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Put Customers First by Managing Expectations

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By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, January 27, 2010—Working with your customers and setting clear expectations from the start is one way to make sure the home buying or selling process is a smooth one. Here, David Romero, President and CEO of Century 21 Award in San Diego, California discusses how providing clients with honest, proactive communication can help in the long run.

David Romero
President & CEO
Century 21 Award
San Diego, California

Region served: Southern California
Years in real estate: 19
Number of offices: 16
Number of agents: 1,300
Average sales price: $355,000
Average time on market: 45 days
Best tip for dealing with difficult customers: Set clear expectations in the beginning and then work hard to exceed them. Providing your clients with more information and honest, proactive communication will help you avoid running into difficult customers.

What is your biggest challenge in today’s market and how is your company taking it on?
The biggest challenge in our market is the fact that our inventory is at historical lows, which has made it hard to accomplish our goals and help buyers get into homes. We have worked hard this past year to get creative with the inventory we do have and to find ways to create our own inventory, rather than waiting for homes to come onto the market. Being proactive and helping individuals through the short sale process has enabled us to create some additional inventory throughout this difficult market.

What are some of your technology best practices?
We have done a lot of cool things with video in order to get interested buyers connected with sellers. By putting a spin on the typical “I have a buyer for your home,” we have gone out and videotaped individuals and then sent the link in a postcard or e-mail to sellers in the specific area the buyer has shown interest in. We have also created videos to help offers get accepted and for client testimonials. Videos are a great way to make a prospective buyer or offer jump off the page and catch someone’s attention.

What’s your best strategy to get buyers to see a listed home?
Pricing the home correctly is still the most effective way to get buyers to see a listed home. Recently, we have begun to use social media as more of a means to get prospective buyers to look at our listed homes. Rather than just throwing information at people, we focus on starting a conversation. For instance, to raise awareness about a recently listed home on Facebook, we held a small contest by asking our fans to guess the price of the home. This got people interested in talking about the property and created a viral campaign when fans began passing the listing on to their friends who were looking to purchase a home.

How do you ensure you always get the right listing price?
Everyone is looking for leadership today, so I am constantly preaching about the effects of bold leadership to my agents. In order to get the right listing price, it is crucial you tell your clients what their home should be priced at. In today’s market, you can’t be afraid to tell people the truth, and that starts with telling them your honest opinion about where you feel their home should be priced.

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