Once an agent has built up an arsenal of information, it’s up to the agent to employ it. It’s not a matter of what to say (no client will thank an agent for withholding information), as learning how to say it. Some information may be good news, other details are somewhat neutral, and others very negative. Regardless of the nature of the information, here are some tips for how to present it:
As many wise teachers have said, there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. That funny behavior found in a neighborhood might be a cherished cultural aspect. A client’s off-the wall question could have very personal consequences. Whatever question or concern a client has, treat it with respect and consideration.
Too much political correctness interferes with communication. Don’t be like a skilled politician who buries questions in pretty words or unnecessary details. Tell the bad and the good with equal clarity and tact.
Remember that everyone’s concerns and values are different. Don’t rule out an area or form too strong opinion of a neighborhood because each client may have a different opinion. Cultivate an attitude of seeing the pros, cons, and potential in any place, and support clients to make informed decisions about the possibilities.
Don’t just answer the questions they ask, answer the ones they didn’t think about asking. Many house hunters don’t know what they’re looking for until they find it; others think they know but change with the search; others are locked in to their preferences but may not have all the questions or details that could influence their choice. Help clients by sharing information that can affect them, both as house hunters and as future homeowners.
Just because a client doesn’t have children to consider doesn’t mean school information won’t interest or help them. A popular school may make a neighborhood in higher demand, influencing the price and competition for purchase, but also the outlook of future resale, making it more appealing. Other clients might want a quieter neighborhood with fewer children underfoot and avoid such areas. Any information that sheds light on the character of the county, city, neighborhood, or house can be useful to a client.
Pick up on client’s cues. Listen to what they say and try to read into the deeper meanings to find information that will benefit and inform their search. If a client isn’t interested in High School sports, don’t waste time telling them about the Tiger’s last baseball season. If they mention they are vegetarian, learning which neighborhoods are close to an organic market might be more appealing. Always keep alert for clues that can help you customize the client’s search with details from your arsenal.
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About David Goldstein — David Goldstein is an Owner and Founding Partner of Colibri Real Estate, LLC. which operates online education providers Colibri Real Estate, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.