How to Be a Likeable Real Estate Agent
I recently had an interaction with a salesperson that literally left my mouth hanging open in disbelief. I couldn’t imagine how this person could think his method of communication was actually going to win him a sale. But the sad fact of the matter is that some sales professionals are shockingly out of touch with how to connect with their audience. In a real estate sale, perhaps more than any other kind of sales transaction, the salesperson and the client will be have to form a bond to reach the finish line together. As a real estate agent, how can you engender respect and trust in your relationship with your clients?
Listen, and look like it
Listening and hearing are two very different things. When your clients are speaking to you, truly focus on what they’re saying to you and stop thinking about what you will say once they’re done talking. Avoid interrupting them, even if you are sure you know what direction the conversation is going. If you aren’t positive you understand what they are saying or asking, use follow-up questions to get clarification. Never make your clients feel foolish for asking questions you think are basic. You are the real estate professional – not them! They aren’t supposed to have all the answers. Also, make sure that you not only listen carefully but look like you are listening. Keep eye contact. Don’t check your phone for messages or let your eyes wander around the room. Give them your whole attention, physically and mentally.
Report, even if you have nothing to report
Your clients are likely feeling quite anxious about how their real estate deal is progressing. Don’t assume your clients only want you to hear from you when you have something new to report. Communicate with them often, even if it’s just to tell them everything is proceeding as normal. When you check in with them regularly, your clients will feel reassured that you are taking good care of them and their anxiety will lessen.
Take the time to explain stuff
Real estate professionals tend to take certain things for granted – like the fact that everyone they talk to know what terms like “contingencies”, “origination fees”, etc., refer to. Always take the time to explain the different aspects of the real estate process to your clients, including explanations of what certain terms refer to. The more informed your clients are, the less likely they will be to end up feeling frustrated by the unexpected later on.
Let them down easy
Unfortunately, disappointments are usually part of the real estate process. You may be used this and take it in stride but your clients may take it harder. This can especially be the case with buyer clients. They can get attached to a home quickly and when their offer is not accepted, they can feel somewhat dejected. When delivering disappointing news to a client, be sensitive about it. While being realistic with them about their situation, always be optimistic about future opportunities. Your positive attitude will keep them from giving in to discouragement.
Give them as much time as they need – offer advice, but no pressure
Some buyers will be very motivated. Some may not be overly particular. But others will only feel secure if they are given plenty of time to make decisions. Understandably, these clients may need to be advised that moving faster can be in their best interests. Even in this case, focus on offering advice, not putting pressure on your clients. If clients feel pressured to make a decision they’re not ready to make, they may blame you later on when things don’t work out as they hoped.
Be careful about even the appearance of dishonesty
Some Realtors® are tempted to avoid mentioning low-ball offers to their seller clients. Bad idea! Agents are legally obligated to inform their clients of ALL offers on their home, regardless of price. Also, be careful not to give even the impression that you are not sharing all pertinent information with your clients. Even the appearance of dishonesty can cause your client to lose their trust in you.
Genuinely have their best interests at heart!
You can’t fake this. So fight the inclination to think primarily of your own convenience or bottom line. Your clients will be able to tell, even instinctively, if you genuinely care about them or are just watching out for yourself. So when you start to notice a selfish inclination taking over, try to adjust your focus back to your clients and what’s best for them.
Now we want to hear from you home buyers and sellers, past, present, or future: What can a real estate agent do to make you feel comfortable and secure? Have you ever had a great experience with a real estate agent? Or a terrible one? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!