Real Estate agents live and die by their ability to make sales. This means a lot of people will do whatever it takes to close a sale. This is the art of selling. From memorizing and running through a list of techniques on every interested buyer you can to cold calling as many numbers as you can find until you find the “easy” sale.
All of these techniques work. Once you hit a certain skill level and are able to run them at a certain scale, they will convert. However they’re not the most efficient, or effective, use of your time.
From the smallest to largest of purchases, it’s common for buyers to immediately do what they can to avoid the salesman. Over the years, salesmen have gained a bad rep due to bad selling tactics. People can sense when there’s an ulterior motive (money for you), rather than helping them make the best decision for themselves.
Bridging that gap of trust is the difference between average and stellar selling. It’s how you go from only closing on the low hanging fruit to making a sale on a majority of the leads that come your way. While it usually involves more work and a longer process, the benefits are much better in the long run.
1. Learn what your customer wants
It’s easy to try and oversimplify what your customer wants. For example, a home in a nice neighborhood, good schools, and a place that will be simple to take care of. All of these things may be true for some, they’re not always true to every customer. Not to mention, these wants are very broad in nature.
By ignoring the specific and failing to get to know your customers on a deeper level, you fail to serve your customers as individuals. Which plays a large role in the value of your sales.
Someone may spend $350,000 on a nice house in a good neighborhood with great schools and a nice lawn, but they may also spend $425,000 on a 2-story colonial with a finished garage and a bar in the basement that they’ve been dreaming about since they were 22. At a 3% commission that’s an extra $2,250 in profit.
The only way to know, is to ask the right questions.
2. Find where you can add value
Another key benefit of finding what your customer wants, is that you can find out where you can add value to their experience. Maybe they’re new in town and want to know all the best spots for their kids to have fun. Maybe they’ve been here for years and want a place where they can settle down into a community. Maybe they want someplace secluded and private. You don’t know until you ask, but when you know, you have the advantage to go above and beyond. Such as providing resources for nearby kids activities or Meetup groups that fit their lifestyle.
The advantage is that you can help solve many of their problems without even needing their money. Insider knowledge, experienced advice, and a little bit of legwork can usually come at little cost to you but time. However it can make a huge difference to your clients. Start by providing a community resource page on your website as lead generation tool. If you can solve their problems before you’re even working for them, they’ll be all the more likely to hire you.
3. Give. Give. Give.
Giving an existing client real, tangible help with their problems is the best way to endear yourself to them in a way that sticks. For example:
- Providing them with a physical list of recommended restaurants, communities, and stores in each location they are considering
- Introducing a newly situated couple to the neighbors – even after they’ve closed the sale
- Finding activities, such as after-school groups and little leagues, for the kids of families new to the area
- Gifting a new plant for their home to remind them that they are beginning a new chapter
All of these are small, helpful resources that cost little and help your customer a great deal. When you help your customer more, you build your reputation as an agent who really goes the extra mile. People like people that act like people, not salesmen.
Whatever tactics you decide is best for you, remember it’s important to keep adapting and growing as an agent. Whether that be trying different lead generation strategies, networking with other realtors, or attending continuing education courses.