Are fewer homebuyers or sellers calling you back after hearing your spiel? When you speak to a potential client, do they get glassy-eyed and can’t get away fast enough? Do other brokers seem to be leaping over you on the way to closing more deals? These scenarios are basically hell for real estate brokers and agents who are in need of a bit of divine intervention, but not to worry. These 10 commandments aren’t set in stone, but they will help bring you to a paradise-like state once your numbers start climbing.
1. Thou shalt work thy smile
A great smile can go a long way, and if done well, can also affect your overall outlook throughout the day. And if your pleasant demeanor is contagious, it can radiate toward the people you talk to, and they might resist the urge to run away when you try to hand them a flyer. Mind your posture too; standing properly makes you look even more alert and awake, and keeping your arms at your sides instead of crossed on your chest gives an impression of openness.
No sale today? Turn that frown upside down and stay positive. (Photo from Shutterstock)
2. Thou shalt follow up on leads
They might have been busy pacifying their kid while talking to you, or your card may have gotten lost in the pile of mail in their kitchen. Whichever it is, a little prodding won’t hurt, which is why you better cross your fingers and hope you remembered to jot down their number. If you did, give them a call and follow up on the property they seemed interested in when you spoke with them. Let them know if units are running out in the condo you’re selling, or the developer of the house for sale is holding a special promo to reawaken their interest.
3. Thou shalt connect with thy client
Are you familiar with the expression “nice guys finish last”? It’s not always the case, especially not in the selling business. You know why you always seem to gravitate to the same seller in the market or tiangge? They managed to hook you because they’re nice to you. They might’ve had great products to begin with, but they probably wouldn’t have gotten a chance to show you if they didn’t appeal to your personal side first. People tend to do business with sellers they like. Being likeable helps you gain a client’s trust, so don’t just pitch to them. Try to connect with them on a personal level and they’ll realize you have their best interests at heart.
When selling real estate, the client should always come first. (Photo from Shutterstock)
4. Thou shalt not skip the research
An agent that comes prepared is one who closes the deal. Don’t just stick to what you know about the property itself; venture out and learn about the neighborhood and its entirety. Find out how many banks are nearby, what top-rated restaurants are a few minutes away, or if the police station is close enough for emergencies. Also, giving them a little extra information, like knowing how long the travel time is from the property to the closest grocery store or what extracurricular activities are being offered at the school down the street, show that you really care and can be an added push to get them to sign.
5. Thou shalt not kill (thy phone)
God may not work on Sundays, but maybe it’s OK if you render some overtime. If an inquiry comes in on the weekends or even while you’re on vacation, take it. Remember, most people work during weekdays and within office hours, and they can’t always take some time to inquire about a house they want when they’re elbow-deep in paperwork for their boss. Not that you can’t get some time off, because you can. But your potential client might mistake your lack of response for disinterest and go for someone who actually picks up the phone. Just saying.
6. Thou shalt not bear false or outdated information
Nothing irks a buyer more than calling about a listing that’s already been sold. Wait, there is one thing: calling a number that’s been changed. Keep everything updated; this means everything from your online listings to your Facebook posts to your calling cards. Deactivate any unavailable listings so people won’t waste time inquiring about them. Pay attention to people who inquire through social media or email. If you want your client’s business, they have to be able to reach you, so be sure to provide them with the right contact information.
Are you sure you provided the right contact information? (Photo from Shutterstock)
7. Thou shalt use the Internet
There’s nothing wrong with handing out brochures at the mall or buying ad space in newspapers, but if you want a method that’ll save half the time and reach more people, harness the power of the Internet. Online real estate websites, to be more specific, have the ability to communicate with your market faster with something as simple as uploading a classified ad for your property for sale. Since a large majority of your market has access to the internet, it’s easier to get to them whether they’re at home, at work, or even in transit.
8. Thou shalt not shy away from social media
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are not just for cat videos or stalking your celebrity crush; they’re effective tools in disseminating information about your business. Because there are literally millions of people who have accounts in these platforms, you can let a large part of your audience simultaneously know about the properties you’re selling, activities in the neighborhood you specialize in, or general news about the real estate scene. Just be sure to post only relevant information to keep from flooding your followers’ feed and risk being “Unliked.”
9. Thou shalt not covet thy fellow broker’s client
Anyone in the sales industry knows how hard it is to earn by commission, but don’t resort to stealing clients just to crank up your numbers. Be an ethical broker or agent and play fair. If your conscience won’t keep you from playing fair, maybe the law will: the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (PRB-RES) penned the Real Estate Service Act (RESA) Code of Ethics to keep all real estate practitioners in line with appropriate sanctions for every violation, such as taking active listings from other licensed real estate brokers or badmouthing fellow practitioners just to get ahead.
If you want to be truly successful as a real estate seller, learn to play fair. (Photo from Shutterstock)
10. Honor thy word
You think once you’ve managed to get your client to sign an agreement with you, the hard part’s over, right? Not a chance. Now that they’ve listened to everything you said you’re willing to do for them, it’s time to prove your worth. Don’t set impossible timeframes if you know a task will take a while to complete. Don’t promise your client you’ll be able to sell their home for the price they want. Being honest and keeping your promises are the keys to getting referrals in the future, so be sure to make good on your word.