Buyers and sellers are often reminded how working with a real estate agent can help them reach their real estate goals. That often is the first step that helps the client reach out to you. But if you don’t earn your clients’ trust, then you won’t be the agent who earns their business.
When you are looking to build trust with your clients, you need to focus on the three R’s — recognition, reliable and resourceful.
Keep these three pillars of trust-building in mind when working with clients, and you’ll enjoy a long-term relationship filled with repeat business and personal referrals.
Recognition is essential
It is essential that a real estate agent recognize the value of every client who wants to work with them. The client is entrusting you with their sensitive financial information, their real estate goals and, in many cases, their hopes for the future, which is what a home represents to most people.
Agents who take a careless or condescending attitude toward clients are in effect trampling on the confidence that clients are placing in them.
Now, in many situations, a good real estate agent would likely never consider approaching a client disrespectfully. However, some fall into old biases or misconceptions.
An example of this would be an agent being dismissive of a young millennial or Gen Y couple looking to buy — that would be making a serious mistake.
According to the 2018 report from the National Association of Realtors, millennials and Gen Y represented the largest homebuying force on the market, making up 36 percent of all homebuyers.
This is just one example of the ways agents can demonstrate a lack of recognition toward their clients.
Instead of devaluing clients, you can show respect to your clients by:
- Using Mr./Ms./Mrs. [Last Name] until invited to use their first name.
- Listening carefully as clients share their real estate goals, and keeping them in mind as you help them move forward.
- Keeping notes on specific information, and reviewing them before meeting with your clients so they can see that you remember and value what they have said.
Real estate agents need to be reliable
One of the easiest of the three R’s to demonstrate is how reliable you are as an agent. Your clients should be able to see that you always do what you promise.
Excuses are a poor substitute for action, so if you find you give your clients more excuses than results, you might want to re-evaluate what is making you unable to fulfill your promises to your clients.
Some areas where agents struggle with reliability are:
- Being on time: Nothing says you don’t value client’s time like showing up late to a showing or any other appointment. Clients don’t really care if you had overlapping commitments, they only see that you weren’t there when you said you would be. If time management is an issue, look into spacing out your calendar more appropriately and setting reminders.
- Responding quickly to contact: Many clients will email or call you with questions throughout the homebuying and selling process. These attempts should be responded to within 24 hours of the contact being made. Any longer than that, and many clients will have a distinct feeling that you just don’t care that much.
- Providing accurate information: Clients come to you expecting that you will be the local expert they need to navigate the housing market. If you do not provide them with reliable and accurate information, you can quickly lose your client’s trust. Be sure to always study your local housing market, from where the best schools are to where boutique spinning studios are, so you can always answer your clients’ questions. If you don’t have the answer, be sure to find it for them as soon as possible to maintain your image of reliability.
Resourcefulness helps clients trust you
Lastly, as a trusted real estate agent, your clients need to see that you are resourceful. One way to do this is to develop a reputation for negotiating the tricky process of offers and counteroffers — this is a great way for clients to see your resourcefulness in action.
Instead of having negotiations stalled for weeks due to a stubborn party, the sooner you are able to help everyone reach a satisfactory resolution, the better your clients will view you, and they will trust you enough to refer their friends to you.
So, if you have been looking for ways to increase your real estate sales and retain clients, then you might want to implement the three R’s to gain your clients’ trusts.