When you meet for the first time with prospective new clients, you have a short time to make a good impression. Even if you have the best interpersonal skills and the slickest promo tools, if you don’t answer the basic questions and concerns that clients have, you may not get their business. Here are five of the things that many new clients will likely want to know, but may not think to ask:
1. Payment – Clients, especially first-time homebuyers, want to know how your commission gets paid, but they are often too shy or intimidated to ask. Make it easy for them by addressing payment on the front end. Be prepared to share information regarding the amount of commission you and, if applicable, your broker receive, how it is split if another agent is involved in the transaction, who pays the commission and when payment is received. Talking about this openly at the first meeting shows that you are happy to be completely transparent about the commission, and that you want to make sure they understand the payment arrangements upfront. They’ll appreciate you bringing up the topic before they have to ask.
2. Experience – Prospective clients will want to know about your experience and background. How long have you been selling real estate? How long have you been an agent in the local area? Do you have a particular niche market or client base that you specialize in serving? What made you get into real estate? What special skills do you bring to the table? Is there anything that makes your brokerage different from other real estate companies? Be prepared to give an overview of your education and work history, and don’t be afraid to toot your own horn a little bit.
3. Expectations – This is your chance to set realistic expectations about the service you provide and how transactions generally unfold. For example, listing clients will want to know how their property will be marketed. Be specific about the promotional avenues that you have available and what strategy you plan to implement to make sure their listing gets noticed. If you’ve successfully marketed similar properties in the past, use those as examples. If you think that a listing may take longer to sell or presents particular challenges, be upfront about why that may be the case and your ideas about overcoming any hurdles. For potential buyers, present an accurate picture of the local market, the type of property they can expect to find within their budget, and any other parameters they provide. Explain how you handle showing arrangements, and find out if there are any restrictions about the types of properties they wish to view.
4. Communication – Whether clients are listing or buying, they will want to know how often they can expect to communicate with you. Will you be at every showing? Will you contact listing clients after showings to give them feedback? If you make it a practice to touch base with clients weekly or every few days, tell them. Find out what communication avenues they prefer; for example, are text messages acceptable, or do they prefer phone calls or in-person meetings? Can you check in via email if that’s appropriate? What’s the quickest way to reach them if you need to get in touch fast? Also, be sure to outline your general practices regarding returning calls, emails and text messages so they have an idea of your typical response time.
5. Relationship – Real estate transactions are big deals for most people, and most potential clients want to take this important step with someone they trust. Letting clients know that you’ll be looking out for their best interests is an important part of building lasting relationships. Let them know about any services that you can provide that may enhance their experience, such as the addition of an HSASMHome Warranty.
For more information about how the HSA Home Warranty can help safeguard homeowners from the expenses of covered household appliance and system breakdowns, please visit onlinehsa.com or call 1-800-367-1448.
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