What does your real estate client want from you? Knowing the answer to this can help you not only find more clients, it can help you get better quality clients, and win more referrals from them, even in the face of tough competition.
We’re not talking about what they want, like a studio apartment or 58 acre ranch property with water rights, we’re talking about what they want out of you, their agent. Sellers and buyers come expecting individual things in terms of property, location, amenities, etc. but most real estate clients share common expectations for their real estate agent. Meet their expectations and you can expect to get more commissions and more leads as a reward.
The following is a list of the most popular things buyers are looking for in an agent. How do you measure up?
Full time focus & availability
The bare minimum your clients will want from you is focus. Buying or selling a home is a major event in their life. The last thing they want is an agent who is available to handle this major moment of their life on a lunch break. If you’re part time and you want more clients, get serious about making it your full time pursuit. And if you’re already full time, make sure you are available full time. Clients like it when you answer the first time they call or return a call promptly. A quick way to turn off a client is to avoid calls, make them wait, and push them off to someone else. They want to feel like they are your only client. The more they sense that, the better results you’ll get from them in return.
Ever been to the DMV and suffered through the robotic drone behind the counter as she coldly stamped your paperwork? How badly are you looking forward to going back there? Exactly. If you’re delivering the bare minimum to your clients, guess how motivated they’ll be to give you referrals?
Now think of the best waitress you’ve ever had, or the happiest flight attendant or the bank manager who goes out his way to see that you feel important and valued? Think of the feeling of loyalty that gave you. Think of that the next time you’re with a client, and expect not just return business but a free-flowing stream of referrals.
We all know few deals go exactly the same. Whether it’s a difficult seller, a bad home inspection, a demanding underwriter, a hesitant buyer or any other issue, hiccups happen. When problems arise, clients want to know they can count on you to find a solution. Giving case studies that illustrate your ability to navigate difficult waters will go a long way to earning the trust and respect of both new and returning clients. Assure them the problems will never come ashore and the well-earned confidence will lubricate the process for you.
Modernized and Tech Savviness
It’s a digital world. Smartphones are as ubiquitous as automobiles. The internet is ever-present. Your clients want you to be as savvy or more so about using technology for their benefit. Whether it’s as simple as maintaining an engaging presence on Facebook or using proprietary algorithm-based property qualification tools to simplify the search process, clients are hoping you know tech shortcuts to help them save money and time.
It’s often been said, and rightfully so, that it’s not so much what you know, it’s who you know.
Relationships can make otherwise difficult processes go much more smoothly. If you have friends in the clerk’s office that helps you process inquiries quicker, you have a major competitive advantage. Know which mortgage brokers are better suited to handle unique lending situations? Advantage. Have a fairy god mother who can wave a magic wand and…okay, not that kind of connection. But any relationship that helps you benefit your client in a unique and exclusive way can be a major draw to clients seeking a top notch agent.
Do you have a staff, a brokerage, a team, or infrastructure to help you accomplish the client’s objective? To most clients, the old adage “There is strength in numbers” is scripture. A one man team is less enticing than a professional who is surrounded by an effective structure of professionally supportive people. Be careful not to give the impression that clients will work with support staff more than you, as this tends to turn off clients, but make sure to point out the layers of support you have built in to your operation.
Rock Solid Reputation
Real Estate often involves the largest financial transaction in most clients’ lives, and if not, it still amounts to such large amounts of money that most people go into the process with a healthy dose of distrust and skepticism. There’s almost nothing more persuasive to a untrusting client than a spotless reputation of integrity and reliability, and there’s almost nothing more likely to turn them off than a bad one.
Of all your characteristics and personal assets, your reputation should be the one you foster and protect most vigorously.
Compelling Track Record
How many home runs did Babe Ruth hit? A lot of them, and that’s what he’s known for. Your stats can be your defining competitive advantage, if they’re good enough. If you’re successful at dealing with difficult properties, flaunt it. If you close properties significantly faster than the local or even national average, flaunt it. If you can show that you save your clients massive amounts of money through negotiations, flaunt it. Even if you have simply been consistently closing transactions for the last ten years, yep, flaunt it.
Anything you have done that is either exceptional, impressive, respectable, noteworthy, or at the very least, as expected, make it known to both your prospective and current clients.
Numerous benefits come from a good, and well known, track record. You’ll earn more respect from your clients, which is important because it will allow you to be more effective in counseling your clients to do the right thing. You’ll also earn respect form colleagues and even competitors, which could actually result in referrals from other real estate pros. But most importantly, it will result in less people passing you by, and more people hiring you to help them.
Real Estate isn’t a no-brainer. It just isn’t, no matter how often late night infomercials say otherwise. And most buyers know this. According to surveys, a majority of buyers consider themselves uninformed and unqualified to conduct real estate transactions without a qualified real estate agent. Sure, some buyers will work with anyone with a license, but most are more savvy then that and will only extend their trust if they feel the agent is qualified to do what they feel unable to do themselves.
Demonstrating your mastery and understanding of relevant laws, guidelines, procedures, property trends, economic factors and community features can assure your clients that they have made the right decision to work with you and can be the difference between a prospective client simply kicking the tires and retaining you as their agent.
Finally, can you close the deal? That’s what really matters and clients know your sales chops are going to play a large part of it. It’s a bit of a fine line to walk between hard selling your clients and demonstrating that you are capable of selling their requests to a seller or a bank, but it’s better to err on the side of being a closer. If you’re a natural salesman, you’re probably well aware of it. If you’re not, keep practicing. Wherever you are on the sales spectrum, make sure your clients feel confident you can perform when they need you to.
Sure there are exceptions to everything, but these have been shown to be the most important things buyers are looking for in a real estate agent. If you want more real estate clients, these are good places to focus on in terms of marketing yourself, attracting more clients, qualifying the type of clients better, and making a better overall experience for both your buyers and yourself.
So, what can you improve on? And more importantly, what can you emphasize and capitalize on right now? If you want more clients, give them what they want first, and they’ll give you what you want in return.
How do you market yourself from there? Check out our Quick Market training program here. We make it a lot more simple than you might think.