How to Master Client Communication

Master Communication

Real estate is a people business, and the entire industry revolves around communication. In fact, one of the core real estate skills, negotiation, is built on effective communication. The inability to communicate effectively as a real estate agent can limit your career growth regardless of your experience and market.  

Communication skills are often taught in real estate school, but as agents quickly discover, selling homes takes more than simply writing, speaking, or texting. For example, non-verbal communication cues such as body language, facial expression, gesture, eye contact, space, etc. can easily turn off a prospective client. You can use the same to give a client reassurance about their decision.   

Like several other skills in the real estate industry, you can learn and master various communication skills required to be a top player in the industry.   

So, we reached out to some of the leading real estate experts worldwide to get their views about how real estate agents can build and make the most of their skills, channels, and communication methods to enhance their business.

The best part is all of these experts are still in business and providing solutions to various clients during the pandemic.   

Here’s what they had to say:

 

Communication is a two-way street

Effective communication isn’t just about how well you can communicate; it’s also about using channels or tools your clients are familiar and comfortable with.

MarciasMarcia Socas, a Real Estate Broker in Central Florida for over 20 years, shares her experience of looking to clients’ preferred communication method to improve relationships.

“Although I love communicating by text, when I tried to talk via text with an elderly client, I ended up alienating him. He was out of state and couldn’t travel here due to COVID-19, and I thought I was doing a fantastic job for him by going and videoing walkthroughs of properties and then uploading them via unlisted links in my YouTube channel,” said Socas.

“I took lots of time touring and videoing the house and neighborhood, and I was really providing a great service. However, I would do my follow up with him via text, and this really alienated him because he didn’t feel comfortable with text messaging. He wanted to talk by phone and get my thoughts and hear my voice.”

“I didn’t learn this about him right away and almost lost him as a client as a result. So, it was a reminder of the lesson to look to the client’s preferred method of communication and follow their lead in order to create the best relationship and provide the best service to the client,” explained Socas.

The key is to stick with what works for a specific client or prospect. If the client isn’t comfortable or familiar with your communication method, you’re probably wasting both of your time.

 

Make the most of virtual mediaAdrienne (1)

Virtual communication is more important than ever. COVID-19 has changed how real estate agents communicate with clients and prospects. The lockdown and social distancing rules mean communication is no longer business as usual. Virtual communication is now a key part of the new normal.

“Communication is so important and can be a little tricky during this time. Unlike the days of being able to take our clients to coffee to go over a contract, now we are limited on the personal interactions we have with each other,” according to Adrienne Allen, a real estate broker with Homie in Las Vegas, Nevada.

So, how can you communicate effectively?

“Create a video conferencing account and use it. By meeting clients this way it will help eliminate the confusion that sometimes comes from misreading an email and will allow the agent to get to see their client’s expressions to determine how they might really be feeling about a transaction,” said Allen.Brian Phan

“Be active and present on social media – a dedicated Facebook page for your services always helps to boost reputation as your previous clients can stay connected with you and potential clients can see genuine reviews and testimonials about working with you,” said Brian Phan, a full-time real estate investor for SureClosing since 2015.  

Phan also emphasized the relevance of using a CRM software.

“Pair personal relationship building efforts with CRM Softwares – keeps you up on your toes and helps you stay organized despite managing a handful of clients or deals,” he added. 

 

The value of a phone call

It’s easy to downplay the relevance of phone calls in business since you probably get tons of them as a real estate agent. But sometimes, all you need to close or lose a big sale is just a phone call.Mindy Jensen

According to Mindy Jensen, the author of BiggerPockets’ How to Become a Real Estate Agent: An Investor’s Guide, “It is so irritating to call someone and have it go to voicemail, then they never respond or respond three days later.”

“If you simply answer your phone when it rings – or make plans to call back within 30-60 minutes – you will be head and shoulders above most agents in your area. And your clients will know this because they have most likely tried to connect with other agents,” said Jensen.

In most cases, you shouldn’t wait for your clients to call. You reach out to them first.

“Call after each showing while shutting down. On the listing side, it’s our policy to give feedback after each showing. That way, if you get busy later, you don’t forget to tell your clients what occurred,” says Jeff Lichtenstein, owner and broker of Echo Fine Properties, a luxury real estate brokerage in Florida. 

 

Never leave your clients in the dark

Share what you know about your markets. Keep your clients in the loop at all times. This is one of the most effective methods of helping clients make the right decision. 

“It doesn’t do anyone any good to not be informed. Share what you know about the market, the properties they’re looking at, the neighborhood, etc. Answer questions in a timely manner. This is the largest purchase your clients have ever made. Help them be confident in their decision,” said Jensen.

“Be a guiding light via your blog and vlog – creating your own online content only proves the point of how passionate and knowledgeable you are in the industry, plus it gives a sense of approachability to your audience,” explained Phan.

This means you should be at least a step ahead of the client to help them get the right information at all times. 

 

Get your listings right with clients 

Effective communication is one of the easiest ways to place the right listing in front of the right clients. 

According to Jensen, “Once you’ve set up a client to receive automated listings from your MLS, review them each morning or as they come in. See what is coming on the market. When you know what they are looking for, you can start to see potential where they might not.”Jeff Lichtenstein

“Schedule a weekly meeting. We communicate with all of our listing clients each Wednesday. Schedule time to go through your database with daily/monthly/yearly goals of touches. Keep those appointments,” says Jeff Lichtenstein, owner and broker of Echo Fine Properties

It doesn’t end there. It’s important to point out the cons as well. Some clients fall in love with a house and overlook potential issues. So, know what their must-have is and also what could be a deal-breaker. 

“Send a weekly summary of activity. We have a built-in CRM that shows all the work we’ve done from animated brochures, virtual open houses, website hits, etc. Touch base with each past client at least once a year,” said Lichtenstein.

 

Do more of what works best Tyler Forte

As you spend more time communicating with clients via various channels, you’ll find out what methods work better than others. Effective communication is about doing what works best. 

According to Tyler Forte, the CEO of a Nashville-based brokerage, Felix Homes, “One thing that hasn’t changed is the weekly updates we send clients who have listed their homes with us. We find this to be an effective way to recap the activity for the past week and make minor tweaks to our listing strategy based on feedback we’ve received.”

“I’ve found the weekly recap emails helpful because they make sure everyone is on the same page. They also keep expectations in check and allow me to have a constant channel of communication with the client.” said Forte.

 

Conclusion

Strong communication skills are critical as an agent, especially during the pandemic, as many businesses have transitioned to virtual communication forms. That’s why it’s important to let your clients know that you are willing to be there for them. 

“ALWAYS be available. Buyers and Sellers have a lot of questions, especially if this is their first time, and most of their questions come up when discussing contracts, says Allen. 

“Since we are limited on being able to meet in person, always be available by phone/email to go over those important questions,” added Allen. 

In order to be successful, agents must be accessible, knowledgeable, and forth-coming. If you want to earn your license or be at the top of the industry, it’s best to establish a communication method that works best for you. However, agents must also be able to adapt to make sure they are providing what the client wants.