How “Educating” Your Clients Can IncreaseYour Production Over 1100%! Have you ever had to go through an important event or process in your life, and you didn’t know what was going to happen beforehand? Maybe you purchased a new car. Or underwent some kind of medical procedure. Or maybe you were making a BIG purchase, such as land, or a home, or a building. And when you didn’t know what to expect, didn’t you feel a bit nervous? Even a bit lost? Even worse…a bit FEARFUL? Well, believe it or not, that’s how most of your clients feel when they work with you. And that’s why educating your clients about a number of “processes” is so important to the success of your business. Here are 3 important (and simple) ways to educate your clients, and greatly increase your deal closings, with your clients being ecstatic with your services. (In fact, if you truly want to DIFFERENTIATE yourself from other agents try this process.)
Educating System #1: Provide a Road MapHere’s where many agents blow the relationship right up front: They fail to educate their prospects and clients on the EXACT PROCESS of buying or selling. And by doing this, they fail to remove the inherent FEARS present in people. The truth is, most people are silently wishing you would take the lead and help them make a decision. So here’s what you can do. Whenever you meet with buyers, or arrive at a listing presentation, in addition to other materials, take a simple FLOW CHART of the PROCESS of buying or selling. The process starts right where you are at our first meeting, then takes them through all the stages of buying or selling, and DETAILS exactly what’s going to happen, including what might go wrong and how you’ll handle the problem if it arises. This way, they know where you’re going. They have a road map. And, most importantly, they instantly feel less fear and more comfort working with you. Here’s something else that will differentiate you from other agents: “NAME” your personal process so no other agent can use it (not to mention very few other agents ever do this to begin with). For example, your buyer program could be called, “My Platinum Home Buyer Program.” Or your listing system could be called, “My Top Dollar Home Marketing Program.” Then, simply list out everything you do to serve your client. Get creative (and make sure you transmit a benefit in the name you give your process) and it will make a big difference. Couldn’t you easily put together a simple one page flow chart of your personal real estate process and integrate it into your buyer qualifying or listing presentation? Sure you could. Do this simple little exercise, and watch your clients bond to you like velcro.
Educating System #2: Set Expectations Up FrontThe second process of educating needs to be integrated into your FIRST process above. And it’s this: EDUCATE YOUR CLIENTS ON WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOU. When you use a flow chart and present the entire process of buying or selling, you have a great opportunity to set their expectations of you and the relationship. How do you do this? By simply telling them at each stage what you’ll be doing to service them. This also enhances your image and value as a true professional. AND, it tells them that YOUR services are more than simply entering their home on MLS, or doing a simple search to find their next home. Believe it or not, most people don’t know all the things you do as an agent. You need to tell them yourself. Now, it’s important not to oversell yourself. If you make outlandish commitments, that’s what they’ll expect, and you may not meet those expectations. On the other hand, if you make too few commitments, other agents will beat you out of the listing or buyer representation. The “secret” is to tell everything you will do, but don’t oversell yourself and be perceived as under delivering. Here’s why: Your goal is actually to exceed the expectations they expect from you. Set the standards of WHAT will happen and WHEN: how you return calls, how you service leads, how you promote their home, how you search the market for the right home, how your staff works, etc. Be DETAILED on everything you do to service them. The more you explain, the better your client will feel about working with you.
Educating System #3: Program Your IntentionsThis system is perhaps the most important. In a nutshell: Educate your clients on HOW you do business and that you generate the majority of your business by REFERRAL, WORD OF MOUTH, and REPEAT BUSINESS. You want to subtly program them to support your business and reciprocate to you by actively referring their friends, family and acquaintances. Your goal is to establish a multi-hundred sales force of past clients and friends (your House List) actively sending you referrals, word of mouth and repeat business. But no one will do anything without you letting them know that’s how you work. The responsibility is yours. And the great thing is, it’s very easy to do all this. Want some ideas? Try these out:
- ** During the transaction, communicate how you generate clients by telling stories about other clients you received by referral. This will subtly reveal HOW you operate.
- ** PROGRAM how you generate your business by referral in ALL of your communication methods: voice mail, letterhead, business card, ads, sales letters, post cards, etc. I even know of an agent who changed the name of his brokerage to “Referral Realty.”
- ** You can end all of my letters with a “P.S.” that says, “Oh, by the way, if a friend or family member you know could use a caring and competent agent, I would enjoy meeting them. Thanks for thinking of me with your referrals.”
- ** Follow-up all closings with a thank you letter, request for testimonial, and referral programming.
- ** Create referral incentives. No, you don’t need to violate regulations or laws with fancy gifts. You can make people feel very “special” by creating a special “inner circle” club. Best of all, you can outline benefits for members that support your business: Free home appraisals (new business for you!), Free home supplier rolodex, invite to an annual comedy club party, etc.