One of the keys to long-term success in real estate is managing client expectations. It’s not always the easiest task as clients can be a bit unpredictable.
Some sellers expect you to find a buyer within hours of listing their home. Other sellers expect you to sell their home for a price higher than the market will support.
Buyers might expect to find a magazine-quality home for the price of a foreclosure. They think you’ll find the perfect home meeting all their criteria the day after hiring you.
Yes, your clients will have unrealistic expectations. Learning the fine art of managing your real estate client expectations is vital if you want to achieve long-term success.
7 Tips for Managing Client Expectations in Real Estate
1. Honesty is the Best Policy
If you adhere to a strict policy of always being honest with your clients, it will help you go far. Genuine honesty is far better than telling your clients what they want to hear or even beating around the bush with something.
When it comes to managing real estate client expectations, you should be realistic and honest with every single client. Don’t tell them you can get their home sold super-fast for a high price just to land the contract. The last thing you ever want to do is make promises you can’t keep.
2. Educate Clients
The current market will likely not be the same a year from now. It’s a good idea to start your conversations with new clients by talking about the current real estate market in your area. Give them an idea of what the market looks like and what to expect, currently.
When you properly educate your clients about the real estate market, they are more likely to have realistic expectations. With buyers, you want to let them know what to expect. Many buyers expect they can make a super low offer and negotiate with sellers. However, this can be disrespectful to the seller leading to their offer being denied.
Before any buyer you’re working with submits an offer, sit down with them and give them the most realistic information you can. Of course, if they still want to submit a low offer, you should prepare them for what to expect.
If you’re working with a seller, make sure they understand what you believe the fair market value of the home and what to expect through the process. Don’t promise them a bidding war or multiple offers, even if it’s likely. Educate them on what the market is currently supporting and why you think a specific list price is the right choice.
3. Under-Promise, Over-Deliver
There is nothing worse than buyers and sellers with astronomically high expectations. Typically, these expectations are due to an agent’s irresponsible promises. Whether the client was working with another agent or just needs to be brought back down to earth, it’s best to under-promise and over-deliver.
When managing your real estate client expectations, don’t make promises you aren’t 100% positive you can keep. Broken promises lead to a lack of trust. Make sure you keep expectations in check. Then, when you over-deliver, it will blow them away.
The best real estate agents know how to show compassion and empathy throughout the process. It’s easy to get caught up in the transactional and business-like nature of buying and selling real estate. Taking the time to truly listen to your clients goes a long way.
If you want to enjoy long-term success in real estate, you have to know how to manage client expectations. Showing compassion as your clients go through one of the biggest financial transactions of their life goes a very long way.
5. Always Stay in Touch
The worst type of real estate agent is one you can’t get to call you back or return an email. Figure out what your client’s preferred method of communicating is and use it. Whether they want a phone call, an email, a text message, or even a video chat on Skype, cater to their communication needs.
When you return phone calls quickly and you’re on time for appointments, you will win over your clients. Many buyers and sellers have experienced what it’s like to work with a real estate agent that doesn’t get back to them. Don’t be this type of agent.
6. Always Review the Potential Obstacles
Whether you’re working with a seller or a buyer, when it comes time to make an offer or list the property, go over all the obstacles. If you’re working with a buyer, go over the potential obstacles with their offer so they know what to expect. With sellers, do the same thing with listing their property.
Even though it’s not pleasant, it’s necessary to walk through the possible negative outcomes with every client. This is a big part of managing real estate client expectations. When you go over the obstacles, they are less likely to get their hopes up, which means, if the deal doesn’t go as planned, they will be less disappointed.
7. Put it in Writing
When you take on a new real estate client, it’s a good idea to put the expectations in writing. Even something as simple as a typical marketing timeline for sellers can show them what to expect before and after their home has been listed.
With buyers, you can show them a written list of what to expect after making an offer on a property. This can help to keep them from getting impatient if things aren’t moving as fast as they would like.
Putting things in writing will help to set better real estate client expectations. It also helps to protect you from conversations with clients where they claim you made promises you never made.
With these 7 tips, you can enjoy long-term real estate success. As you become an expert at managing real estate client expectations, you will notice how your business grows.