Good real estate agents invest a lot of energy in finding and converting new leads. Great real estate agents get more business from the clients they have. If you want to take your real estate business to the next level, it’s important to go the extra mile for existing clients.
Sounds like a no-brainer, right? All real estate professionals strive to take care of their clients. But what does it actually mean to go the extra mile? The reality is some agents do a better job at incorporating the small tasks of above-and-beyond client service into their daily routine. It’s worth taking notes from what they’ve learned.
Here’s how to go the extra mile for real estate clients and sell more homes.
Meet deadlines and be prompt about returning calls and emails. These are the types of small courtesies that add up over time. People like working with people they know they can count on. Take pride in being reliable and consistent.
Get the job done
The bottom line? Sought-after real estate agents do what it takes to get the work done even when the task at hand is tough, inconvenient and, quite frankly, not their job. That means driving to hand-deliver documents after business hours, renting equipment to deodorize carpet or entertaining children so that their parents can take a closer look at a listing. Do the things that most people avoid.
Take the conversation offline
The work of buying and selling homes is increasingly getting done online and for good reason. It’s faster and easier to communicate over email or text, and e-sign enables agents to gather necessary paperwork with a few clicks. That said, sometimes the conversation needs to go offline in order to guide a deal past the finish line.
On her blog, Sandy Eagon, a real estate agent in Marysville, Washington, recalls showing up unannounced at a seller’s agent’s office to explain a counter-proposal after talks stalled over email. Here’s how she explains the in-person conversation.
Once we got the chance to actually talk face to face, he relayed his seller’s frustration to me. He had already put so much work into the house, he shouldn’t have to bite the bullet and eat the whole expense. When I pointed out the counter-proposal that I’d sent to him, he hadn’t even seen it yet.
Eagon notes the seller wound up accepting the proposal and her buyers got their new home. Sometimes going the extra mile means slowing things down, going old school and meeting face-to-face to get the job done.
Make life easier for your clients
Successful real estate agents put the people they serve at the center of their workflow and decision-making process. Focus on developing a reputation as an agent who makes life easier for her clients.
When meeting a client, make sure you’re meeting at a location that’s most convenient for them. That means getting out of your office. If a client needs to be across town to pick his daughter up from basketball practice, get in your car and drive across town to meet. (Literally go the extra mile).
Also, take the burden of scheduling off the client’s plate. Ask her what days and time of day she is generally available and follow-up with specific meeting times for her to choose from.
Small gestures like these demonstrate that you’re prioritizing the clients time and want to make the home buying or selling process as seamless as possible for them.
Be a stress reliever
The process of buying or selling real estate is a stressful process, especially for first-time homebuyers. Take note when clients express anxiety or worry, and do what you can to acknowledge their feelings and support them. That includes being available after-hours to answer questions over the phone and taking extra time to explain what is happening and what is required of clients.
Dustin Brohm, a real estate agent in Salt Lake City and host of the Massive Agent Podcast, noted delays happen in real estate deals. They’re also super stressful for clients. He encourages agents to look for ways to help clients and their families throughout the life of the sale, especially if there are delays.
Be on time with key delivery. Connect clients with movers. If a client needs to move out of their old home a few days before they can move into their new home, spend a few hundred dollars to put them up at a hotel and figure out where they can store their things, Brohm said.
“It’s well worth it to take that stress off their shoulders,” he said.
Do it yourself
The buck stops with you. If making the sale requires you to mow the lawn, paint a wall or fix a leaking faucet, roll up your sleeves and get it done. Why hire someone to fix something you can handle on your own? Call up a YouTube tutorial and take the DIY route if the fix is manageable. You’ll walk away with a new skill and save your client time and money.
Explain the process
Take time to think about the questions your client will have as she moves down the sales funnel. Write down the queries that you anticipate and prepare answers ahead of time. This saves you time, reinforces your reputation as a knowledgeable agent and prepares your client for the next step in the transaction. In addition, gather brochures, guides or explainers to share with clients when questions arise.
Real estate can be a bit intimidating, especially for first-time homebuyers. Brohm noted it’s common for first-time buyers to be hesitant to make their first offer on a home. Going the extra mile means helping clients visualize each step that needs to happen in order for an offer to be made and explaining what it means for them.
“If they don’t understand what the next few steps are, it’s hard for them to move forward on any of it,” Brohm said.
Send thank you notes
The handwritten thank you note is a simple, but often overlooked gesture. Make it a habit to send thank you notes to clients after closing if you don’t already. Expressing gratitude is a good practice in life and in business. It shows your client that you care about their business on a personal level.
Also consider sending thank yous to the agent and client on the other side of the deal, especially after tough negotiations. A simple note can strengthen your network and lay the groundwork for future deals. People like working with people who acknowledge their time and effort.
The ability to find and seize upon new opportunities to go the extra mile for your clients is like a muscle. You have to exercise it in order to strengthen it. If you want to sell more homes, be intentional about putting your client needs first and completing the extra tasks others might overlook.