In the current climate, it’s not unusual to receive multiple offers on a property, or achieve an eye-watering price at auction.
It’s easy to find buyers when your mobile phone is permanently vibrating in your pocket – and when you can’t keep up with the people who want to list their house with you.
But are we getting carried away? The answer, sadly, is yes. Houses aren’t disappearing off the market after a handful of days because we’re great real estate agents. Likewise, vendors aren’t smiling at their bank managers because we’re convincing buyers to spend more.
The truth is we’re people in smart clothes who are doing the same job we were doing before this mighty property boom began. We still have continued professional development requirements to complete, and we still need to work hard to keep ahead of the game.
Now’s the time to make a lasting impression
Selling and buying property can be stressful for clients, and it’s also an opportunity for you to demonstrate your market insight and real estate expertise.
You’re probably focused on the prize when you’re knee-deep in a sales campaign, but the potential buyers you’re interacting with are part-way through another process – the buyer’s journey. Although, they might also be pondering whether they’ll use you for their next property move.
How do you make a lasting impression? Even win lifelong clients? First up, never forget the two characteristics that define your work – how well you provide a service and the value you deliver to your clients. Do both of these well and you’ll earn your clients’ trust, and a gold trophy.
It’s not hard work alone that makes a good real estate agent. Success also depends on your ability to run a great sales campaign and to know what your buyers are thinking at any point in the campaign – and to be there to help them make decisions.
Align your sales process with the buyer’s journey
You’ve probably heard about touchpoints – selected interactions you have with your clients at specific points throughout the sales process. Thing is, if you focus on touchpoints alone, you can miss other significant occasions where clients need your assistance and reassurance.
Aligning your sales process with the buyer’s journey will enable you to see the sales process through your client’s eyes. In addition, you’ll be seeing their whole journey instead of just the prescribed touchpoints along the way.
The buyer’s journey is the process that people go through as they make purchasing decisions about a house (or any other item). The three stages of the buyer’s journey are:
You can break these stages into more detail to understand the issues and influences that affect home buyers’ decision-making. In the Awareness stage, for example, they might decide that they’ve rented for long enough and need to look at alternatives. In the Consideration stage, they’ll likely be looking at what they can afford and what type of home they want. And when they get to the Awareness stage, they’re selecting an agent and looking more closely at housing options.
Your aim is to have your clients go through all the stages with you.
Communication is key to everything
Stage 1 – when clients are thinking about buying, contact them but don’t rush things. Let them initiate the direction of the conversation and make it clear you’re available to help. If you’re the first agent they’re speaking to and you lay a foundation of trust, then it’s very likely they’ll stay with you.
Stage 2 – keep building on the strong foundation you’ve established. The clients are still in the thinking stage, but are more aware. They’re noticing real estate listings and seeking information from their friends and family. Reach out to them, but keep it on their terms. Make sure you’re accessible. Send them an email with your contact details and a general market update. Work on developing their confidence so they know you’re there to help.
Stage 3 – by now clients know what they want, what they can afford and are ready to inspect homes. Respond promptly to their requests, take them through properties and guide and mentor them on the purchase of their new home. Follow up every inspection and listen to their thoughts so you understand their needs better.
Post-sale stage – the buyer’s journey and your sales process don’t end yet. Keep your communication going throughout the entire sales campaign and don’t drop the ball when the contract is signed. Let your buyer know how much you enjoyed working with them and make yourself available for follow-up queries.
If you have multiple sales going on at the same time, create lists, timetables and reminders to ensure you meet all your appointments and have time to chat to your clients.
Anticipate their doubts and fears, and respond with empathy and reassurance. The buyer might be concerned that they paid too much. You can resolve this concern by sharing your market insight.
Don’t stop communicating after settlement goes through either. Check in and see how they’re going in their new surrounds. Better still, send them champagne or flowers (or both) and congratulate them on their new home.
To avoid losing touch with clients, email them a monthly newsletter, send a calendar, a Holiday or Happy New Year card, or call them every now and then to say hello. They’ll appreciate the check-in and may even start referring to you as ‘my real estate agent’.
If you’re interested in a career in real estate, Entry Education is your golden opportunity to join the ranks of real estate leaders across Australia.
Our online training courses allow you to study in your own home at your own pace with your personal online tutor. Contact us today. We’d love to hear from you!