The typical real estate agent seems to have earned a reputation for being a shrewd negotiator but also as someone who is also less interested in their customers and more interested in making a good deal. Perhaps it’s for this reason that potential homebuyers are often skeptical by the time they meet a real estate agent.
To be a successful agent, one need not be typical in their approach. Almost every good closer will tell you that they go above and beyond for their clients – not for themselves. The secret to becoming a model real estate agent is putting your customer first.
As simple as it sounds, many agents ignore this strategy. Once you can gain your customer’s trust, your reputation and business will undoubtedly experience growth. What’s more, happy customers are always happy referrers. It can be difficult to keep your business phone silent if your customers are satisfied with your service.
But first, what do customers really want? Here’s a list of the top five buyer requests from a 2011 report released by the National Association of Realtors:
- Need help finding the right home to buy
- Need help negotiating tricky prices
- Need help negotiating sales terms
- Need to be able to determine price of other homes by comparability
- Need help with the paperwork
While some of these may seem a bit outside of your regular job description, it’s worth noting that you won’t gain a customer’s trust by just doing your job. For many buyers, the home buying process is a complicated one, so navigating those tricky initial stages with a bit of support is hugely important.
The following tips will go a long way in positively impacting your practice.
1. Be honest
Integrity is a quality buyers (and sellers) look for in an agent. Being able to present them with the facts and details of a property, or the comparable cost of other homes in the same area, are a few ways to earn trust. As an agent, your job involves representing the client and this means being on their side. Given the skepticism many home buyers have towards real estate agents, a genuine show of honesty will feel like an exceptionable quality.
2. Be a quick responder
In addition to integrity, response time means a lot to many buyers, especially those who are working with a deadline. How would you rate your response time? Ensure you respond to emails within the hour. If you are unable to take a call, leave an auto-response and call back as soon as you can. The customer will respect you more and know that you take your business seriously.
3. Be a smart negotiator
One of the snags many buyers or sellers encounter is negotiating a deal. Not everybody is an astute negotiator and in this case, your client will expect you to bring your expertise to the table. Depending on who you are representing, whether it’s the buyer or the seller, your job is to help them negotiate a price that is right for them, especially when they are genuinely unable to pay at the original price. You will no doubt earn a loyal customer after a successful negotiation.
4. Be market savvy
The property market is all about thinking forward and always keeping yourself up-to-date. You cannot make the right decisions if you’re unaware of what’s happening. Ensure you equip yourself with information about the general economy, market performance, recent sales, customer behaviour and all the latest policies.
Take control of your own reputation by being genuine in your service. As more customers gain from the business experience, they will feel happy to recommend you to their family, friends, and colleagues. What better way to grow your practice?