What does it take to have a successful buyer showing? There’s much you can do to set the stage, not only when you are the listing agent, but when you are the buyer’s agent as well.
Whenever possible meet the buyers at the office, especially on first time appointments. This reinforces your professionalism. Furthermore, if something makes you uncomfortable about being alone with the buyers, it’s easier to cancel the appointment when other people are present.
When your buyers arrive, greet them warmly and give them the itinerary for the day. Since most buyers expect you to drive, plan on taking your car unless you are a poor driver. Your car must be immaculate. Store your broker paraphernalia in the trunk. If you’re uncomfortable driving, let the buyers know ahead of time so they won’t be surprised.
If the buyers have small children offer to ride with them so they don’t have to juggle car seats. Also, allow additional time between showings to accommodate the children. It’s a smart idea to have coloring books or some other activity to keep the little ones amused. Ideally, it’s best for the parents to leave the kids with a babysitter.
Setting the mood
I recently attended a webinar that Garry Wise from the Good Life Team was leading on how to use your iPad on buyer showings. Wise’s approach for creating the mood begins when he asks his buyers about what type of music they like. He then turns to his Spotify app on his iPad, selects the music the buyers like, and hands his iPad to the buyer.
You can have chocolate truffles for anyone who shows your luxury listings or Hershey's Kisses for those who show less expensive properties.
Next, invite the buyer to navigate using the iPad map app. Wise pre-loads the various addresses they will be visiting that day. This allows the buyers to see where various restaurants, stores, and other services are located in relationship to each property they will be viewing that day.
In terms of the route to select, it may be tempting to take the main thoroughfare to get to the showing more quickly. In most cases, buyers often find it more enjoyable to see various neighborhoods, not just the commercial parts of town.
What’s especially powerful about Wise’s approach is that he has shifted from focusing almost exclusively on the visual aspects of showing property and has used the music and the navigation to create a multi-sensory showing experience.
Tapping touch, taste, and aroma
Many agents have their buyers’ favorite coffee or tea drink waiting for them as soon as they arrive at the office. This is an especially smart move since their favorite foods and drinks trigger pleasurable feelings. By giving your clients something they enjoy drinking at the beginning of your showing, that pleasant feeling is now anchored to you.
If you are the listing agent, you can have chocolate truffles for anyone who shows your luxury listings or Hershey’s Kisses for those who show less expensive properties. Many builders bake cookies in their model homes to tap into the taste and aroma factors that create a sense, "This is home-not just a builder model."
Visual, auditory, kinesthetic
While approximately 40 percent of the population is visual and 40 percent is auditory, another 20 percent are kinesthetic. Most agents do an excellent job of marketing their listings visually. They turn on the lights, open the drapes, and encourage the seller to keep the listing "looking good for showings." The also shoot multiple pictures, use multiple tours and videos, as well as using both digital and traditional print marketing.
On the other hand, approximately 40 percent of the population is auditory. These people process information most easily when they hear it. Sounds are extremely important to them. When another agent contacts you about showing one of your listings, find out what type of music the buyers enjoy and have it playing when the buyers view the property.
If the buyers value peace and quiet, do whatever is necessary to minimize any noise within the property. If there is background noise that you can’t eliminate, you may want to consider installing a small fountain. Your goal is to create an auditory background that the buyers will perceive favorably.
For those who are kinesthetic, touch and other physical sensations are the most important. It’s critical that your listings are always at a comfortable temperature, no matter what time of year it is.
Kinesthetic individuals love to curl up in front of a warm fireplace. In terms of staging, it’s usually great to have a fire in the fireplace provided it’s not too hot outside. Also, pillows are extremely important in conveying a relaxed atmosphere. Place extra pillows and throws on the sofas, beds, and any other relaxation areas.
By creating a multi-sensory showing experience right from the start, you greatly increase the probability that your buyer will have a five star customer experience as well as the probability that they will write an offer as well.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of the National Association of Realtors’ No. 1 best-seller, "Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success." Hear Bernice’s five-minute daily real estate show, just named "new and notable" by iTunes, at www.RealEstateCoachRadio.com. You can contact her at Bernice@RealEstateCoach.com or @BRoss on Twitter.
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