, make them a part of the plan and build a relationship. Think about it; what is the reason you use your accountant or financial planner? Is it because he takes your money and then you never hear from him again? Or is it because you like the guy and he knows something about your plans and goals?

Interested in buying or selling a home in northeast Lake County Florida, including Eustis, Mount Dora, Howey-in-the-Hills, Tavares and Sorrento contact JoEllen E. Stranger-Thorsen, REALTOR® for all your real estate needs. Visit my website.


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Roseann Annis
Prudential Homesale Services Group - Camp Hill, PA

JoEllen, you couldn't be more accurate in stating that quantity does not necessarily mean quality.  I agree totally with your philosophy of doing the best for fewer clients is much more effective and meaningful than providing meager service to the masses.  We are about building relationships and treating clients how we would like to be treated. Finally, what good are skills, experience, expertise, and resources if we don't put them to use?  Great blog!

Jan 31, 2009 08:29 AM #1
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.

JoEllen- I definitely think clients want to hear updates, even if there's not much to say. As a client, you don't want to feel ignored or forgotten. I think personal communication is key! Great post!

Jan 31, 2009 09:07 AM #2
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JoEllen Stranger-Thorsen

Lake County, FL
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