As a practicing Realtor, I’m sure you are already well aware how relationship-focused this business is. Our relationship with our clients define our business.
In order to survive and succeed in this business, you need to constantly create connections. It’s not just about networking, it’s about making genuine connections, and also about nurturing and maintaining existing relationships.
As much as we believe things have changed from the ‘word of mouth’ business of the past, this industry is still based on what other say about you and how your reputation can precede you.
So much of your business relies on the Know, Like, Trust Factor.
Firstly, and most obviously, clients need to know you. You need to be on a potential client’s radar for them to consider using your services. Seems pretty straightforward, but for a lot of entrepreneurs, being visible in this industry is one of the biggest challenges.
OK, so now that people know you – do they like you? You don’t need everyone to like you. It is much more valuable to build genuine, meaningful connections with a few clients than have every person you come across LOVE you. That’s where the Trust component comes in. Being yourself will help people to Trust you. Having clients Know and Like you are important of course but gaining a client’s Trust is how you begin really building a business. People will buy from people they Trust. In this modern world we’re in, there is still great value in building genuine connections.
Below are my 6 tips on how to build a better relationship with your clients and get them to Know, Like and Trust you.
Communication is Key
I’ve always believed that the key to any successful working or personal relationship is communication. When both parties in a relationship are able to effectively and honestly communicate what they want/need, a lot of confusion or misunderstanding can be avoided.
Find out what a client’s preferred method of communication is (some prefer phone calls while others will opt for e-mails or texts) and use it to give them regular updates.
I’m sure you know by now that selling or buying a house is one of the more stressful life experiences, do your best to make this experience as seamless and easy as you can for your client.
Even if there isn’t much progress to report to your client, keep in touch and let them know! And think of ways to provide them with value throughout the year to keep in touch. No news can always feel like bad news in this industry.
If you don’t keep in touch, they’re more likely to make a connection with another agent…
With the advances in technology, there are so many different ways to stay in touch with your clients. Newsletters, property matches, video home walk-throughs and of course, social media give you a ton of different avenues to communicate with your clients.
This is all great but building relationships takes some face to face time as well — You’ll want to be present and communicate with your clients in-person. This is how you will build a trusting relationship with them. Of course, you should make use of the technology available to you (which does make your life that much easier) but make sure you don’t neglect old fashion personal communication in the process. Remember what I said about genuine connections?
Honesty is the Best Policy
Being honest and transparent with your clients when it comes to buying and selling their home is step 1 in building a trusting relationship. Trying to take advantage, stretching the truth or being dishonest in this industry can hurt your reputation and your business.
Today, with the access clients have to the internet, researching home listings, and average selling prices, even a small white lie can quickly be uncovered. Remember, it takes time to build relationships, but once they are hurt in this industry, they usually cannot be repaired.
Always be prepared and be honest, transparent and open with your clients. Not only will this help you gain their trust, but also their respect.
Along with being honest and transparent with your clients, you need to be realistic. Make sure you aren’t making promises to them that you won’t be able to deliver on later.
While I like to be optimistic (in life and in business), I always try to err on the side of caution. Let your clients know if selling their house may take longer than expected. It is better for your clients to be aware of realistic pricing and timelines than to have them worried or feel like you didn’t deliver on your word.
Don’t Forget to say Thank You
Just because a sale has gone through doesn’t mean that’s the end of your relationship with a client. If a client Knows, Likes and Trust you (the KLT factor) they will most likely use your services again in the future or even better, recommend you to their friends or family.
Small gestures can go a long way. Sending a thank you note, flowers or a small house warming gift can leave your clients feeling valued and appreciated.
Have your Client’s Back
Clients must trust you and, most importantly, they must truly believe that they are being well taken care of.
As a Realtor, you need to constantly prove that you are on their side and have their backs no matter what the situation. Only then will they feel comfortable with going along with you on the journey and being honest the whole way through.
Clients will be more likely to trust you if you provide them with honest feedback, or if you suggest they make a decision they may need to be ‘nudged’ a little to make.
As a Realtor, you should position yourself as the expert and the person who always has their best interest at heart. If this is how your clients get to know you, this reputation will stand the test of time.
Building, nurturing and maintaining relationships in this business takes time but it is worth the investment. Make sure each of your clients get your “full” attention and make them feel like they are well taken care of.
Communicate with them often, set realistic expectations, be honest and present and most of all ensure you are gratuitous even after everything is signed, sealed, delivered! Thinking long-term and developing a genuine and authentic relationship with each client is key to succeeding and thriving in this business.
What are you experiences with building relationships in this industry? I’d love to hear from you in the comment below! Have you checked out my last blog post about what every realtor should be doing in 2019, but isn’t?