A few times this year, I have found myself as the second, third or fourth agent to work with a real estate consumer. It is always an honor to work with folks in selling or buying their home. So, I scratch my head attempting to figure out why the job wasn’t accomplished prior to our working together.
Of course, I once attended a closing where the agent on the other side of the transaction showed up in a sleeveless t-shirt and dropped comments about a “hot date” he was anticipating that evening. As this is a family friendly blog, I will not go into detail about what the agent anticipated as a result of his “hot date.” So, while the performance bar I hold for myself is high, I simply shake my head at what some consumers suffer through, simply to buy or sell real estate.
In listening to my clients this year, a large factor in their dissatisfaction is their prior agent’s inability to communicate properly. Digging deeper and listening between the words, it is apparent that the prior agents did not listen well to ascertain what it is the consumer was looking to accomplish.
Communication begins with listening. Listening means hearing both the words spoken and unspoken. Often, what is unsaid is more important than what is said. As an aside, this holds true outside of real estate. Just think of your interactions with your loved ones.
Another common hiccup that leaves a bad impression, is mishandling expectations. The real estate transaction is not difficult. The steps from beginning to end, are pretty similar, from transaction to transaction. The devil, however, is in the details. Each transaction will have its own unique twists, turns and details that must be handled, to ensure as smooth a transaction as possible. Anticipating and notifying consumers of bumps in the process should be a default approach to each transaction. I have found that helping set expectations goes a long way to creating consumer confidence and shows a higher level of professional competence.
Expectation. Execution. Explanation. | Say what you are going to do. Say what you are doing. Say what you just did. [tweet this]
Did I mention communication already? Well, here it is again, because it so important. The difference here is that communication style is important.
Working with an agent, to buy or sell your home, should not be a lesson in futility, whereby you have to find a fax machine, or learn smoke signals. In fact, as an agent, I will argue that your agent should be communicating with you as you communicate with them. What I mean is this; if you call, you should receive a call back, not a text message, email or tweet. The response from your agent should be, minimally, in the same medium you reached out to them. Your agent should understand how you best communicate information and decisions.
By way of example, another recent closing was with a couple that loved to communicate via Facebook Messenger, email and the occasional phone call. They valued efficient, digital communication. Conversations and paperwork could be easily documented. If I were to attempt to communicate predominantly via phone and in-person meetings, I would not have been able to work with these clients, nor their parents and friends.