Have you ever felt like a therapist to your home buyers and sellers?
If you’re like many of our real estate customers, the answer is an easy and immediate “heck, yes!”
Dealing with unrealistic expectations, compromises, negotiations, difficulty letting go, the thrill of finding “the one” … homeownership is most likely the largest investment of their lives, both emotionally and financially.
Of course, the process can be a mental rollercoaster for everyone involved – including the real estate agent.
We’ve rounded up five tips to make your clients feel more at ease from beginning to end and – most importantly – to continue building trust and confidence in your judgement.
1 Ask Questions to Help Clients Truly Understand Their Motivations and Desires (Buyers)
Buyers often believe a new home will make them significantly happier.
And while it may, their happiness is definitely dependent on the trade-offs involved. For example, your buyers may believe that choosing a larger home away from their job or another lifestyle tradeoff, is a good option.
Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the case. Committing significant portions of your day to commuting to work daily tends to increase stress and detract from overall happiness.
Help your clients keep the whole picture in mind so they make the right decision when purchasing a home.
2 Justify Reasonable Asking Prices by Simplifying Market Data and Your Knowledge of the Community (Sellers)
Many factors can cause your seller to want to put their home on the market. For example, are they first time sellers? Are they dealing with grief over something like death or divorce? Something of that nature can cause clients to try and overprice their home.
Obviously, you’re the pro. You have the market data. You know the community. You have the pricing strategy. But facts alone can’t turn these sellers around.
We make our decisions emotionally, then rationalize them to ourselves. So leading with empathy for their position and aligning with their point of view builds the buy in you need to bridge over to a reasonable price and strategy. Consistent with “facts tell, stories sell,” if you have a cautionary tale in your pocket, this is a great time to share it.
We’ve heard success stories from clients who have used recorded video messages when communicating with their clients about a lower asking price. This allows you to make a more empathetic and emotional appeal, while giving them the space they need to absorb the feeling and the facts you provide.
In one recent success story, Nancy earned her clients an extra $35,000 in this way.
3 Connect them with a Great Lender (Buyer)
You probably already require your buyers to have a pre-approval letter before you take them on as a client. But that doesn’t say anything about their familiarity or comfort with the entire process.
The most common reason closings fall through is lack of communication. It’s also the likely cause of most of the emotional crises you deal with as a real estate therapist.
Between you and the mortgage professional, keep buyers calm by outlining the entire process, then focusing on the next few steps. Emphasize the importance of compliance, accuracy, and timeliness from the very first meeting and onwards.
As you well know, you may have to pick up some slack here – or the lender may meet you more than halfway on it. Regardless, an informed buyer is a comfortable buyer – and this assures a clean closing.
4 Set Expectations Ahead of Time (Sellers)
The selling process can be a crazy ride. Many first-time sellers think they’re in the clear as soon as they’ve accepted an offer, which is obviously not the case.
From the inspection, to the appraisal, to the actual transaction closing itself, pitfalls abound. And when something goes south, who’s the therapist with open ears, a big heart, and the right answers? You are.
As with buyers and the borrowing process, sellers need to see the entire process from the get go – then smaller next steps as you proceed. Disappointment is a function of expectations, so set them ahead of time and manage them throughout.
What you know well, your sellers should, too: no deal’s done until the closing papers are signed, and the funds are transferred.
5 Use Video to Help Clients Resonate with Good and Bad News (Both)
Buying or selling a home is an emotionally charged process for everyone involved. Your top goals here: amplify the positive and mitigate the negative.
When a buyer’s offer is chosen against many others in a seller’s environment, celebrate it. Instead of using your phone to text your clients at that moment, open the BombBomb mobile app and send a congratulatory video. By showcasing your raw emotion and excitement for the buyer at that moment, face-to-face, you’ll give your buyers the chance to always associate you with the happiness they felt.
And when you’ve got bad news, they need time to process it. An in-person meeting or live phone call demands they react in real time. Give them space and show them empathy by recording and sending a personal video. Use BombBomb analytics to know exactly when they open it and watch your video and follow up accordingly.
Emotionally charged situations – both positive and negative – are featured in our free webinar “Top 10 Times Video Says It Better Than Typed-Out Text.”
Click here to watch it at your convenience. You’ll see real examples and get deeper understanding of how to enhance your role as therapist with simple webcam and smartphone videos.
Real Estate Agent as Therapist: Get Face to Face
You’re better in person. You win when you’re face to face. But you don’t always have the time or opportunity to get together with every client on every update or decision.
When you can’t be there in person, video is the next best thing. Your face, voice, personality, expertise, enthusiasm, sincerity, and all those other rich, nonverbal cues come through in a way plain emails, text messages, social posts, or even voicemails simply can’t deliver.
Especially in your role as therapist, video will help you calm buyers and sellers, smooth out transactions, and improve overall customer experience.
For more helpful tips, visit the BombBomb Blog