Hi friend! I have a question for you… When you start working with a new buyer or seller, do they know exactly what to expect from you before, during and after a transaction? If the answer is no, put this at the top of your to-do list! Setting client expectations is the foundation for the overall success of the home buying and selling process. If you prepare your buyers and sellers with everything they need to know and what they can expect from you, you are on the path to success and client satisfaction worth celebrating!
- Under-promise and Over-deliver: I’m sure you’ve heard this one before but it’s time to stick to it! There are a few simple examples that you can take and apply in any situation. For starters, unless you plan on responding to every single email / text / phone call within 5 minutes, please set the state for what is to be expected. Include this in your email signature and your voicemail and make it reasonable. Will you guarantee to return a phone call within 24 hours? Establish that and if you end up calling back sooner, that’s even better!
- Always set up a buyer or seller consultation before showing or listing any homes. Not only for safety reasons but because you want to make sure you are going to be a good fit for each other before you get started. Trust me, if you are worried about losing a lead over this, they aren’t worth it if they won’t agree to meet with you. People who are serious will appreciate the extra time you take to meet them and get to know them and their needs before jumping into the process.
- Have a system for everything. What process do you follow for your buyer and seller clients? If you want to have control over your client’s expectations, systems are key! Have an outline for both buyers and sellers to follow that shows the order of the process, when they can reach you, what to expect at each step. what is needed from them, and anything else you want to share with them about what they can expect while working with you. Make sure you give all of this to them before you start the home search or before you sign the listing contract. One example is how I handle open houses. I don’t do them personally anymore. I have other agents at my office do them. This is something I always let the sellers know up front. I explain this by saying “I have a team of agents I work with who specialize in open houses. They will be handling those so that I can spend time focusing on marketing your home in other ways.” If I didn’t go over this ahead of time, could you see where they might have a different expectation? By explaining that “I have a team of agents who specialize in this” shows that I am organized, professional and have a team of people I work with!
- Always be one step ahead of the game. There are so many moving parts to a real estate transaction before and after going into a contract. Always be pro-active: create a schedule of deadlines in the offer and add them to your calendar, go over how a home inspection works prior to the time of the home inspection, explain when the final walk through takes place before you’re in the house for your last look before closing. Always stay one step ahead of where you need to be. You’ll appear organized and the clients will know what to expect.
- CONSISTENT Communication: When you are in the middle of a transaction, I like to pick a day of the week that I will reach out to my clients via their preferred method of contact. I will let them know of any upcoming deadlines, follow through with any action items they need to take care of that week, and give them any other updates that have occurred. Sometimes there isn’t anything new to update them but I still make sure to stick to my plan and reach out anyways. If there isn’t an update, I’ll send an email or leave a voicemail saying “Only 2 more weeks until closing! I don’t have any updates this week but wanted to check in incase you have any questions!” This makes you reliable and builds trust with your clients. It’s super simple and they will know they can always count on hearing from you that week!
Following these guidelines will ensure your clients know exactly what they can expect from you and eliminate several questions that can be handled in advance. With everyone on the same page, you will build trust and create a much smoother transaction overall!
Cheers to HAPPY clients!