Who’s been here before? Your buyer couple walks into a listing that has been on the market for weeks with no activity. It’s the 25th house they’ve looked at because they haven’t been able to find exactly what they’re seeking.
But this time, it’s different. This house is the perfect fit for them. Huge kitchen. Walk-in closets. Big backyard. And a workshop out back. They want to write it up now!
You hurry to prepare the offer; they sign, and you send it to the listing agent. Your buyers are ecstatic! One hour later the listing agent calls to inform you another offer has just “magically” come in. You get your clients to give their best and final offer. They offer the full list price, and you send it to the listing agent.
The buyers stress all night, worrying about losing out on the house. The next morning the listing agent doesn’t even call. Instead, he simply texts you: “Sorry, seller accepted other offer.” Nausea immediately sets in. You call your sleep-deprived buyer and regretfully relay the bad news.
Cue the emotional outburst!
But can you really blame them? Buying a home is usually the biggest purchase they will ever make! Searching for the perfect home is no walk in the park, either, as the market heats back up. That’s where you come in — not just as their Realtor, but as an “emotion manager.”
It’s one of your main duties in the “people-to-people” business of real estate to help manage the emotions of your clients. When you manage their emotions, the process of buying or selling is more comfortable and fun. When you don’t, the emotional roller-coaster effect is created, and it can quickly become a nightmare for them.
Below are a few proven “emotion management” solutions that I teach to my own agents in order to help make their clients’ experiences what they should be: smooth and exciting.
1. In everything you do, be proactive, not reactive — all day, every day.
It all starts here. Realize that you are in control of how you operate as an agent. Don’t wait for things blindly or hope things will come together. Opportunity has a higher chance of knocking if you are instrumental in the process instead of a glorified spectator.
Be prepared for the week. Be ready for what’s on the calendar for tomorrow. If you know that you need to study up on a certain area you’re not very familiar with, then get busy researching so you can become knowledgeable for your clients’ sake.
2. Constantly educate your clients.
From the moment you meet them until the day you retire from the real estate business, strive not to have all the answers but rather to be a source who can find them. Sharing knowledge is the best way to deliver value. Your clients can’t lose it, and it doesn’t cost you a dime to share it with as many as you can.
Constantly educating clients about the process and prepping for what’s coming next also helps keep client emotions streamlined because they are ready for things when they surprisingly pop up!
3. Limit yourself to using only the apps and tools necessary.
A big mistake that agents make is constantly trying to integrate the latest and greatest technology tools and apps to their processes and systems. Overusing technology most often causes information overload, rookie mistakes and gaps in the flow of business — or the agents come across as scatterbrained in the eyes of the client. To avoid this “super fail,” limit the number of tech tools to only what is needed to get from one point to another efficiently. In my opinion, there are just four dynamic must-have software tools.
First, a user-friendly paperless transaction tool that does business where and when you do. I have personally integrated dotloop for this very thing throughout all of my offices and agents companywide. It has immeasurable value due to the numerous solutions it delivers in a single environment. It’s super easy for agents and clients to pick up and use. It stores all of our company forms in kits for our purchases, listings, and so on. The forms are accessible from any device as well. And it stores the files before, during and after the sale, so they can be easily accessed anytime from any device, mobile or desktop.
Second, Evernote. It stores all the information you collect throughout the process in one place. If you don’t use Evernote yet, you’re behind the times and doing it the hard way! We’ve used Evernote to design system workflows for every part of the process of a real estate transaction, from beginning to end. Now, nothing ever gets lost in the shuffle … nothing.
Third, a robust CRM tool you will commit to using. It’s nonnegotiable in today’s business world to have a complete CRM solution if you want to have a chance of building momentum. The worst thing you can do to your business is get busy before you get organized. Because if you do, everything is chaos.
Lastly, you must adopt a time management tool. It doesn’t matter whether it’s paper-based or digital as long as you use it. The reality is you can’t remember everything. If you try, you will drop the ball. I guarantee it. And that not only hurts your business — more importantly, it hurts the client. That’s not effective emotion management!
Remember that clients require extra care from you when it comes to managing their emotions. Be compassionate and empathetic to their circumstances. Be efficient in the way you run your business and the technology solutions you use. And most importantly, be prepared to deliver an amazing experience for them.
Clients are people just like you and me, and when you treat them as such, you’ll find that they’re happier. Their increased happiness will translate for you into more referrals, more revenue and a stronger, more sustainable business. So in the end, you’ll be happier, too.
Leighton Dees is the CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Generations and a graphic designer and marketing junkie at heart.