Building trust with your real estate clients is so important. Without trust difficult conversations can become personal attacks pushing the client relationship into negative territory, and highly likely that repeat and referral business along with a positive testimonial will not happen.
Whether it’s business relationships or personal relationships, the principle is the same. Trust is like a bank account, the more ‘trust’ deposits you put in for when the inevitable withdrawal happens, there remains a positive cash flow to carry the relationship through.
I was recently reminded of a ‘trust breaker’ salespeople are inclined to make. This being when communication is directed at only one of the parties. A decision is often made by salespeople to communicate solely with the party they perceive as the decision-maker or the one they see as managing the house sale. In this case, instant withdrawal from the client relationship bank account! She was the one making sure the family home was spic and span before bundling the kids off and for her to be missed out of the agent communications in favour of her partner, the relationship was heading for a negative balance!
The result was disgruntled vendors heading into ‘sale day’. For the record, the agent managed to ‘pull a rabbit out of the hat’ thanks to the sellers’ market and all was forgiven, but no testimonial for the agent and highly likely the sellers will look elsewhere when selling their next property.
A clear and thorough communication plan between agent and vendors at the beginning of the sale process would have made sure the relationship bank account remained healthy, more likely to result in repeat and referral business for the agent and also a great testimonial from the sellers.
The best practice is for the agent to set the communication plan when securing the listing. The agent needs to explain the importance of the plan and outline the types of communication – appointments, updates, weekly reports, etc that they will receive and explain that all parties will receive the same comms throughout the sale process. Each seller’s circumstances are unique. One seller may choose emails they can check during their workday and another may prefer to receive text messages while they are out and about, so plan what needs to be said when and how right at the beginning, and stick to the plan, then your relationship bank account will remain positive to the end.
“The single biggest problem in communication is
the illusion that it has taken place.”
― George Bernard Shaw