There as many different ways to find and engage buyers and sellers as there are individuals who own (or would like to own) homes. But that initial contact is only one piece of the puzzle: Once you’ve established contact, how do you keep the interaction humming?
The dos and don’ts of the real estate business can really be simplified to the rules of basic sales, in most cases. Think about it: When you are in need of service or advice from a salesperson, what makes you feel good about working with them?
The golden rule, simple logic and common sense are good places to start when it comes to bringing you the success you strive to achieve.
Here are a few simple “rules” to live by:
1. Response time is a prime component of long-term success
We live in an “I-want-it-now” world, and so prompt replies to questions, comments or concerns — whether they’re in person, online or via voicemail — will show your client (or potential client) that you are ready to deliver.
2. Make sure your response is clear and easily understood
A simple: “Hi, I am just checking to make sure you got my message — was it what you were looking for?” or something along those lines to stay in touch and engaged goes a long way.
3. Don’t hide!
Sometimes the marketing of a home takes longer than either party expects, so make sure you follow up weekly (or on a pre-determined timeframe you’ve set with the seller) with reports, market updates or advertising updates.
They want to hear from you! And when you satisfy them, you can bet they’re spreading the word and telling neighbors what a great job you did. (So don’t forget your 5-5-10 when you close!)
4. With a buyer, you need to do more than a ‘drip campaign,’ or you might lose them
Whenever you see a property match for them, give them a call. Ask when they are available to come see it. And if the opposite is the case — nothing has come through your system that fits your criteria — call and ask if they have seen anything online (you know they are looking)!
It shows you have them in mind, and you haven’t forgotten about them. This contact also gives you a chance to talk about their “must-haves” — which might shift along the way — or perhaps a mortgage update. Be a proactive source of information.
5. Follow up even after the sale
One of the major mistakes I have made in my career is not following up after the sale. Early on, I did not always stay in touch after closing. I knew I’d done the best I could for them, selling or buying, and that they were happy! We closed, shook hands, and off I went to help another.
Thankfully, I’ve been blessed more than once by the phone calls saying, “We found you! You sold us our house 30 years ago, and we are ready to sell!” But I can’t help but wonder how many referrals I missed out on from those folks over the years simply because I did not keep in touch. Today, that kind of follow-up is easy, plentiful, and it works! Do it.
One last and all-important “rule” to live by is that if you mess up, apologize. We’re human, and we can all forget from time to time, but a timely, heartfelt apology will save you most times, as long as you have been good up to then and take constructive learnings from the misstep.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to following up, staying engaged and building relationships that last. Each buyer and seller is different, as is every real estate professional. But with a few of these basic guardrails, you’ll be well-equipped for ongoing success.
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