As professional real estate agents, we understand that we are there to offer support and advice to homebuyers and homeowners. These buyers and sellers are our clients, and as such need our honest input, but also our positive reinforcements. It’s important to remain tactful and considerate.
If you want to earn their business and referrals, use these 7 tips:
Learn how to give constructive criticism. Instead of saying “Your home is a mess and you need to purge your stuff” – even though you might be thinking it! – turn that into “Here’s what we’ll need to do to properly stage your home so it sells faster,” and then give your clients some suggestions. That way, you are still addressing what needs to be changed, but without making the homeowners feel embarrassed or overwhelmed. They will appreciate your help, not your pointing out their faults.
Provide resources. Because your clients see you as knowledgeable, they count on you not say what’s wrong with their home, but how to make it more sellable to buyers. So instead of saying “You need to clean the walls or floor and make the place smell better,” try, “We can freshen up your home with the help of a contact I have who can do it for you – so you don’t have to.” Giving them suggestions that make their lives easier will be more appreciated, and go a long way in trusting your judgment.
Remain flexible. If you want your clients not to monopolize your time or try to reach you when it’s inconvenient, don’t say “Contact me during my office hours.” Instead, offer a range of hours when clients can expect to reach you, followed up with an assurance to cover unexpected situations that may arise – “You may reach me at or during (specify hours or range of hours), but I’m always willing to be of help to my clients.” And while you don’t have to be on-call like a doctor, let your clients know if they are trying to reach you outside of your available hours, you will do what you can to still be of help if something sudden comes up.
Redirect a misinformed client. Occasionally, your clients might say or do something that they insist is correct, when in fact you know they are misinformed. Rather than telling a client “You’re wrong. You have to follow what the contract says if you don’t want to be penalized,” say, “I know it isn’t easy to keep track of the deadlines for your contract, but they are there so both parties are protected.”
Avoid assumptions. Clients expect you to be non-judgmental, and to not make assumptions on their lifestyle. Rather than saying, “Hi there, this must be your daughter,” and risk insulting the client’s young-looking partner or other household member or acquaintance, say, “Hello, and what relation are you to (use homeowner’s name)?” to introduce yourself while asking an open-ended question and not a stereotype statement.
Keep your opinions to yourself. The time-old advice of if you don’t have anything nice to say, it’s best not to say it, is true. Your opinions are not necessarily shared by your clients, but they don’t have to know that. Remain professional as their realtor and instead of saying “This house isn’t right for you,” turn the thought around into a question to make them think, such as, “What do you think about this house?”
Be sensitive to clients’ sentimental possessions. Rather than telling sellers “You need to put away all of your family portraits,” when preparing to show their home to prospective buyers, turn that around into “I like how you’ve arranged your collection, but I think that we might need to take some of it down so buyers can consider how they would want to decorate the room according to the décor they would want in here. Would you mind taking some of it down?”
When you practice sensitivity and tact, your clients will easily work with you to make the entire experience far more pleasant. At the end of the day, the goal is to deliver excellent service with professional results.
As broker-in- charge and owner of Showcase Realty, I mentor my team of agents on all of these critical skills as they grow their real estate businesses. Knowing what it takes, I have built a company that helps nurture sales skills that really work — through support, mentorship, education and passion.
If you’d like to find out to more, email me at Nancy@ShowcaseRealty.net or call me directly at 704-488- 3109. I would love to explore the future of your real estate business with you, with no obligation. There are so many wonderful agent-focussed services that we provide at Showcase Realty that you might find helpful, valuable and beneficial.
** Find out more about what it means to be a Showcase Realty agent by downloading our Book of Benefits at www.ShowcaseCareers.com. **