As a member of ReminderMedia’s Client Success team, I’ve helped real estate agents at all stages of their career—from brand new agents to top producers who’ve been in the game for years.
Through those conversations, I’ve learned a lot about the pain points that agents experience every day. One thing I’ve noticed in particular is how many agents seem to struggle with the idea of focusing on individual transactions instead of relationships.
I get it. When you’ve got a business to run and a family to support, you need to make sure that you’re closing deals. But, by focusing only on the short term, you’re actually costing yourself a lot of potential business down the road.
Based on the conversations I have with agents every day, I’ve seen firsthand the power of a relationship-based approach. Whether you’re following up with a past customer, communicating with a current client, or trying to close a deal with a hot prospect, here are six icebreakers you can use to build the kinds of relationships that will land you more business for years to come.
Questions you can ask
When the time comes to buy or sell, where do you think you’ll need the most assistance?
If you’re talking to someone who’s looking to move in the not-so-distant future, you have a golden opportunity to begin building a relationship now. By asking the above question, you’re putting forth the idea that, when this person decides to move, they’ll benefit from the help of an agent. Once you know this person’s desires and pain points, you’ll be better prepared to position yourself as the perfect agent to handle their transaction—not to mention any other transactions they might have down the line.
With the exception of the house, what are the three most important things your family is looking for when you move?
When someone is buying a home, they’re really buying a location. Local schools, parks, and proximity to public transportation are all important factors for many buyers. Once you know exactly what a client or prospect is looking for, you can come back with listings that meet their criteria.
Of course, it always helps to go the extra mile in any way possible. For example, if local schools are one of your client’s top priorities, be ready with information about which schools are nearby and how those schools have performed in recent years. It’s this kind of customer service that will help you build long-term relationships with your clients.
What kinds of things do you do for fun/on the weekends?
Many agents will look at this question and assume it has nothing to do with their business. But, as an agent, you’re in the people business. That means you need to connect with your clients and prospects on a human level, without constantly focusing on business.
When you talk to people about what they do for fun, you’re encouraging them to let their guard down—building rapport and making a real connection. You’re also learning valuable information that you can use to deliver even better customer service. If your client likes playing basketball, you might mention that you saw a court down the road from the house you’re showing them.
In an incredibly competitive marketplace, it’s little touches like this that will help you build the kinds of relationships that result in more deals and more referrals.
A lot of the people I help ask me for recommendations. If you need a plumber, insurance agent, or landscaping company, let me know. I’ll send you in the direction of someone I trust.
The thing about people who are looking to move is that they don’t want to just work with any agent—they want to work with the local expert in their market.
While recommending a contractor might seem like a small gesture, it’s actually a huge help for your clients, who may not have the time or energy to research someone on their own. Beyond that, you’re also sending the message that you’ll go above and beyond for your customers.
A friend of mine recently asked me to help his parents downsize into a smaller home. If you know of anyone else looking to downsize, I’m happy to help them, too!
Whether you’re courting a new client or seeking out a referral, it always helps to have a proven track record. It’s also smart to specialize in certain types of transactions. Downsizing is a great example of a niche market that’s currently in high demand, as millions of baby boomers enter retirement.
Think about the types of transactions you’ve made. Have you helped first-time buyers? Do you specialize in luxury listings? Take advantage of the deals you’ve already closed to get yourself some new, similar listings. Before long, you’ll be known as the specialist for that type of listing in your area, and more business will come rolling in.
I know buying/selling seems like a huge hurdle. That’s why my friends and family lean on me regularly when they have questions. If you need help with anything at all, don’t hesitate to ask. This is my passion, and I’m in this business to help people just like you.
There are plenty of agents out there, and it can be tough to stand out from the crowd.
One way to make a strong impression is by acknowledging how difficult or scary buying or selling a home can be. After all, that’s how so many of your potential clients feel, even if most agents won’t acknowledge it, for fear of losing a deal.
Position yourself as a solution to the problems your clients are facing. Be available. Offer advice up front. Make it clear that you care about them beyond that initial transaction. When you do these things, you’ll be rewarded with not just a single deal, but so many more transactions from referrals and repeat business.
If you’re looking to offer even more value, you can send your clients a customized, branded product from ReminderMedia. Click here to get a free PDF sample of American Lifestyle magazine, and be sure to check out the American Lifestyle digital edition for a great way to stay top of mind with all your prospects.