The hardest part of anything, whether it’s a journey of a thousand miles or a budding relationship with a new client, is taking the very first step. Going from zero to one is the biggest challenge. But once you get to one and that first step is taken, the road gets so much easier.
These six principles are what I find to be the most effective methods real estate agents can use to influence buyers and sellers in order to kickstart client relationships.
1. Social Proof
My wife Ashley and I love to check out new restaurants, but before we go anywhere, we always check the reviews on Yelp. The quality of online reviews is the biggest factor in deciding who gets our business.
The No. 1 thing you can do to influence client relationships is to set up online reviews using Google, Facebook and Zillow. One of my clients has over 500 reviews on his Google page. Anyone searching him can see the immediate proof of what his customers say about him, and that’s what influences potential customers to work with him.
Pro tip: Don’t be timid about asking for positive reviews. Most of the value you provide is done before the deal closes, so you can ask for a positive review even before you head to the closing table.
People are pre-conditioned to listen to authority figures, from parents to teachers to politicians, due to the very way society is constructed.
Becoming an authority figure isn’t about having been in the real estate market for decades, or knowing everything about everything. You don’t need to have written a book or given speeches at conferences. All you need is to know more than your customers.
Pro tip: Make videos discussing when to buy or sell, the best ways to stage a home for sale, or specific nuances to your local market, and use those to entice customers to come to you for advice.
People are more likely to return the favor if you’ve helped them out. Do something for them and in return, they’ll do something for you.
The best thing you can offer is simplicity and convenience. Curate and promote lists of homes organized in various categories. Rather than spending days hunting down individual listings, your clients could come to you. In return for their name, phone number and email address, you give your client, for example, a list of single-story homes in their local market with low HOA dues at the click of a button.
Pro tip: What you ask for in return doesn’t need to be in proportion to what you give — the point is to give something.
4. Commitment And Consistency
You’d never ask someone to marry you on the first date, so why would you ask someone to make a major commitment after just meeting them?
Start with small commitments. The first time you reach out should never be to a buyer’s consultation. Ask for a short, 20-minute phone call, and then to meet with your lender. Your job as an agent is to help lay out the path to bigger commitments.
Present yourself as reliable and trustworthy, and consistently offer value — not just value in terms of dollars and cents, but in terms of the right resources they’re looking for — and your relationship will grow.
Pro tip: Before you call someone on the phone (big commitment), text them first to start a conversation. It’s a small, effective way to start the relationship-building process.
At the end of the day, you’ve got to be someone your customers will like. That means you want to attract the people you want to work with and repel those you don’t get along with. And repelling them isn’t a bad thing! If a client doesn’t like you, working together is just a waste of both of your time.
People can tell if you’re being fake or inauthentic, or if you’re only in it to make a quick buck. But if you share your genuine self with them, they will like and trust you.
An easy way to build that trust with clients is to start a Facebook group for whatever hobbies and interests you may have. If you like cooking, start a group about cooking. Share and build relationships with a community, not just about cooking, but about the fact that you’re a real estate agent.
One of my clients is a pilot. He created a Facebook group about aviation and built strong community relationships through it by discussing his favorite hobby. Now he’s known as the “Pilot Realtor.”
Pro tip: What are the three words people would use to describe you? What’s your brand? One of those terms should be “real estate agent,” and the others should be something about yourself or that you love to do.
Use scarcity to your advantage. Scarcity works, as long as it’s real, and not cheesy or manufactured. But it can be used to get a client to pull the trigger on the sale after all your negotiations.
Scarcity can be used to get clients to buy a house now as opposed to a year from now, or to finally make the transaction they’ve been putting off. And if you’ve given social proof that you’re an authority, reciprocated with them and consistently offered value, and they like you, scarcity can be the last thing to influence the transaction.
Pro tip: Partner with a lender to join a homebuying seminar. Talk about interest rates and how the market is changing, and why it’s so important to make fast decisions.
When you use these six principles, you’re not just trying to influence a buyer or seller to work with you, but developing relationships that benefit both parties.
Author: Hassan Riggs
Source: Forbes: Six Ways To Influence Real Estate Buyers And Sellers