Imagine sitting down in your office with new clients - their beaming faces full of excitement. You can tell they are ready to commit, so you decide to jump right in. As you tell them about the newest listings with the biggest floor plans, you notice their interest falters. That’s when you realize you forgot the most important marketing strategy for Realtors: understanding the client’s goals.
Take a mental step backward, begin again and start by asking clients questions to get to know them better. If you learn that they already own a large home with a huge yard, but are not happy with the struggle to upkeep it, you can skip homes with gnarly yards (or find a maintenance service referral). If your clients want a vintage home with custom molding and built-ins, modern and sleek floor plans may not fit their vision.
Once you understand your client’s goals, you can show them homes that fit their needs and keep the happy smile on their face. Read on for more about how client goals affect your marketing strategies.
The Best Marketing Strategy for Realtors: Client Relationships
Our homes are a very personal and intimate part of our lives. The size, style, accommodations, location, and even the colors have as much variation as people have individual style. What your clients are looking for in a home will ultimately determine how you market to them and how they react. It is not an effective strategy to try and convince a client they want something that they don’t truly want - they will either be unhappy with their purchase or they will hire a different realtor.
How to help clients externalize unspoken wants
Some clients may come to you unsure of what they want in a home or they find home after home that they don’t like. Sometimes this is just a matter of experience (particularly if they are new to home-ownership). As these clients look at more homes, they will be able to better discern what they like and don’t like. During this process, it is important to be observant and have an open line of communication with them.
Other times, clients may have wants, needs, or fears that they haven’t expressed to you. If you don’t know what these lurking wet blankets are, you won’t be able to show them homes that would best fit them.
- Active listening
- Understanding nonverbal communication
- Clarity and concision
Here are some resources for bettering interpersonal relationship skills, including:
- Take online classes about building interpersonal skills (a must for any salesperson!)
- Read books on communication skills
- Record yourself for practice
Set clear goals with clients at the beginning
Discuss and write down client goals early. Having their goals down on paper creates a roadmap for their home search, and gives you priorities as you help them. Make sure to:
- Discuss their expectations of you and how they define success
- Set specific parameters and timelines
- Be clear on their budget
Imagery and Storytelling Techniques Sell Clients a Lifestyle
Appeal to a client’s emotions to help them visualize how a potential home fits their goals. This creative aspect of marketing homes is effective because it takes data (client goals) and incorporates it into “a story that connects the property to the goals and lifestyle of those who would buy it.”
As you and a client walk through a home, help them envision their lives there. When you know what your clients’ hopes and dreams are, you can point out the aspects of the home that you know will most appeal to them.
Niche groups and lifestyle goals
While it’s important to prioritize your individual client’s goals, expert realtors also market to niche groups of clients and their lifestyles. Examples of niche real estate groups with different lifestyles include:
- Empty-nesters - with their kids out of the house, they are looking to downgrade and have a new focus/ different hobbies
- Retirees - aging clients may want a home with little maintenance or to move closer to their grandkids
- Young couples - first-time home buyers who are wanting to start a family
- Investors or vacationers - clients looking for a vacation home or an Airbnb
When you understand these groups’ goals, you can market and stage homes with their lifestyles in mind.
Clients Might Have Unattainable Goals
When it comes to buying a home, a client may have a goal that exceeds their ability. Depending on the client and goal, you can still help them.
Clients with big dreams, but little wallets
Clients who are drawn to homes that are out of their budget will need you to be empathetic and clear with them about what homes they can afford. Use creative storytelling marketing strategies to show them how the homes that are in their budget can be just what they are looking for.
Clients that are reality tv experts
Enthusiastic clients that have watched every episode of HGTV may think that they know the ins-and-outs of the home buying process. These clients may try to take the lead and will need clear boundaries and for you to assert your expertise. With some patience and guidance, you can help these enthusiastic clients get their dream home.
It is essential in the real estate industry to have spectacular interpersonal relationship skills, a creative mindset, and a vision of the bigger picture. With practice and experience, you will become an expert at quickly understanding client goals and how to use that information to sell them a lifestyle.
Credit repair is a client goal - be prepared to help them
What happens when you understand your client’s goals and have found some perfect home options on the market - but your clients’ credit scores are keeping them from getting the loan they want? Don’t let them walk away from their dreams! Be prepared to help your clients work through credit troubles by educating yourself on how to repair credit and having the right software tool to help them reach their goals. Often, completing simple credit repair steps can lead to their credit score increasing quickly!
When you can help your clients repair their credit so that they can qualify for a better home loan - and reach their lifestyle goals - you set yourself apart from other real estate agents. Clients will trust that you have their best interests at heart, which means more client retention and more referrals. It also means that you are able to affect your bottom line by selling more homes.
Learn more about how repairing your client’s credit can help you and your client both reach your goals here.