Buyers and sellers want to do business with an agent they can depend on. If you can satisfy the needs and wants of your clients, they might refer others to you and remember you when they are ready to purchase another property. This only happens if you earn their trust and confidence.
There's competition in real estate, so you need to stand out, be proactive and put your clients first. If you can build trust in real estate, you can potentially develop long-term relationships and gain repeat business.
1. Listen to your clients’ needs
To earn the trust and confidence of your clients, you have to have a clear understanding of their needs. This involves more listening and less talking. Homebuyers are specific and know exactly what they're looking for in a house. Their perfect home may not exist, but if you listen and prioritize their wants, you can locate a property that’s suitable for their family.
When meeting with a new client, it's important to ask questions and get an idea of what they're looking for in a home—square footage, number of bathrooms and bedroom, bonus features, etc. Take notes and ask for clarification. Never assume anything. The level of interest you show builds their trust in your ability to find the right property.
2. Don’t make promises you can't keep
Some buyers and sellers interview multiple agents before choosing one to work with. Since there’s competition, you’ll have to sell yourself and explain how you are better than other agents. But although you want to impress potential clients and gain their business, be careful about making promises you can't keep.
One of the fastest ways to lose the trust of your clients is “not” delivering on your promises. There are no guarantees in real estate. You can't guarantee when or if a client’s house will sell, and you can't guarantee that a client will succeed in a bidding war.
To gain new seller clients, some agents promise to sell their homes in three to six months. This might happen, but problems can arise if the home doesn’t sell. The client might feel manipulated and choose to work with another agent. Confidence is good, but over-confidence can damage the relationship between you and clients.
Rather than make promises, mention the average length of time it usually takes to sell a home. Make it abundantly clear that there are no guarantees and that every case is unique.
3. Stay a step ahead of your client
Some clients are savvy and they’ve done their homework. They’re not real estate professionals, but they have a pretty solid idea of how the process works. For that matter, you need to stay a step ahead of these clients to prove that you're working hard on their behalf.
For example, if a client hasn’t received any offers on their house after three or four weeks, or if the property isn’t receiving many showings, don’t wait for the client to suggest lowering the asking price—you make the suggestion. Additionally, you should actively search for properties that appeal to your buyer clients and bring these homes to their attention. Your clients shouldn’t have to find their own properties.
If your clients are always a step ahead, they could feel that you’re not working for your commission.
4. Don’t lose contact
You don't have to be at your client’s mercy, but you should stay in communication with them. If your clients feel that you're constantly MIA or if they can never get in touch with you on urgent matters, they’ll assume you don't want to be bothered. This doesn’t leave the best impression, and you could potentially miss out on referrals or repeat business. Even if you can't return a phone call within five to 10 minutes, make a goal to return phone calls, emails and text messages within 12 to 24 hours.
5. Be their advisor
Buyers and sellers will have questions about the real estate process, the mortgage process, local communities, etc. You can earn their trust and confidence by being their advisor. For this to work, you have to educate yourself on different aspects of the home buying process. You should be knowledgeable about neighborhoods, local attractions, and have basic knowledge about the mortgage process. If you can’t answer a question, rather than shrug it off and move onto the next topic, offer to do some research or refer your client to someone who can address their concerns, maybe a mortgage broker, a mortgage lender or a home inspector.
Working with you can be seemless when keeping these tips in mind.
What helps you stay a trusted real estate professional? Let us know in the comments.