Published by Kartik Subramaniam
Almost more than in any other industry, people tend to come into the world of real estate with many pre-conceived notions about what their day-to-day jobs will be like - and which factors are truly important.
Yes, you're helping someone navigate a massive financial purchase - certainly one of the biggest they're likely to make in their entire lives. If you're helping someone sell a home, you're going a long way towards assisting them when it comes to securing their financial future. If you're helping them buy a home, you're potentially allowing them to start a family in a wonderful new place, or to finally begin to build that life they've always seen for themselves. All of this is true.
But a career as a realtor is also about so much more than that. If nothing else, real estate is a business of working with people.
Therefore, more than even an individual sale or a particularly successful quarter, success in terms of real estate will depend on your ability to build relationships. It's crucial to know how to set up and maintain a good foundation with your clients, as the more you do this the more likely it is that you'll have a steady stream of new people coming right to your door.
By far, one of the best ways to build stronger, longer lasting relationships with your customers involves understanding that listening is a fundamental part of creating a good working client experience.
If you come into a situation and try to cram someone into a "one size fits all" box when it comes to looking for a new home, they're going to start to see you as cold and cynical - because that's exactly what you'll be. People will quickly pick up on the fact that you're not really trying to help them accomplish their goals because you're unconcerned with their wants and needs to begin with.
Instead, you need to ask the right questions and, above all else, listen to the answers. Why is someone looking for a home? What features are important to them and why? Where do they see themselves in five years? Ten years? Are they planning on starting a family at some point in the future?
Along the same lines, open communication is key when it comes to working with clients. If you take someone to a home and they decide they don't like it, don't just rush them along to the next one. Have a conversation with them and figure out what they didn't like and, more importantly, why. Talk about their goals and create an environment where they feel comfortable coming to you with questions, concerns, and advice.
Again - talk with your clients about more personal areas of their lives, such as their family and hobbies, to create a rapport and connection. Let them know that you see them as more than just another client.Never forget that people come to real estate agents because they need legitimate help and guidance. They're often feeling overwhelmed and have more questions than they know how to answer. By taking the time to talk with them and establish that connection, you'll build a tremendous amount of trust and loyalty as a result.
Finally, consider the fact that a meaningful way to express your appreciation and leave a lasting impression is with gift giving. This is especially true of clients that you've already worked with, as you always want to remain at the forefront of their mind.
When Thanksgiving rolls around this year, you could have a promotion where all your past and current clients can stop by the office to pick up a free pumpkin pie. If you know that one of your older clients is having a birthday, feel free to pop a card in the mail. Things like this are small gestures, but they do go an incredibly long way towards making people feel appreciated - which is how relationships are grown and maintained.
In the end, understand that the quality of your business is directly tied to the quality of the relationships that you're able to build with those around you. This is another one of those reasons why most experts recommend picking out a niche and sticking with it. If you choose to "farm" a particular geographic area - particularly one that you're already familiar with - you put yourself in a much better position to bring as much value to people's lives as possible.
Then, with each successful transaction, something magical happens. People see that you're every bit as invested in their success as you are. They see that you're willing to go above and beyond to help them accomplish their goals. They see you as a true partner in every sense of the term - which truly is the target you should be trying to hit, day in and day out.
Are you ready to get your real estate license?