Do you know what your customers really think about the home-buying process?
According to the 2011 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS, here are the five biggest expectations:
A real estate salesperson should:
- Help find the right home to purchase.
- Help in negotiating the price.
- Help negotiating the terms of the sale.
- Determine what comparable homes are selling for.
- Assist with the paperwork.
Many buyers do not understand the home-buying process. Buying a home can be very stressful. A real estate agent plays many roles during this process – adviser, counselor and friend. Here are some suggestions to better assist today’s buyers for improved client relationships.
How quick is your response time? Response time is rated as a very important quality in real estate professionals according to the NAR survey. It is ranked behind honesty and integrity. Are you ignoring customer leads? Are you responding too late? Today’s internet consumer is expecting a response within the hour.
Do you have a web presence? The important determining factors in choosing an agent are trustworthiness and reputation. With that said, online search is a go-to method to find out more about a real estate practitioner’s business. Client reviews are important as well as photos and detailed property information. If you are on social networking pages such as LinkedIn and Facebook, be sure they are up to date and represent your business.
Do you follow the three E’s? A realtor wears many hats during this process as I mentioned. You need to be ready to educate, empathize and encourage.
Educate on the area, what comparable homes are selling for, average price per square foot and every stage in the buying process.
Empathize throughout the whole process. This is a big, scary step where something as simple as the color of the walls becomes a huge obstacle. Keep calm, listen to them and propose a practical solution or compromise.
Encourage your buyers once they make a decision. They are looking to you for validation – they want to know they made a good decision. Review the priorities they stated in their home search and how the home measures up. This will help lead them all the way to the closing table.
Can you answer their questions? Of course there are certain questions you can’t answer due to the fair housing laws, but if you ignore the question or gloss over it, you inadvertently make the buyer lose faith in your knowledge about the market or feel like their question didn’t matter. Keep pertinent data with you, available on your Web site or even in a special buyer packet.
Are you present through the entire process? After your buyers have selected a home, don’t disappear until closing day. They will feel abandoned! They need your help understanding the entire process and part of that is recommending service providers. Find an excuse to call – share an article, tell them you drove by and the house looks great. Help them get information on their new community.
The end of the transaction can be the beginning of a relationship with your clients. By proving you will be there every step of the way and beyond builds your reputation and a lasting awareness of your services – for the next time they need you, or when their friends and family need you.
Until next time, Irene