We know that people want to do business with an agent that will meet their needs and that they like and trust. It’s uncommon for buyers and sellers to do business with someone they don’t trust, unless they feel there is no other way to get what they want. With that situation as the exception, it is far more common for clients to select an agent they enjoy working with, and that will protect or best represent their interests.
How do you develop a relationship of trust? You may be surprised that it most often doesn’t involve impressing them with your knowledge and experience or impressive resume. On the contrary, if you start quoting statistics and flaunt your impressive resume before a client has a good feeling about you, you’re likely to be perceived as being “self-serving.” If this happens, you probably won’t get the business. Remember, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”
If you’re not talking about your impressive knowledge of real estate and your great success, what should you talk about to build rapport and sell yourself? Don’t do the talking! Instead, ask them about FORBES and listen to the answers. Nearly everyone enjoys talking about themselves, because it’s a subject they know a great deal about. What is FORBES?
- Family – Talk about their family, friends and relationships.
- Occupation – Ask them about what type of work they do, or what business they were in before they retired.
- Recreation – Ask them what they like to do when they’re not working.
- Body – If they have any interest in health-related topics or issues, discuss physical fitness.
- Education – Ask them about books, courses, or other topics they’ve recently reviewed.
- Spirituality – Religion is tricky, but quite often it’s a very important part of someone’s life. Knowing this and respecting it can bring great appreciation from your clients. Some clients won’t make a big decision until they’ve prayed. Respect that.
So, how do you begin a conversation with someone you’ve just met and want to represent in real estate? Ask permission to get to know them.
“If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you a few questions to find out a little about your goals in real estate. Then, I’ll be happy to share some suggestions that may work for you and we can see if they’re a fit.”
You’ll find that almost everyone is receptive to this approach because it shows respect for them, their time and their thoughts. At first, people may be hesitant to share personal information with you even if they’ve agreed to answer your questions. By reassuring them that everything and anything you discuss will be held in the strictest confidence, you will put them at ease allowing you to give them the highest possible service.
Here’s a great way to introduce the concept of confidentiality:
“Mr. and Mrs. __________, I appreciate you putting your trust in me and want to assure you that everything we discuss will be held in the strictest confidence.”
For goodness sakes, DO NOT VIOLATE THAT CONFIDENTIALITY. If you discuss proprietary information with someone else, you are doing a great disservice to you buyers and sellers.