Although there are countless ways to build and maintain rapport with clients, establishing trust is an essential part of each rapport-building strategy.

Although there are countless ways to build and maintain rapport with clients, establishing trust is an essential part of each rapport-building strategy.

By asking potential clients the right questions, you can accomplish this quickly and with relative ease. Learning which questions to ask is an excellent way to increase your success rate with new clients.

Below, I’ve included some of the best questions to ask during appointments with buyers and sellers. These questions will help you build rapport while laying the groundwork needed for a lasting professional relationship. They’ll also get you the information needed to truly help your clients.

‘Why are you moving?’

Asking this question seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many real estate agents don’t do it.

You should always ask potential clients why they’re moving. Not only does it help to build rapport, the answers you get provide tons of absolutely essential information, like whether or not they have the motivation to see the process through.

Buying and selling homes is a lot of work, for consumers as well as agents. If a potential client isn’t completely committed to the process, any number of stressful situations, like a buyer backing out, could cause your relationship to fall apart.

‘What’s your timeline?’

Your clients need to know what to expect when going through the process of buying or selling a home. If not, they’re likely to blame you when things aren’t going as quickly or as smoothly as they had hoped.

By asking what potential clients’ timelines are, you’ll know their expectations and whether or not a reality check is in order.

Some clients simply don’t have realistic expectations, and having an honest, straightforward conversation with them is the best thing you can do. If they’re unwilling to adjust their expectations despite your best efforts, the trust simply isn’t there.

Unfortunately, when this is the case, it’s usually best for both parties to end the professional relationship.

‘How can I help?’

When you’ve found a client with strong motivation and the right expectations, it’s time to explore exactly how you can help them achieve their real estate goals.

For some clients, this may be selling their home at or above asking price in under three months. For others, it may be lining up another home to buy before selling their primary residence.

Unless you ask and understand how you can help potential clients meet their goals, you won’t be the perfect agent for them. Once you do, however, no other agent will be able to outshine you, and getting a signed agreement will be easy.

If you’re able to deliver on guarantees regarding clients’ goals, repeat business and referrals are virtually assured.

Pat Hiban sold more than 7,000 homes over the course of his 25-year career in real estate. Now, he dedicates his time to helping others succeed as agents and investors. As host of the Real Estate Rockstars Podcast, Pat interviews real estate experts to explore what works in today’s markets. He also founded Rebus University, an online training platform for real estate agents and sales professionals.

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