I’ve been toying with this post for a couple of weeks because in this Web2.0 world a lot of us tend to forget the dynamics of relationship building because of the lack of face-to-face contact in our Internet world.
I can speak only about myself when I say that I have gotten good at communicating via e-mail and social networks and being able to interpret clients’ needs from a very few well structured questions. I can tell how serious they are about buying, I can also interpret urgency and loyalty. The question arises when you finally achieve that “face-to-face” meeting.
If you told me a few years ago that Real Estate would be about psychology, I would have laughed in your face. How could selling a property have anything to do with psychology? Well…..in my opinion, it has more to do with psychology than actual selling (go ahead and throw those tomatoes now).
If someone likes you, feels comfortable with you and trusts you, they will buy or sell real estate with you, plain and simple. That’s why the hard-sale is such a turn off for many people. If you show that you are more interested in making a sale than helping someone – there’s a huge chance you will loose them as a client.
So we spend all this time on line, blogging and showing our personality, communicating with prospective clients via e-mail and social networks and it could be so easy to blow it in person.
Just this week, I met for the first time with a European client that had found a property on my blog and spoke to them briefly one time on the phone. I was not able to get much information from them on the phone and figured I would know more in that first meeting.
While showing them a property, we were dissecting each other to death to find out if we would be “right” for each other (very much like a marriage…….a temporary one). In a few minutes, the listing agent achieved many things: to stick her foot in her mouth several times, to make the client uncomfortable, and to make me realize what this gentleman “was not looking for”.
I was able to walk away with knowledge about the client and with a lesson about not getting defensive about your listings if you want to kill a deal. (thank you listing agent, your insensitivity was quite rewarding).
We also do a lot of referral business. Some clients come to us that are not pre-approved and we have no idea how serious they are about buying or even if they are working with other Realtors. Today Rick was able to capture a non-loyal by being himself. But here’s the clincher……because it is a personality game, you have to know that not everyone will like your style and there may even be personality conflicts. You win some you loose some…….part of the business.
Bottom line is that if you don’t like each other or if you are not compatible, it will be difficult to do business together. The interview should be mutual, not just a buyer client interviewing an agent. It also makes me think how effective one of those “matchmaker” sites would be for business.
How about those long drawn out transactions that seem to take forever and everyone involved looses patience but most of all FAITH? We’ve been handling a short sale for over 3 months now that is driving all the parties involved absolutely crazy. The bank doesn’t respond, they stall….and we wait and wait and wait. If I were not communicating on a regular basis with the parties, this deal would have been out the window a long time ago. It’s our duty to hold hands, to help the client take deep breaths and to be the glue that holds it together. (This is not for everyone…..not even for me).
Please don’t misinterpret my message to be manipulative and give clients what they want to hear in order to make a sale. Your true colors will shine through in the end and your business will suffer from it. What I’m telling you is to listen.
The dynamics of relationship building is about finding liked-minded individuals who believe in you and trust you and who have similar business ethics. It is our job to find that happy medium where we can speak and e-mail prospective customers and make them feel comfortable in person.
Approach your clients the way you would like to be approached – treat them the way you would like to be treated and you will find that the virtual couch is a lot easier than you thought.
How comfortable is your couch?