I used to own a DJ company and prospects would call me to ask if I could be of service for their parties. Some people would ask what I charge even before finding out if I was available! During that first call regardless of how much information someone wanted to know about my services I would always say, “the best way for me to explain to you how I can help with your event is to sit down in person and start planning it together.”
I did this to portray that I was more than just a DJ, but instead an event consultant who wanted to offer a service catered specifically for that client. Until recently, the mentality of selling a service was to always be closing (thanks Glengary Glen Ross). Always Be Closing is a mentality that is all about making money any and every way possible, but in 2016 sales are all about the consumer especially in real estate.
Real estate is a people business, and people want to be helped. That’s why the mantra for the modern real estate agent should be Always Be Helping. There are plenty of real estate agents in any given market in America. The factor that will make a prospective home buyer or home seller choose an agent in 2016 is the agent's helpfulness. They want a professional who listens to them and understands their real estate needs.
This list of 5 tips to Always Be Helping in real estate is based on my experience running a DJ company and Dan Tyre from Hubspot's advice on how sales reps can Always Be Helping in 2016.
1. When possible, have your first meeting in person
This was how I set the tone for the relationship with each of my DJ clients. Having an in-person meeting allowed my clients to put a face to my name, and I the same. When you have an in-person meeting you can also read body language and facial expressions which you cannot over the phone. These meetings allow you to offer literature or marketing materials that can and should inform your prospective clients. If you are unable to have a live meeting due to geographic restrictions, try to set up a Skype meeting or video call to make it more personal than a phone call.
2. Find out Your Prospective Client’s goals
The basis of Always Be Helping is to make it about the customer, not yourself. In real estate you need to find out early on in meeting a prospective client whether you’re going to be helping them with the buying side of a transaction or the selling side. By knowing and understanding their real estate goals you can properly guide them to resources that will educate them about the process they will go through, and connect them with other professionals that can help like a lender or escrow officer.
3. Understand where your prospective client is in the real estate process
You need to know how your prospective client found you and what research they've done in the process thus far. It’s helpful for you to know if they’ve worked with other real estate agents in the past, if they’re first time home buyers, or if they’re coming to you because they were working with someone they didn’t like. All of this information will help you help them. Learn if they’re willing to do research so you can assign them sites to reference for home search if they’re buying a home, or places they can look for buyers if they’re selling a home.
4. Tailor your process to make it easy for the prospective client to work with you
So you’ve gotten to know your prospective clients and their real estate needs pretty well. You’ve identified what their personality is like, and the extent of work they want you to do for them. Buying or selling a home is an emotional purchase and they should feel that you're giving them an individualized treatment. If they need you to do some things you don't normally do for your clients (within reason) you should do them. Your clients will be happier and thank you for doing it.
5. Feed them Helpful or Useful Information after the deal is done
Hopefully throughout the time you work with a client you get to learn about some of their hobbies or interests. After the deal is done you should use the things your clients are interested in as a way to keep yourself top of mind, and make them an awesome referral engine. If you find an article online or a nearby event that crosses with one of your current or past clients’ hobbies, send it to them on Facebook or in an email just like you would one of your close friends.
The Always Be Helping real estate agent installs trust and confidence in their clients throughout the real estate transaction process. The modern agent should desire to help their clients in any way they can. I know many Always Be Helping agents, and their business positively reflects this mentality.
For additional advice on how to be a helpful real estate agent, subscribe to Inside InHouse by clicking on the subscribe button below the comment box.