One of the biggest challenges any real estate agent can face is not knowing how to manage their customer’s expectations. It’s probably the most difficult thing that real estate agents have to do in this field. Clients, especially those buying or selling for the first time, might have unrealistic expectations from your services.
Knowing how to manage all of these expectations is not only the right way to build your reputation as a great agent but also would help you close more deals, faster. Here are a few tips which will help you do that for both buyers and sellers:
Managing Buyer Expectations:
Every buyer has a set of needs and wants that they want to be fulfilled even before they start looking for their dream house. Some clients would want you to find a great home, in a great location and oh, it needs to come with a side pool as well. Also, they want to buy it on their price. So how do you handle expectations for such a buyer?
Be Honest About the Market Situation
As an agent, you should be honest about what the market conditions are like. It’s not always a ‘very good time’ to buy, certainly not for first-time buyers. Let your clients know the market situation up front. If it’s the right time to buy, tell them what to expect and if it’s a tough situation in the market, be very clear with them.
Educate them on Seller Psychology
Your clients cannot always expect to put in a low offer and hope to get the deal. When you sit down with your clients, let them know if a low offer will be accepted or rejected. Share your expert opinion with them.
Teach your client’s that most of these sellers are emotionally attached to their houses and receiving a low-ball offer will be insulting to them and their property. After that, no matter how high of a counter offer you make, it won’t matter much.
Working within A Budget
Coming back to needs and wants, every buyer would like many things in the house they are going to buy. But can they afford all of that with the limited budget they have? I mean, every buyer’s ideal house would have double staircases and a backyard. However, all of this may be well out of their budget.
As their agent, it’s your responsibility to tell them what they can afford and what they can’t. This sets clear expectations from the get-go and especially helps first time buyers understand the difference between a starter home and their dream house.
Managing Seller Expectations:
People who are selling their house expect to get a certain price irrespective of what the market condition is. If they have been living in their house for a while, then they will emotionally attached to their homes. For them, it might be the best house in their neighborhood, primarily because they don’t deal with market prices or fluctuations on a regular basis. So what can you do to manage expectations of such sellers? Here are a few tips:
Keep the Worst in Mind
Nothing in this world is for certain; things can go south really quickly in real estate. So when you are going in for a transaction, remember to prepare your client for the best that can happen as well as the worst, so they are not overly optimistic or get freaked out. If your client is ready, then anything reasonably less than what they expected will seem like a relief to them.
Let’s say your client has their house up for sale. Initially, they had expected to receive an offer of $300,000. But based on the market condition, you trained them to expect an offer around $225,000. When offers come in, they get an offer of $250,000. Although this offer is very low in comparison to what they had initially expected, since you trained them to expect the worst, they would not feel hard-done by the offer they have received.
Explain Your Working Process
Every seller would like to get multiple offers on their house. So they would like to know up front, will they get multiple offers or not? And if you tell them yes, you will be managing their expectations in a false manner.
A good real estate client management practice would be to tell them what steps you are going to take. What kind of marketing will you do? How do you promote your listings? And help them understand that all these steps collectively are going to work towards getting them multiple offers.
As real estate agents, we often forget that lives of most buyers and sellers do not revolve around buying or selling houses for a living. There will be cases of clients who are selling properties or have sold in the past but a lot fewer than those who haven’t.
Whatever the case, it’s your job as an agent to show them compassion. They might be selling for various reasons, maybe they want to relocate, or they are selling because of divorce, or they need finances urgently. Whatever the reason for their selling is, only by showing empathy will you will be able to gain their trust. And if they trust you, they will expect you to do right by them.