The problem in real estate today is not due to a lack of information. It’s the opposite in fact. Consumers quite literally have the world at their fingertips to find information about where the market is going, whether average prices are going up or down, what’s the going mortgage rate, etc. And most will have done plenty of research before they consider meeting with an agent.
Not only can this lead to information overload, but oftentimes the information they find is either false or misleading. Confusion can make people fearful of buying or selling their home.
So how do you get even the most hesitant buyers and sellers off the fence? And more importantly, how can you be sure they are confident with their decision?
Think Like a Consumer
First, you need to start with what they know. This means being aware of the market on a national level. It’s critical to be the expert on both your local market and national data so that your clients feel comfortable and confident. Arming yourself with knowledge will allow you to empower the consumer.
How to Survive (and Thrive) in a Shifting Market.
Be aware that they have expectations, previous bias, and perhaps even false information going into a meeting with you, and be prepared to “meet them where they are.”
Anyone who is considering buying or selling a home is undoubtedly trying to keep up-to-date on the latest real estate trends, most likely through major news outlets. Although real estate is hyperlocal, you need to start with what the consumer believes to be true. Otherwise, you are unintentionally putting them in a position where they have to choose who to believe: you, a total stranger, or a countless number of national news outlets. Get in the consumer mindset before you show them why the national market differs from your particular market.
Educate Effectively by Painting a Picture
Once you’ve discussed where the national market is and where it’s going, guide your clients down to the trends in your local market. Show them actual data on a regional level, then the state level, and even down to your specific market. Don’t let data and big numbers scare you!
It’s important to have a solid grasp on market statistics in order to confidently explain them to others. Run specific market reports using data from your local MLS. Let your clients know that you understand where the national market is heading, and how that impacts or differs from what is going on in their own neighborhood.
Communicate with Care
“If you can’t explain it simply, it means you don’t understand it.” — Albert Einstein
Think of all the information available as “dots.” It is the agent’s responsibility to connect the dots by explaining what the jumble of information means to the consumer. Statistics can be intimidating, but as an agent, you have a duty of educating yourself, so you can more effectively educate others. The ability to explain statistics simply and with ease is a skill that will allow you to boost your clients’ confidence.
Arm yourself with examples that they can relate to and simple ways to break things down into “layman’s terms.”
And most importantly, listen. You want to educate, yes, but it is critical that you really listen to your clients to establish trust. What are their goals? What is their dream? And what is the driving force of their game-time decision… is it their family? Career? A move to a new city?
Ease the Fear
Buying and selling a house is so commonplace for agents. You’re in the trenches every day, and it’s routine at this point. But for a first-time homebuyer or a retired couple downsizing, these are major life decisions. Fear is rampant. And the most successful agents are the agents that can wear many hats. In this case, you’re the counselor!
- How can I make this process easier for you?
- Tell me your top 3 concerns about putting your house on the market.
- What is your gut telling you?
Remember to be real. Consumers appreciate when you are upfront. That means not sugarcoating things or, on the flip side, exaggerating the negatives of something in order to push them in the direction that you want. Avoid using language that sounds manipulative or salesy in order to build trust and ease fears.
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