Transactions pay bills, relationships build businesses.
If you are a principal I think you would agree, you can’t be successful in the real estate industry and not be a people person. This is partly because trust is such a huge factor – your clients are putting their biggest asset in your hands with the understanding that you will do what is right. You need to genuinely want the best for them in order to manage this responsibility.
“Business success depends, like any relationship, on personal connections. Building trust, understanding the client needs, and connection are essential”
The necessity of being a people person is also because the true greats of real estate have long-standing relationships with their clients. This is essential in the property game more than any other business, because each client’s transactions are spaced out with gaps of up to ten years.
After many years helping real estate businesses succeed, I’ve noticed that any real estate agent worth their salt doesn’t focus on generating transactions, but instead puts time and energy into nurturing relationships. Real Estate might look like a numbers game and it feels good to be at the top of your game, but if you want to stay that way your customer service has to come from the heart.
Making those personal connection, building trust, and understanding client needs is essential for longevity in real estate. Here are five quick ideas to allow you to demonstrate that your clients mean something to you.
1. Ask questions (and listen to the answers)
Find out what makes your clients tick. Get an understanding of what they do for a living, their passions in life and what things mean the most to them. Jot down a few notes in your CRM to jog your memory for the next time that you speak and refer to what they’ve told you in the past during your conversations.
If you are like me and truly love getting to know people, you won’t need the notes with your best clients.
2. Share your contacts
Most vendors have a high sale price in mind, but not much of an idea of how to achieve top dollar. As well as providing the standard advice of decluttering, freshening up the paint and tidying the garden, put your clients in touch with your network of trade providers. Get them a great deal on that deck repair and introduce them to the best tree pruner in your area. This will take a huge amount of stress out of the selling process for them.
3. Go the extra mile
As with your family and close friends, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to demonstrate that you value your relationship with someone.
Additional and unexpected services can really make an impression. Make the process as smooth as possible for your vendor; help them present their property to the best advantage. For example forming partnerships with local services such as interior designer and landscapers to help prepare houses for sale so your client has a few less things to think about.
Moving day for a new homeowner can feel like a footnote to you – however this is an oft-overlooked opportunity to leave people with a very favourable impression of your agency. A meal voucher at a local restaurant, fresh flowers or a complimentary pre-move cleaner will make people feel cared for – and give them a reason to refer you to their friends.
4. Refer them business
Friends help each other out. Your position as a real estate agent also enables you to be a matchmaker extraordinaire. Got a client who does interiors? Introduce them to the couple who bought that fixer-upper. Put the client who mentioned he’s starting a business in touch with the vendor who specialises in marketing for start-ups.
Use your client’s services yourself if you can and make sure you give them a great recommendation on platforms like LinkedIn. As they say, “what goes around, comes around”.
5. Provide helpful information
Even though most property transactions only happen every few years, the ever-changing property market is always a hot topic. Providing updates is one way to stay connected with your clients.
Create a newsletter that shares market updates with your clients and also gives them tips for maintaining their home, minimising their tax (if they’re an investor) and staying on top of trends for inside and outside their house. Remind your clients / friends that you’re never more than a phone call away if they have a question, even if they’re not thinking of selling.
If you are a principal and you want to discover more ways to create lasting relationships with your clients and build a brilliant reputation for your real estate agency at The Business of Real Estate conference – tickets on sale here.