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Great agents know that every client is the core of your business — not just for one sale, but for repeat and referral business. With the change in the market, however, current buyers are scared and nervous about paying too much or even determining whether or not a property is right for them.
And, a large number of recent buyers aren’t feeling great about the purchases they did make — in fact, according to a Zillow study in February, 72 percent of recent homebuyers had some and 65 percent were definitely experiencing buyer’s remorse.
The best way to keep your current — and future — pipeline intact in a changing environment is to manage buyer expectations throughout the beginning, middle and end of the purchase process. We don’t have a crystal ball to give us all the answers of what will happen with the market, but here are 10 ways you can keep everyone under control today and end up with happy buyers once the final papers are signed.
1. Meet and greet
Design your first client contact ahead of time to set expectations and implement ways you can start to “super serve” out of the gate in your buyer intake meeting.
What they hear in the media is salacious. Ground what they think they know into facts and how you will be the Sherpa to lead them through the mountains. Do not meet clients at a house first. This market requires education first.
2. Build the squad
Remember that every player involved in the transaction has a major impact. Vet every single person who comes in contact with your client, from the lender to the home inspector. It takes a village to super serve a client.
3. Show appreciation
Companies like Client Giant and Lolo can help keep your buyer in the mood while they are in the transaction. Negotiations can feel like scraping your knuckles on pavement, so invest in keeping up the good feelings throughout it.
4. Keep in touch
Schedule with your client when you are going to update them. “Whether it’s good news, bad news, or no news, I will call you on Tuesdays.” When the world is chaotic, add more reassurance, stability and structure.
5. Be honest
Provide data, even if the story is terrible. Not providing comps because they are meaningless (without explaining why) could be construed to a misunderstanding buyer that you are not willing to do your job.
Provide the data. Explain that the market pace is moving so fast, it becomes “historic” very quickly and cannot be reliable. In a tumultuous market like this, other buyers are incredibly emotional. There is no report you can pull that can measure emotional currency in the market. Tell them your plan to overcome it.
6. Remember dialog is key
As agents and brokers, we are in charge of consumer confidence. Mind your words. If you are out in the market or on social media spewing pessimism, you’ll get it right back from your sphere when you work with them. Find ways to deliver the wins and solutions, and your clients will start looking for them, too.
7. Become an expert
Get training about how the big picture works. What is the Fed, and what changes do they make that impact your clients? How does the secondary market work? What happens with jumbo loans, VAs, and FHAs? What are the details on appraisals? How come a lender can’t talk to an appraiser? What is the process of ordering one?
Know these things so that you can explain them in detail. An informed buyer is a comfortable buyer. “You ride shotgun, I’m drivin’.”
8. Get $mart
Take quarterly economics classes. You cannot lead the herd if you don’t know where you’re going.
9. Stay focused on their vision
In the buyer intake, you should have uncovered why your clients are buying in the first place. By keeping their eye on the prize (what they really want, like more space, another room for the nursery, the veggie garden they thought they’d never have), you keep their focus on what they hold valuable.
10. Stand behind your product
Believe in what you’re selling your clients. If you wouldn’t advise your mother to do it, don’t advise your client.
This is a tough market, there is no doubt about it, and more changes are expected to come. Managing expectations and supporting your clients through the process will minimize doubts and remorse and maximize referrals and future business.
Ultimately, a confident buyer and a confident seller make the world go around. It’s on us to secure both.
Shelley Zavitz is a practicing real estate agent in Portland, Oregon, with an award-winning background in commercial copywriting and brand building. Connect with her on Facebook or LinkedIn.