Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a superior buying experience for your client that will inspire that client to refer business to you forever. Are you willing to accept this mission?
Which of the following scenarios is most likely to generate referrals from your clients?
- They like you.
- They are confident in your knowledge.
- They feel you are trustworthy.
- They were blown away by your presentation skills.
- They feel your customer service went beyond their expectations.
Of course, the answer is “all of the above” — but it’s N0. 5 that should stand out for you.
Providing the best possible customer service will give your clients something to brag about with their circle of influence. When someone asks them about an agent to recommend, their experience with you will keep your name on the tip of their tongue.
And what is the foundation of their generosity for spreading the good news about you? You established a relationship with them that brought your skills and their requirements together.
A buyer needs to like you as a person, feel that you have interests in common and that you are a person who can be relied upon to be knowledgeable and experienced.
At the same time, buyers need you to be patient enough to make sure that they understand the sales process and to keep them informed every step of the way.
You need to provide a high level of customer service with each interaction, or you will lose their confidence and even a successful close will not repair the damage that you have done to your relationship with them.
Here are the three steps to creating that level of confidence:
Step 1: Prequalify the buyer
This step is the most important step to complete, even if the buyer is a close friend or family member. Not having this information will lead to endless phone calls, emails and running around with no real goal in mind. Be sure to get the answers for:
- In what type of home do you want to reside?
- What public amenities do you need? (transportation, schools, shopping and so on)
- When would you like to be moved into your new home?
With these answers, you should be able to create a “buyer’s package” that includes matching properties, a tip sheet about the buying process, your “buyer questionnaire” that asks for more detailed information and your “representation agreement” (because you do want to be paid after a successful transaction).
Step 2: Meet in person
Yes, we live in an online world full of instant messages, texts and email. This does not mitigate the fact that the buyer needs to work with you in person.
With your goal of providing the highest level of customer service, meeting your buyer client in person isn’t that much of a leap to make. You will understand your client better and minimize the number of miscommunicated or entirely missed messages that could destroy your efforts in a heartbeat.
Step 3: Research for their needs, not yours
When the buyer has expressed their property requirements, it’s your job to ask the important questions and complete the due diligence. Then you can show them, as well as explain, the properties that meet or exceed what they want.
A buyer’s confidence in their broker can be destroyed in a moment of inattention to detail if you show them properties that do not meet their criteria without stating a good reason why you are showing them the property.
The research can be time-consuming, but by ignoring your preparation prior to the showing you will surely lose them.
James Hussaini is the founder and president of Realty Point.