Whether you are an expert or a newbie in the real estate industry, you must realize that maintaining strong client relationships is essential in closing deals and building a reputation in the industry.
When it comes to client relationships management, each real estate broker has their own strategies and approaches. However, after interviewing some of the top players in the filed, we discovered some of the similarities. Therefore, we summarized a few insights to help you strengthen any client connection and receive repeat business.
Show them that you care
They come to you because of your profession, but most importantly, they have a problem that need to be solved. It could be struggling to find a flat within budget, looking for a buyer before a certain time, or searching for a bigger rental living space as the family grows. Once they approach you or show their interests, it is crucial to show that you care about their struggles and you are more than willing to help.
Nothing feels more assuring when someone knows exactly what you are going through so the first thing you need to do is to acknowledge their concerns and make sure you understand their purposes. Be there for them from the start is the foundation of trust between you and the clients.
Then, it is equally important to show that you are experienced in dealing with similar cases so your potential clients know that they are in good hands with you. Even if you don’t have related experiences, talking about how your team/ company has handled these situations helps too as it shows that you also know how to sort these things out.
When you have the network, resources, and knowledge that your clients don’t have, it’s easy to assume that you know better than them in a deal. However, disappointment is usually followed by not listening carefully and misunderstanding your clients’ expectations from the start. You will be surprised by how many people don’t understand the key to efficient communication is being a good listener, even if they work in the service industry.
Listen carefully, take notes, confirm with what you heard from your clients.
After you understand what they are looking for, it is time to show your knowledge of the market.
Buying and selling a flat is a big decision for a person or a family so of course, they have so many expectations when they come to you. After listening to their needs, it is also your job to manage their expectations since the real estate market is not a wishing pond and you are not a genie either. Hence, it is important to ensure that your client is being realistic about the sales or rental situation so do not overpromise.
Managing their expectations from the start prevents future disagreements and disappointments for all parties. Nothing is more disappointing than having false hope and then failing miserably. You might gain their trust immediately by overpromising but it will be gone quickly and you will also possibly lose the potential clients for good because of that.
It is not only about listening carefully from the start. Throughout the sales cycle, it is often that they changed their minds so you will have to keep up with their latest requirements as well. It is frustrating when you need to redo all the work to match their latest expectations, but being adaptable and flexible are the qualities that you need to excel in this competitive industry. Moreover, try putting yourselves into their shoes, then you will understand it is totally normal to want something different than their initial plans. Find out the reasons and keep trying to find solutions for them.
Even if they do not make the decision right away, it is very likely that they will come back to you when they make up their minds or have a new deal that needs to be sealed since you have gained their trust when you showed them patience previously.
Keep them posted
Be transparent about the process is an effective way to maintain (or even increase) their faith in your abilities as time goes on.
Even if they know they are in good hands, most clients still want to be updated as much as possible. It shows that you are responsible and professional when they hear from you without them reaching out first. Take initiative to report them when there is good news, bad news or even no news on a regular basis. Don’t be afraid to deliver bad news or no news to them cause you know exactly why and how to turn it over.
Most real estate brokers work overtime on daily basis and even work at weekends to make sure their clients are taken care of so needless to say they are very responsive. However, no one is a superhero and everyone needs to rest and relax sometimes, so when you get messages from clients while having family/ leisure time, confirm the clients that you have received their messages/emails and you will handle it during office hours or a certain time so that they don’t have to wait too long for your response and you don’t have sacrifice your personal life for work 24/7. Having a text/ email template for these “off-time” situation comes in handy too.
Vice versa, be aware that people can be specific about texting/ call time so ask them what time do they not preferred to be contacted. It’s going to be helpful for further communication during sales.
Greet them on holidays
Every real estate broker knows that business doesn’t end after a deal is sealed, it’s a start for many more so greet your previous and potential clients on holidays. Rather than approaching them on regular days, holidays are perfect timing to say hi and subtly remind them that you are still in service.
Even if they do not have a deal to be sealed at the moment, when their family members or friends need a real estate broker, they will think of you and refer you. It is the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
Send a thoughtful gift
Last but not least, a token of gratitude never goes out of style so it should be no surprise that some of the top brokers in the industry have a yearly budget for gifts. The occasions for gifting can be holidays, birthdays, wedding anniversary or simply just a gesture of appreciation.
In order to spend their budget wisely, the top real estate brokers usually avoid sending the same thing to all clients, especially the VVIPs. Instead, they spend time to do research on what their clients enjoys, according to their lifestyles, hobbies and diet, just to name a few. Without a doubt, a well-thought-out gift surely stands out when it comes to strengthening client relationships but we also understand how time-consuming it is to pick a tailored gift for each client.
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