In the digital media era, communication skills can be hard to master. The percentage of millennial homeowners is projected to grow, according to US News and World Report, and perhaps you feel the pressure to adapt your communication methods to that target demographic.
Effective communication can take a real estate agent’s service and elevate it to the next level. Mastering great communication skills demonstrates your knowledge and expertise with clients and helps build trust with them quickly. Here are simple ways to become a more effective communicator, and cultivate client satisfaction.
Set Expectations and Keep Them
When expectations are not met, people get upset. If your client expects a phone call or email from you and they don’t get it in time, trust is broken and your reputation is hurt. But, if you set proper communication expectations with your clients beforehand, a lot of stress and worry will be relieved on both sides.
Set these expectations with your client by developing a communication plan that works for both of you. Decide what form of communication is preferred (text, email, phone), what time of day is best to contact them, and how frequently they can expect to hear from you.
Also make sure your clients understand the best way to contact you, and respond as quickly as you can to their inquiry. Remember that younger home buyers have grown up to expect near immediate responses from businesses, and they will likely have the same expectations of you.
Be Crystal Clear
There are a lot of moving parts in every real estate deal. Things can change in a moment’s notice, which makes it important to keep your client in the loop.
Different actions require different forms of communication. Certain important conversations are best had in person or over the phone and not through text or email. When talking to your clients, your goal should be to eliminate customer confusion and frustration. What seems like insignificant information to you may be important to your clients who don’t work day in and day out in the real estate industry.
First time homebuyers may require more clarification as they may not be familiar with the home buying process. Or, conversely, they may have done extensive research on their own and may challenge conventional wisdom or advice. It’s important to welcome their ideas and not take any questions or challenges personally in order to establish mutual trust.
Say 'No' to Social
Avoid communicating with your clients over public social media channels. Private messages on social channels can be used for basic questions and updates, but more complicated or detailed exchanges should be done via email, text or phone. Also, make it a policy to retain important written communications. Add these communications the clients record in the event you need to revisit the correspondence.
Never post about your clients, current or former, on social media. If you want to publicly congratulate them on the purchase or sale of their home, be sure to get their permission first.
Social media is a great place to find leads, but if not handled with care it can affect your client’s trust or even lead to legal complications.
Keeping these client communication tips in mind can help you develop trust with your client and pave the way for a smooth transaction.
About the author:
Kathleen Kuhn is President and CEO of HouseMaster, the original home inspection franchise. She oversees an organization with more than 325 franchise locations across the U.S. and Canada. HouseMaster has an average net promoter score (NPS) of 92, a near-perfect customer service mark that puts it ahead of the NPS of some of the most customer-centric organizations like Ritz-Carlton and Apple.
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