We build relationships with clients from all walks of life: a newly married couple looking for their first home together, an individual looking for a new place to live after being relocated for work, a family looking to downsize after their children have finally left their home.
There is no end to what type of client we might find working with in this industry, but what we ultimately discover is that the relationships we build with our clients are what drive us to do well and succeed far beyond any commission check.
Throughout my career, I’ve had the pleasure of coaching hundreds of agents in North America, and the common denominator behind motivation always points back to building relationships and helping their clients achieve their goals.
Unfortunately, in this business we’ll find ourselves spending more time than ever on tasks that hinder our ability to foster these relationships.
For instance, agents on average spend 30-40 hours every month on tasks that are not focused on helping our clients or building relationships with them.
Is there a solution for reducing the amount of time spent on tasks that aren’t client-centered? Well, 200-plus products currently claim to deliver this solution, promising higher profits and greater productivity in exchange for using their product(s).
What most products get wrong, however, is the impetus and motivation behind every agent. They fail to consider how we’re relationship-centered, and as a result, build bulky products that end-up costing us more than they benefit.
This lack of agent awareness and understanding is why you see products that take too much time to manage, fail to integrate with one another and cost a fortune. They see us as just another market to sell a product to and don’t care about our industry’s goals or focus.
With that in mind, we need to focus on the basics of relationship building and stop looking for the silver-bullet tech solution.
4 steps to building your relationships
Step 1: Start with, ‘What can I do for you today (this week, this month, etc.)?’
Many of our assumptions about clients are generally what help us lose deals. Agents are trained to go straight for the business, which is not in line with building a relationship.
When you’re going through your sphere or prospect list, ask the simple question, “What can I do for you today?”
This opens up a new opportunity for you to drive the the conversation that will end with a new client bond. They might not necessarily need to buy or sell a home right now, but you have a chance to assist them with all the steps leading up to that transaction.
Step 2: Become a resource
You know the market stats of your community or neighborhood, right? Great, but so does every other agent in your area. To separate yourself from the competition, you must learn about all things that affect real estate.
From the restaurants being built to new companies relocating, nothing is off the table. The more you are able to offer (whether a referral for a service or direct information) the more you are able to continue organic conversation with past clients and prospects.
Step 3: Set calendar reminders for personal details about clients
This one is simple, but often overlooked. Note any big or small details relating to client anniversaries, birthdays, favorite color, etc.
Touch points are the name of the game, and the more you know about a client, the more you are able to interact with them and nurture the relationship.
Step 4: Ask the golden question: ‘Do you know 3 people I can help?’
Our sphere and contacts are gold to us, so why would they not be for our clients? We have to earn trust, but when we ask for referrals, our mindset should shift from just another transaction to offering our services for the people they care about.
If we go about our referrals by asking how we can help their loved ones, you’ll start to hear more than “I don’t know anyone at this time.”
There will never be a perfect product, so I urge you to stop searching for one. Use whatever tech is most comfortable for you, and remember to focus on what you do best: building relationships.