Up level your search strategies to empower clients’ success

As every agent knows, a significant amount of bandwidth goes to acquiring new leads; however, servicing those new leads can too easily become an afterthought.

As soon as you’ve had a meaningful conversation with a new lead, time, effort and strategy must go into turning them into a new client. The way to do this is to show your value and position yourself as an expert, while establishing yourself as a partner in their home journey.

A method that’s effective is to set up “expert” property searches and area/neighborhood emails that empower the client with daily information to both learn and process what they want and where they want to be, enabling a stronger relationship together to reach their goals.

Expert property searches

Most buyers begin their home search in a broad area and refine their search over time. They may give parameters such as proximity to work or a downtown, a square footage requirement, good schools and price range. With that kind of information, you — being the expert — should recommend the neighborhoods that would be good options. 

Discuss with your client your recommendations and, from there, set up an expert property search. This is where you must apply your expertise as well as solid search specifications that will yield them the options and information they want, and not require them to endlessly sift through wildly different properties all over town within one (bad) search parameter. 

For example, you want to avoid the buyer receiving an email every day that includes homes that differ by thousands of square feet of vastly different ages in geographies that go 10 miles in every direction. This is not helpful to them as empowered clients who can assess what they truly want and can afford. Instead of setting up one broad search, organize searches into multiple smaller searches, typically organized by geographic area.

Since your client’s price range won’t change, they’ll educate themselves on what their budget affords them in these different areas. This empowers the client to prioritize and make decisions because you’ve given them the information in a well organized and understandable way.

Setting up an expert search

A better way to set up the expert search is to divide the searches by distinct geographies or neighborhoods with specific requirements set for each that reflects its character and capabilities, for example, for an older neighborhood of smaller homes, set an age threshold and square footage that would best yield what your client is looking for, whereas, for a newer neighborhood with substantial homes, leave out home age and focus on optimal square footage for the money. 

Your buyer will, of course, want those additional criteria per neighborhood as they learn more about them — specific schools or tighter/looser property criteria as they see what they can get. 

Of particular note, each neighborhood search functions the best in its own individual email with its own subject line of the email, which results in multiple emails but empowers clients to really focus on what they like and learn as they go about each neighborhood’s feel and options. For example, “Market Update for Allandale (Gullett Elem)” for a client seeking the Allandale neighborhood in Austin, TX, and wants their kids at Gullett Elementary. 

Ultimately, your buyer will start to eliminate certain areas and focus on others. When that happens, simply delete the searches that they no longer need. 

Expert area emails

As much or more attention must be paid now to the emails that they will receive, which provide incredible value to clients. After you’ve set up your “expert” searches, the next step is to send an email that gives a brief overview of the area or neighborhood that each search covers. This is usually 2-3 sentences about each area or neighborhood. By taking the time to send this valuable summary email with context about each locale, agents are able to show incredible value to the lead, who is now more likely to become a client. Overarchingly, the brokerage should keep these neighborhood resource compilations for agents to easily use. 

An example is below.  

SUBJECT: Areas and Neighborhoods for Your Property Search 

BODY: Hi {client} – I set up your property searches, so you should have them in your email. You’ll need to click through on each search to activate it, so please do so. I’ve separated these into different areas so that you can get to know the different neighborhoods and understand what each has to offer. You will receive these emails every morning as listings hit the market, go under contract or have changes in price. The information is directly from MLS, so it’s reliable. If you see properties elsewhere in which you are interested, please forward them to me and I’ll look to see why they didn’t show up in these searches. 

From here, your client can start receiving their individual neighborhood emails and empower themselves — and you as their partner — to find the right property that meets their needs. Of course, agents will get questions along the way and changes to search specifications, but as the client and agent iterate, they move closer to success and finding the perfect home. 

Eric Bramlett is the owner of Bramlett Residential, a brokerage in Austin, Texas.