Whether someone is buying or selling a home, the process can be incredibly stressful.
Whether someone is buying or selling a home, the process can be incredibly stressful. Each position poses its own set of unique challenges. Some of them are easily solved by an experienced agent; others lie further outside your scope of expertise. One thing to be prepared for, however, is that clients will often expect you to have an answer for everything.
The important thing to remember is that while you can’t solve every problem or eliminate every stressor, you can help your clients do something about the stress itself. While working on a problem, you can in the meantime be an unofficial counselor to your beleaguered customers by equipping them with the personal tools to deal with stressful major life transitions.
When you can’t solve a problem, it can be effective to refer your clients to someone who can, such as a legal or financial expert. While you should have some knowledge of these areas yourself, it is also important to recognize when both you and your client would be better served by a specialized opinion.
Referring your client to a trusted colleague can also help build your referral network without sacrificing your own credibility. In fact, you will likely be able to reap the benefits of your peers’ influence because you had the wherewithal to direct your clients to a solution. Not only do you build referral strength, you build client trust.
Helping your clients ask the right questions
Frustrated clients may not know where to begin or where to turn when confronted with a major problem or even a smaller inconvenience. Buying or selling a home is an idealistic process that demands a practical approach. The best case scenario is almost never achieved, but this doesn’t mean that parties can’t walk away satisfied.
The key is to help your clients ask the right questions, of you, of themselves, and of other professionals. Figure out where their major concerns lie. Safety? Time-effectiveness? Finances? The anxiety of change? Help them direct their worries and frustrations into proactive questions with concrete, simple answers.
This also gives you the chance to demonstrate your own expertise, whether you have the answers right away or you display your dedication by working tirelessly until you find them.
As much as possible, keep your clients in the loop. Don’t worry them unnecessarily, but share with them the little victories that occur in the day to day as they try to find a new home or a buyer for their old home. Introduce them to the members of your team and explain what each person brings to the table and how you will work together to achieve the best outcome possible.
One of the biggest favors you can do for your clients is to remain cool and collected even when you or they are stressed. This doesn’t mean acting like you have all the answers when you don’t, or trying to downplay the seriousness of difficult situations.
Instead, it means having a founded and stable confidence in your own abilities and in the facts. It means supporting them in their idealism to an extent that is rational, and nudging them toward practicality when necessary. Poise means knowing what you are capable of and delivering on your potential, in the hopes of helping your clients realize theirs.