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Ever heard of the iBuyer market? In this space, sellers can request an offer from a large company that will then buy their home, list it and sell it to someone else. This has been part of the business model at companies like Zillow and Opendoor for a few years. Keller Williams is the latest player in the iBuyer market—the first company with brick and mortar brokerages to get involved.

Many of these companies believe sellers will hop on this trend because it’s convenient for them; however, I believe this represents a greater problem in our industry today. When a client would rather choose technology over a real estate professional, it implies that the level of care and service brought to the table is on a sharp decline.

With this realization, it’s no wonder sellers flirt with the idea of impersonal iBuyer markets. In today’s high-tech, “convenience” culture, it is crucial that real estate agents prioritize a business model favoring relationships, skill-building and transparency. There is a certain level of care and service that the internet can’t provide—that’s where we need to step up our game. Instead of just doing deals, establish your value by building relationships and demonstrating consistent professionalism. These three strategies are great starting points:

  1. Set Up a Pre-Listing Appointment
    This is where you build rapport with your potential client. Before you take the listing appointment, schedule a phone call or brief meeting over coffee to review a few logistics and motivations. Why are they moving? By when do they want to move? Assess what they think the home is worth—if they toss it back to you, let them know that you will get them that information, but you’d like their frame of reference first. You’ll connect with the seller, becoming better equipped to provide great service when you get the listing.
  1. Be Transparent
    A true professional will communicate frequently and honestly with a seller to keep them informed during this huge and anxiety-inducing part of their life. Give them the details on home tours and open houses, and share your marketing plan. Have a communication plan in place that includes weekly updates on progress. Technology makes it easy to forget this step, so commit to whatever check-in schedule you choose with your client!
  1. Sharpen Your Negotiation Skills
    The iBuyer market often shorts people on equity due to that convenience factor. Your negotiation skills set you apart from the web! As an agent, you have the power to get your seller the deal they deserve, but it’s up to you to refine those skills. You still want to be realistic with them, of course—this could take some different negotiation as you reach a price that accommodates the market and your seller. Remember your client’s motivations for selling and acknowledge them as you both talk through the right price for the home.

When you implement these strategies, you will provide your client with an incredible selling experience that they will actually enjoy. Then—here’s where the real magic happens—they will tell their friends and family, who will want your services for their own real estate transactions.

If you want to hit the ground running with your sellers and want more practical strategies and tactics like these, join me at a Buffini & Company GameChangers. Our one-day real estate workshop is heading to cities across North America during 2019 to help you take your business to the next level!

Joe Niego is a master presenter and motivational speaker for Buffini & Company.

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