Have you ever been told, “a little bit of kindness goes a long way,” by a parent, grandparent, or teacher? If so, they were right. While this is true in all aspects of life, this sentiment applies greatly to your profession as a real estate agent.
While your role as a real estate agent is primarily to help people buy or sell a home, your clients also need encouragement, generosity, and kindness.
Now, I’m not saying you aren’t already kind to your clients. You’re real estate agents, it’s your job. I’m just here to point out a few ways you can go above and beyond with these personal touches.
Start out this relationship like you would with a new friend
Say you’re meeting up with a new friend to just hang out and get to know each other. You probably aren’t going to invite them to your office, right? You’d likely meet at a coffee shop, lunch spot, or bar.
This is how you should approach your first meeting with a new client. Before you can find their perfect home, you need to know them and be comfortable working with them.
Suggest meeting at a spot near their office or current home, and let them choose someplace they like. Not only will they be more comfortable meeting at one of their favorite spots, but you’ll get a little bit of insight as to who they are. Do they love specialty coffee? Are they a big bourbon drinker? (I’m seeing some future closing gift ideas here…)
There’s no need to launch directly into home-buying talk when you first sit down with a new client. Get to know them, what they do for a living, what they do for fun, and more. And don’t forget to return the favor – tell them a bit about yourself, too.
Of course, another objective of this meeting is to get to know this person as a home buyer. This is your time to really dig into why they are ready to buy a home and what they’re looking for. You know the drill.
Note the small & unique features important to your client
A millennial buyer at one of our lunch & learn events told us about his experience looking for and buying a condo. He’d been renting apartments for a few years, and mentioned to his agent that he couldn’t wait to finally have his own washer and dryer.
At every condo walkthrough, his agent would point out where the washer/dryer was, increasing this buyer’s excitement about every place he saw. While this was a pretty small detail, it made this buyer feel like his agent really knew and cared about him.
Write down a few things that your client mentioned they were excited about, even if they are mundane features. While having a washer and dryer may not seem crazy exciting to most buyers, it is a big deal for someone who’s been renting for 5 years!
Give them a thoughtful closing gift, not just flowers
Sure, flowers or moving-day pizza are great closing gifts, but those don’t last very long and won’t help your client remember you for years to come.
Send over a professional photographer a week or two after they move in. Of course, give your client a little bit of breathing room and time to get moved in before sending over a camera. Get some photos of your client(s) in front of and inside of their new home, and send them the digital files free of charge. You could even create a calendar with the photos, so your client can hold onto this first year in their new home forever.
(Hint: you can also use these photos for your own Facebook page or blog, to post client success stories.)
Did your client mention that they plan on remodeling that bathroom, painting the kitchen, or getting the floors re-stained? Get them a Home Depot or Lowe’s gift card, and then introduce them to some industry friends that could give them some tips on these remodeling projects. This shows that you were paying attention to their future plans, and that you’re there to help even after your job is done.
These small acts of kindness will lead to stronger relationships with clients, allowing you to work better with them. Plus, the more your clients enjoy working with you, the more likely they are to refer you!