As a real estate professional, you deal with different types of clients in every single transaction. And in order for you to build rapport, gain their trust and finally close a deal with them, you should be able to overcome communication gaps or barriers.
We’ve compiled typical scenarios and tips that can help you achieve #relationshipgoals with your clients:
1. Lacking interest with client’s needs
One of the pain points I’ve experienced when I was looking for a home was dealing with real estate professionals who didn’t take the time to understand my needs. They were so focused only on closing a sale that I even encountered an agent whose first statement to me was,
Maganda mga units namin, ma’am. Bili ka na. P5,000 reservation fee lang kailangan mo.
While the initial low down payment sounded a bit tempting, I was surprised because the agent just went right ahead and did a hard sell, without even asking why I needed to buy a house and lot. I found her attitude presumptuous that I politely declined her invitation to discuss the property details with me.
Ace that act: Ask first what your client’s reason for buying a home is and what exactly are they looking for. This way, you avoid turning potential homebuyer right off on the onset.
You can also ask the following questions to guide your clients to give answers that you need to better serve them:
- Will it be for personal use or an investment?
- Are they open to other locations or are they decided on a particular neighborhood?
- Will they need to move-in soon or not really?
2. Lacking sufficient knowledge about the industry and projects you are offering
I came across one agent during my home search where I felt like I knew more about the project being offered than he does. This made me decide it wasn’t worth buying a real estate property with him since he may be giving me wrong details.
Ace that act: Showing lack of knowledge makes homebuyers distrust you. As a real estate professional, you must know your product inside and out since your primary goal as the expert is to make sure your client feels confident in you and the home you are selling. Always do your research about the property you are promoting.
3. Using real estate jargon or sales spiel at a hurried pace
A broker I was talking to asked if I was available for “tripping” on weekdays, and I just stared at her blankly because I had no idea what a tripping was.
Another agent also discussed the specifics of a project’s sample computation without stopping until we reached the last page of the document. I wasn’t able to ask my questions or clarify the computations done on the document.
Clients, especially first-time homebuyers, are clueless when it comes to over-complicated, unfamiliar and/or technical terms. Only assume if your client ask specific questions about them, because you’d know that they’ve done their homework and would like to consult with you about them.
Ace that act: If needed, take a moment to translate some of the real estate jargons or technicalities you use in your sales spiel in simple terms.
Pause in between spiels, and ask the client if they understand what you are saying. It is also helpful if you use the client’s terms for a particular real estate technicality, so both of you are on the same page.
You should inject life in your voice and sound friendlier so that you can encourage clients to listen to you.
4. Not focusing on what the client is saying
As a real estate pro, you most probably handle more than one client and have schedules for the day that involve meeting with more than one homebuyer per day.
While many agent and brokers have mastered the art of multi-tasking, when you are with a homebuyer, make sure your focus is only on them right in that moment so you don’t miss out on any of their verbal and nonverbal cues.
Ace that act: Show respect to your client when they are with you. Put your mobile phones in silent mode and keep it.
When you listen attentively, you are able to come up with pertinent follow-up questions that may further help the homebuyer find out which property is perfect for them. This is also a signal that you are really listening and are interested in what they are saying.
Also use positive language, whether in words or in action. Make eye contact frequently and phrase your answers in a more positive slant.
5. Not stopping answering questions, especially when these are too sensitive
When you listen attentively to your client, you will also know if you are not asking enough or are asking too many questions. You should be able to strike out a balance that will allow you to ferret out information, without making the homebuyer feel like they are being interrogated.
Ace that act: As the expert, you should be able to impart the idea to your client that will help them in their homebuying decisions. Create a list of questions that will give you an idea of what the homebuyer is looking for, if he or she is open to other suggestions, and other pertinent details.
6. Overloading your client with too much, or too little information about a project
Many real estate agents, and even brokers, shy away from answering common questions from homebuyers – upfront costs, negotiable prices, and other-financial related issues. Some even deliberately withhold information such as other inclusive fees, especially when dealing with clueless, first-time homebuyers.
Ace that act: Volunteer to give the most important information. You may start off with,
This topic is crucial in your homebuying journey. We need to discuss it so you’ll know what you are committing to before you proceed with buying.
Because these types of agents are far and between, your clients will appreciate your honesty and respect you for it.
7. Doing a sales pitch in unfamiliar SMS language (e.g. jeje-speak)
Imagine my horror when I received this text from an agent,
Not only did the agent use text slang, she was pressuring me to pay the reservation fee. She also called frequently just to inquire when I want to do another tripping. Before completely cutting off communication with her, I told her I was not interested in the property. But her persistence went on that I decided to block her.
Ace that act: If most of your communication is done through text, be professional when conversing with your client at all times, even when they are the ones doing the text slang. Spell the words when necessary. Practice courtesy when mobile messaging your clients.
8. Calling a client at ungodly or business hours
Cold calling or following up with a client can be awkward and a bit daunting, especially when you don’t know how to do it properly. However, some agents tend to call at the most inconvenient time, like during in the wee hours of the morning or during breakfast or dinner. These calls often lead to unpleasant responses or not getting a response at all.
Ace that act: It would be imperative to text and introduce yourself first before calling. If you have to start communicating with a call, ask first if it would be convenient for them to talk to you for a minute or two. Take note of what communication method the client prefers in your follow-up calls.
9. Not showing appreciation after your conversation
For some agents, basic acknowledgement is often missing during the initial contact. This is also prevalent in cases wherein the client is the first one who had gotten in touch.
Ace that act: As you finish your meeting or conversation with your client, shake their hands or simply say, “Thank you!” Show your gratitude for your clients because they took time to listen to what you are saying.
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