How to Deepen Connections with Clients
Real estate agents are constantly marketing themselves and their services using a variety of tools, from websites and social media to real estate direct mail and yard signs. One important aspect of marketing yourself as an agent, one that you may not have even considered, is your interpersonal communications with clients -- the way in which you interact with them using verbal and nonverbal cues, whether that’s in-person or on the phone or through email. These interactions can make or break your client relationships and ultimately the probability of a successful listing or home purchase. Overall, good person-to-person relationships with your clients are always a positive thing -- people are more likely to say yes to a request if they feel a sense of connection with the person making it.
Whether it’s an already-secured client or a prospect, it’s crucial to make sure those interactions happen in a way that promotes a positive relationship and genuine connection -- particularly because 90% of millennials, (the largest percentage of 2018 homebuyers average 31 years of age), say authenticity is important to them when choosing which brand to support. Hint: you are a brand, too.
Perception matters. How do you promote those authentic connections?
Ask questions. Particularly when consulting with a new client (but important throughout the home journey), it’s important to listen more than speak. Make eye contact. Learn more about your client outside of their status as a home seller or buyer. How long has he or she been living in the neighborhood? When did they move here? Do they have other family members or children in the home? What are their hobbies and interests? What’s their favorite restaurant in the area? By finding something you and your clients can relate to on a personal level, genuine connections will naturally begin to form.
Open up a little.
But those questions can’t exist on a one-way street. To facilitate genuine connections, you need to open up, too. Even if it’s something simple, like your child’s upcoming birthday or a trip that’s around the corner, self-disclosure is generally thought to be a solid trust-builder and way to positively increase a person’s perception of you.
While you’re getting to know a client better, don’t forget to dive deeper into why your client is making a move. Then, based on their feedback, you can indicate how specifically your skills will help them navigate the process successfully. Your expertise will be more appreciated when its tailored to your client’s specific concerns and demonstrates your willingness to help them achieve home happiness.
Clients should, quite literally, feel like the only person in the room when interacting with you. One study found that the mere presence of a cell phone “inhibited the development of interpersonal closeness and trust” in the forming of human relationships. Turn your phone on silent and turn off laptop notifications when clients are present. Your absolute attention to them will make you more likeable and help move along positive connectivity.
Whether it’s a prospect or a pre-existing client, you should be prompt in any and all communications. Punctuality is about keeping a promise -- if a prospect calls you requesting more info, they are expecting a call back. A return call within 24 hours conveys that their call is important to you and that you want to help. Waiting days to call a prospect back may result in their moving on to the next agent. The same goes for emails and text messages -- as an agent, it’s your responsibility to be accessible to your clients. While it’s important to set boundaries with your time, punctuality shows that you value the time of others, too.
Particularly when it comes to prospects -- those that, perhaps, you met at an open house for another client -- combining these interpersonal interactions with appropriate follow-up will help move relationships along over time. QuantumDigital’s TriggerMarketing and TriggerMarketing Social automatically send timely real estate direct mail postcards and Facebook ads each time you list or sell a property to those in the surrounding area who are most likely to convert to leads. You’ll get instant email notifications letting you know about new leads, where you can then follow up (promptly, of course!)
By making an intentional effort to facilitate positive interpersonal relationships with clients, your connection will build and become something that’s mutually beneficial for both parties. When your clients trust you, they’ll provide more information about their lives and their dreams, which means you can better serve their interests as their agent -- leading to successful results for you. It’s a win-win.
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