It may seem an elusive quality that convinces clients to trust us over our competitor but we know that there are many key factors that influence customers to be drawn towards one “advisor “over another. Here are three that should be borne in mind…
The first is Knowledge:
In the age of the internet it is easy for clients to feel they know more than their local estate agent. That is why we have to convince them that “we know something they don’t know”. In all our conversations with clients we should be consciously demonstrating our knowledge of the market particularly informing them of changes in the property world that they don’t know about. Of course we should never do this without finding out our starting point: We should be requalifying all our applicants and vendors at present by asking them: “What do you know about the market at present?” or “How do you feel about the market at the moment?” or “What will you do if you haven’t found a property /sold your property by Christmas?” This then gives us the opportunity to tell them things they do not know, and thereby disturb them to be more motivated.
The second is Competence:
Estate agents do not have the best reputation amongst the public in this area, particularly our reputation for timely communication. Often this boils down to good diary management and setting aside protected time to ensure what we have promised is carried out effectively, rather than just reacting to the next opportunity or interruption. Recently I have seen more and more agents diarise the time and date of their first marketing review with vendors on the day the property is taken on. This creates an added air of competence in the marketing plan agents are promising to “test the market” for their client. Beyond this, every promise made should be fulfilled and in fact the “UPOD” approach is best…in other words, Under Promise and Over Deliver when looking after clients and customers.
The third key area that builds trust is our air of Authority:
There are thousands of “nice” estate agents across the UK who work very hard, but are constantly pushed around by their clients because they surrender all power in the relationship with their customers in order to not “upset” them.
We always need to check that we are setting the right “tone” in our relationships with clients. How do we do this? There are many factors but perhaps one of the most important is setting effective agendas with customers. Look at the thousands of customers who register with estate agents who are never really informed about what needs to happen before we can expect them to be at the front of the queue when it comes to buying property.
Often this is because we are afraid or forget to tell them that they need to be in a position to be able to give a “fully funded offer” if they want to be first in the race for the best properties
We will always benefit from being conscious of our own strengths and weaknesses in these three key areas and trying to form new habits and skills that are more likely to draw customers to us for advice and build their long term commitment.