Competition for clients has never been fiercer. In addition to competing with other real estate professionals, you are now also competing against the internet, as your potential clients are well versed in the real estate market. Information has never been more widely available, and coming across as an expert is not as easy as simply stating that you’re “an expert.”
For a time, clients had to rely on real estate professionals for all levels of information such as homes for sale, pricing, market conditions, etc. Now, with the internet and a few minutes of spare time, non-real estate professionals can quickly get basic information on the housing market.
As a real estate professional, it is your responsibility to adapt to this change and continue to provide information and services that are either not being searched or simply not available. By providing this information, you will prove that you are an expert and thus gain trust and loyalty from the client. No more “Buyers are liars,” as you will have a different relationship going forward.
Understanding the Competition
Make no mistake: You are competing against information, as well as other real estate agents. The first step to proving that you’re an expert is understanding the information the client already knows. Better yet, it is important to understand the information the client knows, and the information they think they know. The latter part is equally important. Often real estate professionals will be dismissive of the data that clients are using because the source isn’t reliable or the information is simply incorrect. Just because the information the client has is incorrect does not mean that it should be dismissed. Making a first impression based on informing the client that their data is simply inaccurate will not build a solid relationship—not unless you prove that you are an expert first. Otherwise, you are forcing the client into a position of either believing you (the salesperson who is after a commission) or the website they found the information on (all-knowing internet website). You are going to lose that match up. This bad information may have also come from a competing agent, and now the client doesn’t know who to believe or trust.
The information that clients commonly know, or believe they know, are homes for sale, pricing and if the market is trending up or down. Go into your meeting assuming that they have, or believe they have, this information.
Prove You’re the Expert – Show Them Something New
Now that we know what they have, what can you do to prove you’re the expert? Present information that they don’t have that’s every bit as relevant and important to the client. Neighborhood demographic reports or market condition reports are excellent pieces of information. They contain relevant information that is important to the client, and also that is not likely to have been seen while looking at homes online. In addition, since this information is not typically presented, your competitors more than likely did not bring this information to the client.
Obtaining this data can be difficult—or, with the right tools, can be very easy and obtained in moments. It is recommended that if you do not have access to tools that can generate reports like this quickly that you look into them or take the time to start gathering this information yourself. With Sellstate, as part of our Power Suite, all of our members are provided with a Neighborhood Envoy tool which generates detailed neighborhood demographic reports in minutes.
Providing proof that you are well-qualified is something that is rarely done. By adding some compelling material to your presentation you will be able to not only separate yourself from the competition, but also create a better relationship with the client that will contain more trust.
Michael Darmanin is COO of Sellstate Realty Systems Network, Inc.
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