Two words. People first.
I can sum up my real estate company’s philosophy—our fundamental beliefs—in two words.
We’re not in the business of buying and selling houses.
We aren’t in the business of investing.
We’re in the problem-solving business.
More specifically, we’re in the business of solving problems for homeowners by leveraging our experience and network to think outside the box and create win/win solutions for everyone.
The average homeowner has no clue what the possibilities are, since they may only buy one house in their lifetime. It’s our job to know what those possibilities are, and to use all our creativity and knowledge to solve their problems.
Where does that knowledge come from? It’s simple. We buy hundreds of houses every year. Believe me: we’ve learned a thing or two along the way.
We’re not just a real estate company. We’re a people company. We don’t conduct business or process transactions. We build relationships.
Our clients share their challenges with us, and by doing so they share their lives. Therefore, we’re able to connect with our clients and customers at a level most businesses just can’t.
Zillow has a great series on their own customer-centric philosophy that begins here. But if you don’t have time to read the whole thing, here are some bullet points from my favorite article in the series, part one.
- According to the article, “Surveys of more than 3,500 home shoppers on Zillow show that they prize agents who prioritize them and their home-buying needs.” If they know you care, they’ll have a more comfortable working relationship with you. This can have great benefits. Usually, it comes down to more money for the seller, or better terms such as letting them or their tenant stay for X amount of time after we purchase it.
For example, let’s talk about our property nicknamed “Ilex Drive.” We were in the middle of closing preparations when COVID hit. But, by using our creative strategies, we were able to move forward and navigate what could have been a disaster for that deal.
- Whenever you engage with a client or a new lead, focus on the person and not the property they contacted you about. When you focus on the person, you can divorce them from thinking about a single property. This gives you the opportunity to open your whole toolbox to give them options that fit their specific needs. (By the way, this advice works whether you’re an investor or an agent.)
- We use the LEAD method at USA Portfolio, RE. We developed this method to give our agents an easy way to remember the best way to effectively interact with homeowners. LEAD stands for Listen, Educate, Advocate, Decide. I have something forthcoming which will explain this method in more detail. Stay tuned!
- Different clients have different needs. Know your audience, and then do the work to try and solve their problem. People know when you fake caring…We call it “commission breath” 🙂
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is, when you focus on working with the right clients, the right properties will find you, too. Listen to me, and to Zillow: make your process customer-centric.
Remember, everything….and I mean EVERYTHING that we want in our day-to-day lives, we get from OTHER PEOPLE. Focus on helping people get what they want and you’ll have plenty of what you want.
It’s Your Turn!
What’s your best tip for focusing on the client first? Let me know in the comments!
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