Building rapport and trust with new clients
According to Shelley, it’s vital to foster a positive agent-client relationship from the very first interaction. “Offer prompt attention, be professional and timely with phone calls and emails, find out more about the brief, provide relevant information and open that window for a potential face-to-face meeting,” Shelley said.
Jacque added: “Part of that trust-building process is showing how credible we are by giving potential clients testimonials and phone references of real clients we’ve actually helped to find a property in the same area.”
Setting realistic expectations
Shelley again highlighted the importance of being proactive when it comes to establishing realistic expectations about the property buying process. “From the initial meeting, explain the process of exactly what’s required from both parties. There are certain things we need to be very up front about in terms of what we need to do to make sure we’re achieving their goal of finding a property. Honesty and transparency is critical,” Shelley said.
“The beginning of a search is often quite different to four weeks later as the search evolves,” Jacque explained. “I find one of the biggest challenges is making sure the client’s criteria are realistic and we’re all on the same page. It’s imperative we aren’t wasting their time and our time looking for something that doesn’t exist.”
Jacque also nominated three key questions for buyers’ agents to ask themselves at each stage of the property search process:
1. Does the client have the capacity to pay?
2. Is the client’s criteria realistic?
3. Is the client committed and how can I gauge their level of commitment?
Maintaining a client’s motivation
How does a buyers’ agent continue to motivate clients who may be feeling jaded by the challenging process of searching for the right property, especially following an unsuccessful auction?
“I find the best way is to go back to how and why we originally started. Having a face-to-face meeting is a really good idea because it generates more interest and shows that you want to help and you’re there to achieve an outcome,” Jacque said. “We like to use the line, ‘there’s always another property’ – and we have found that to be true.”
Shelley said: “It’s important to have regular check-ins. If the brief’s changed or the market’s moving, and it means what they were after originally is no longer achievable, it’s time to have that conversation and start introducing other options.
“I use auctions as a way to say to the client, ‘at least we can see who is there and how they’re bidding’. Auction is the best and most transparent test of the market.”
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