Building trust with your clients, whether in real estate or any sales profession, can give you a competitive advantage because these long-term relationships help drive repeat business as well as provide references and word-of-mouth marketing that helps attract new clients.
In fact, a study by the Keller Center for Research at Baylor University found that trust has been shown to decrease a buyer’s decision-making uncertainty, increase cooperation, reduce functional conflict, and reduce the propensity to leave the relationship. Similar research shows that the trust that a client has for a salesperson is affected by perceptions of that person’s expertise and the empathy they show for the client’s needs.
Tweet this: Gaining a client’s trust can decrease decision-making uncertainty. #BuildTrust in the New Year.
As 2014 draws to a close, there is no better time to start thinking about ways to start the new year off right with your top clients—focusing on building trusting and lasting relationships.
Here are five ways to earn trust and build rapport with your key clients in 2015:
Start by Saying Thank You
The best way to start building a long-lasting relationship with your client is by expressing your thanks and gratitude—in the right way and using the right tools. Frankly, auto-responder “Thank you for your business!” e-mails are just about worthless. Take the time to send a handwritten note. Pick up the phone, and give them a call. Spend the first weeks of 2015 taking the time to communicate your gratitude with your top clients.
Whenever possible, tailor how you communicate your appreciation to the tastes and preferences of your client. Did you recently start working with a millennial home buyer? How about tweeting them a coffee to say thanks? Close a home purchase with a young family? Why not find them a babysitter for moving day to cut down on the chaos? Build trust by saying thank you in a truly genuine way rather than in a “Thanks for your business; now buy more stuff” kind of way.
Take Time to Communicate
Your clients depend on you to keep them informed and to make regular communications with them one of your top priorities. It is true, however, that we all have different attention spans and information requirements. Some clients like to be copied on all activity, while others only want the most important bits and pieces.
In 2015, make it a point to ask your clients how they prefer to be communicated with and take the time to communicate with them regularly. Be sure you’ve also communicated the best way to get in touch with you—whether by phone, e-mail, or text. This open line of communication will help build rapport and trust in the relationship.
Be a Useful Resource
The more value you offer, the more a client will come to depend on you—to see you as a trusted and useful resource. Don’t hesitate to share information that your clients may find useful. At the same time, don’t bombard them with irrelevant news or pictures of your family’s recent vacation on Facebook. Keep it strictly business, but also tailored to their needs.
Providing your clients with relevant and useful information can come in the form of a content-rich website, a quick e-mail letting them know you read a blog that might interest them, or telling them about the launch of a new farmers’ market in their neighborhood. Deliver your clients the information they need in 2015 while showing you’re a neighborhood expert and competent real estate resource.
Listen to Concerns, and Relieve Them
It can be hard to dig down to the root causes of your client’s concerns, but if you listen closely enough and ask the right questions, you may find ways to make their life a bit easier. This is a great way to demonstrate your commitment and gain trust in the relationship.
Perhaps your clients are expressing concern over a home’s proximity to the husband’s office. By asking the right questions and listening to the answers, you’ve learned the husband will be picking up additional shifts in the coming year and is worried about commute times. Relieve their concerns and take your relationship to the next level by pulling homes closer to his office or with low-traffic routes that will cut his commute time in half.
Brush up on your listening skills in the new year to build trust. You might even find that by digging down to the root of your client’s concerns, your deals close quicker and your clients are happier.
Drop the Hard Sell Marketing Techniques
Hard sell techniques are designed to get customers to purchase goods or services in the short term; this simply doesn’t work in real estate. Buying or selling a home is an emotional decision, and pushing the sale like a used-car salesman isn’t going to get you very far.
Use the new year as the perfect opportunity to revamp your marketing techniques. Make an effort to find unique ways to stay in front of your clients, without overselling. Let them know you’re a trusted resource, and that you’re available to them when they need you. You’ll build trust and repeat business by being genuine and by dropping the hard sell.
Building relationships with your key clients is something that takes time, patience, and effort.
Partnering with American Lifestyle magazine is an excellent way to say thank you, to communicate, to educate and engage, and to stay in front of your clients without the hard sell. Filled with interesting articles and quality content, while being personally branded, you can connect with past clients and prospects on a regular basis to build trust and referral business in 2015.
We’d love to hear from you! Tell us some of your favorite ways to build trust and rapport with your clients, and how you’ll be revamping your strategies in 2015 by connecting with us on our Facebook page. You can also learn more about American Lifestyle magazine by taking a tour. Here’s to a successful new year!