Keep your buyer clients happy by managing their expectations as you guide them through the process of buying a home.
As a successful Realtor, the majority of your business comes from referrals. So, one of your major responsibilities is keeping clients happy, a task that largely depends on managing their expectations as you guide them through the process of buying a home. Here are a few simple ways to educate and prepare your buyer for a smooth transaction—and one that leads to a glowing referral.
- With a simple interview, you can set the tone for this transaction. Ask questions that allow you to assess buyers’ motivation and desire to buy. This helps you gauge how often and how much to contact these buyers, as well as how you can help, specifically, meet their current needs.
- Buyers need to know not only what they can afford, but what they really want to spend. These numbers aren’t always the same. As a team, you should identify a low and high price point to work within.
- Team with a trusted lender for a solid pre-approval before you start showing property. Getting this up front means less chance of lending snags later in the process. It also creates a referral system between you and your lender.
Type of Property:
- Many new buyers like the idea of a fixer-upper. Watching HDTV has convinced many a prospective homeowner that home renovation can be accomplished in the space of a half-an-hour TV show. In reality, buyers need to know if they can afford this kind of property. And if you have resources (referrals to contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc.), you can provide a more realistic idea on estimated costs. And again, you set up a reciprocal referral relationship between yourself and these other professionals.
- Get specific needs/wants up front: number of beds and baths, of course, but also things like stairs or no stairs, school districts, walkability or access to major highways. The more details you get before showing homes, the more likely the ones you see will be a good match, saving all involved time and energy.
- Manage expectations of available inventory and what buyers can purchase in their price point.
- Have a game plan and timeline for the buying process. Though this will shift with each client, it will be enough like other transactions for you to develop a flow-chart template you can tweak and provide to each client. The more they know about the process, the more confident they feel.
- Regularly update your clients: set them up with RMLS reports on available properties, send market updates, and apprise them of any new developments relevant to their home search.
- Coordinate your schedules (yours and the client’s) so your buyer clearly knows how, when, and how often you will tour homes.
- Develop a system that lets buyers take notes, photos, and record questions as they tour. This lets them keep track of properties viewed as well as gives you an avenue for meaningful, regular contact as you obtain answers to their questions on each home.
Making the Relationship Last
Finally, you want not only this deal, but all future business from these clients. Ask for referrals throughout the process. Follow up after the transaction with occasional postcards, holiday greetings, phone calls, etc. This way, you make these buyers clients for life.
And, if any of these referrals are outside your preferred price point or property type, ReferralExchange can help you service these prospects!