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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Communication Makes or Breaks Your Client Relationship

Communication Makes or Breaks Your Client Relationship
by Carrie Gable

March 15, 2012 | Tech & Gadgets

Real estate professionals are in a highly competitive field. Much is said about establishing your personal brand and keeping your name and face in front of the public. This will help you attract new listings, but it does not assure you of future referrals. In fact, your clients may feel as if you don’t have enough time for them.

Maybe you don’t.

Yet from the moment you take the listing, your home seller is expecting action!

leaping image via shutterstock

She is expecting results. She may understand that a home takes time to sell, but without consistent communication she has no idea what you’re doing.

One of the biggest complaints a home seller has about his real estate agent is that he does not feel kept in the loop. If the home sells, he may forgive you, but he may not be impressed enough by your service to recommend you to others. If the home doesn’t sell, any perceived lack of attention gives the seller incentive to take his business elsewhere.

Remember the old adage: If a customer is happy, she will tell six people. If a customer is unhappy, she will put his complaint on the Internet and ruin you. OK, I updated the expression, but you get the idea.

What can you do to keep even the most demanding home sellers satisfied with your efforts?

paper dolls image via shutterstock

Duplicate yourself! Or triple yourself, if need be. You can do it, with the help of real estate virtual assistants. It’s like having a team of pros at your fingertips. A virtual assistant (VA) can free up your time and keep your clients impressed with you!

How Does it Work?

Your VA will set up an email account through your Web domain in order to communicate with your clients on your behalf. For example, it may read something like It can be used by the entire VA team, and is easily transferred if needed. The email signatures will include just about everything you normally use on your own signature, such as your website address, Facebook and Twitter links, and your phone number.

What Tasks Should I Delegate?

Start by having your VA take care of all your marketing related to listings. Uploading listings data and photos to multiple websites is time-consuming. If you’re technically challenged by some website functionalities, it can also be frustrating. Let your VA handle it instead. You’ll get a confirmation email with active links, proving the posting, and so will your client. Your client will also get PDF attachments of fliers and postcards of his home, if you choose. This gives the seller impressive proof of the beautiful marketing you have in progress.

Next, have your VA pull bimonthly reports on the property listing. The reports should include the number of Web hits, virtual tour hits, visual graphs from the hosting websites, and so on. Some websites offer an automated reporting function, but those should never be sent to clients. They are impersonal, and do not help build your relationship. Instead, your VA will compile data and communicate it to your client in a friendly, yet professional manner — just like you would.

Finally, let your VA follow up with other agents who have shown the home. Your clients go through a lot of work to prepare their home for a showing, and they deserve feedback. Your VA will handle the agent contacts, organize the feedback, and supply it to you and your client. Keeping record of all feedback is valuable, especially when it’s necessary to re-evaluate the listing price with your client.

By adding a virtual assistant to your team and using the above suggestions, your client will have at least three substantial communications within the first month of the listing. From there, your client will receive bimonthly reports on Web activity as well as continual feedback from showings. Plus, you still have the ability to reach out to your client and “touch base” — but in a relaxed, conversational manner, as your VA has handled all the details. Consistent communication builds strong client relationships that pay dividends for years to come.

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