Every client being provided a service should be given the distinct advantage of being heard. They know what they want. While they may need assistance finding it, no one knows better than they do. We should never lose sight of that.
There is a specific timeline that goes along with buying and selling real estate. Transactions, per the contractually-specified dates, have a beginning, a middle, and an end. As a client, you will never get to the satisfactory completion if your goals were not only listened to, but heard at the very beginning.
Listening is not only a means to an end to meet objectives and a fully executed contract, it is a demonstration of being respectful of their time. It doesn’t matter if your client has a three-month window to buy/sell, or a twelve-month window, this is a big “To Do” on their list. With all the moving parts in a real estate transaction, and all the money; hear them. They know what’s best for them, your role as an agent is to guide and protect them.
Walk the Talk
Perception is such a big part of customer service. When a client has raised a hand seeking expertise, the opportunity deserves respect. Particularly when you work in an industry crowded with competition. It is your prevailing purpose to not only meet client goals, but to give them the assurance that they made the right choice in selecting you to represent their interests.
Communicating With Clients
I believe that before you can listen, you need to establish how a client wishes to communicate. There is such a variety of methods — from email to Snapchat. Add in factors like time zone differences and there are a number of options to best convey the information your client needs as the process begins and throughout the transaction.
Technology certainly lends to that flexibility, but if geographically possible, nothing beats being in person discussing goals over lunch or dinner. The better you know a client, the more you can pick up on their cues.
Ours is an industry with all kinds of acronyms and definitions, but it is not the client’s obligation to learn our vernacular, it is our obligation to learn what a client means when they use a word like “quaint” for example.
A subjective term that conjures a variety of images, it doesn’t mean “small” or “old” or “charming” to everyone. Some homes for sale in Belvedere Estates could be considered “quaint” because they reside in an historic area. Listening with both ears and not projecting your impressions will position clients for success.
If a Realtor considers him or herself as a salesperson, they could not be more wrong. Realtors should be seasoned professionals with an understanding of real estate law and a solid grasp on every nuance of the markets they serve.
We are not salespeople, we are interpreters. Listen to your clients and learn their language; never the other way around.