Have you ever dealt with a customer who pretends to know more about real estate than you do? If so, do not write off these clients. By dealing with the underlying concerns with patience and empathy, you can make them happy customers for life.
You guide your customers through a spacious, well-lit living room. It is the heart of a beautiful one-story house in a quiet cul-de-sac.
It is a beautiful and picturesque city. There is a supermarket within walking distance and it is home to neighbors who bring you a nice fruit cake every time December rolls around.
Yes that’s it. This is the At home for your quiet, downsized older couple who has been with you for about 6 months.
They look happy. You sound excited. This is a home run, you just know it. In fact, the neighbors are already sharpening their knives (you know, for the fruit cake).
But when you pull out the documents to make an official offer, the lovely older couple drops a bomb: “Just let me call our son. He knows a lot about this real estate material. Did you know that this time he was helping his uncle sell his apartment? He would have made such a great agent if I.T. didn’t work for him. “
Before you can open your mouth and say something, the phone will be handed over to you. The next thing you know is that a voice at the other end suddenly comes alive, attacking you with a flood of questions, anecdotes, and an undercover insult.
Your ethics are questioned. And why in the world can’t you tell them if there is a church in the area? “Something service there, buddy. I knew my parents should have just hired a lawyer to do the paperwork. We could have done your job well without giving you a free lunch.
Sounds familiar? Did I just hear a collective “Only in real estate” * sigh *? Well, prepare to breathe this teat back into your lungs.
Our industry is not the only one that is notorious for backseat drivers. Let me tell you a little bit about the business-to-business furniture (B2B) industry and the similar challenges you face each time you sit down with a potential customer.
And before you ran away horrified, don’t worry, we don’t just focus on your complaints. We’ll also see how you can use their insights to turn a frustrating situation into a satisfied customer.
Business-to-business furniture companies (B2B) are usually responsible for both the manufacture and the design. You need to carefully consider the cost of raw materials, manufacturing efficiency, marketing, research and development (R&D).
Their designers have the task of being inspired by global trends, adapting them to the local market and executing their designs as cost-effectively as possible. All this while trying to please customers.
The latter is usually the most frustrating part.
All too often, designers sit in front of procurement officers or busy CEOs who have already made a decision. Since they are used to comparing generic office furniture in mass production (as seen in large office supply stores), the price ultimately matters. “Who can make me spend the least money?”
It is a bidding war in which the strongest undercut wins. How can designers present this innovative, ergonomic furniture on their cards without underestimating their product?
“Above all, you listen to their needs. Don’t just hear what they say, hear what their words mean. Mostly these people [CEOs] think budget and longevity. They agree with mediocre quality as it is cheap and easy to replace when an expansion takes place.
Then you can gently remind them that happy, back pain-free employees have a positive impact on ROI. If you can present a solution that evolves like Lego blocks alongside expansion, you’ve surpassed your competition. They recognize that they can save more in the long term and at the same time promote employee loyalty. “- – Lorenzo, Tryone, Outboxed Solutions Inc.
As the old saying goes: sell them what they want, give them what they need.
Let’s do this in a nice step-by-step format.
1. Practice active listening
Take a minute (or 60) to sit down with your customer. This may feel like a long time, but it is definitely better to drive your customers from house to house for days without having a good idea of what they’re actually looking for.
Talk about their motivation for moving, the lifestyle they want in their new home, and why. This conversation shouldn’t feel like an interrogation. Make it an honest conversation and soon you will have a clearer understanding of your customer’s needs.
There is probably an emotional major life event that leads to her decision. So show empathy. Think about how you would feel if you were in your situation and try to see things from their perspective.
Not only will you do your part to meet your emotional needs, be heard and cared for, but you will also have a better idea of what kind of home you need, and you will not just come across as someone who is real tries to earn a commission.
2. Show empathy
The general public distrusts sellers, lawyers and real estate agents. And unfortunately there are enough horror stories from dodgy real estate agents to justify this suspicion.
That means one of the first obstacles you need to overcome is the distrust that buyers will inevitably have for you at first. It will be your job to prove that you are a trustworthy person who has their interests in mind.
At the same time, the majority of buyers start their property search online. And do you know what is still online? Countless articles about home buyers who have managed to find the home of their dreams without an agent thanks to this one weird trick they don’t want you to know about.
Understand that everyone on the Internet can feel like an “expert”. Even if (especially if) these articles were written with the specific intent to confirm their readers’ prejudices.
Home buyers who consume this content don’t want to be seen as fools who are less savvy than their peers.
Successful DIY home purchases generate admiration and imitation. And the lizard part of our brain (the dopamine-controlled part of our subconscious that we all have) likes to tell us: “Don’t listen to this so-called expert. You know better. Has this top ten list at DIYhomebuyer.biz not basically confirming everything you already knew about real estate? Ohhhh, you will look so smart if you show this chic broker that you don’t need him / her! “
Don’t take these kind comments as personal attacks. These comments come from a place of bias, misinformation, and even fear.
They know better than anyone that buying a home is a milestone, an important life event. You also know that this is probably one of, if not the most emotional decision your customer will make in his life.
Carefully remind them that you have a fiduciary (and legal) relationship to act in their best interests at all times during the deal. And if you’ve taken the time to listen to their story and offer options that resonate, you’ll use your valuable knowledge (for which you pay for it) without bragging about it.
3. Show, don’t tell
Sometimes the only way to save with the emotional brain is to rely on logic. Cold, hard facts.
If the buyer is firmly convinced who lives in the area, which places of worship are nearby, and other demographic information that could attract the moral judgment of the Fair Housing Act, you should let your customers know. However, if they insist on finding out this information, tell them they can easily find it online.
If you want to see who lives in the neighborhood, ask them to visit them at different times of the day.
This gives them the feeling that they have actively participated in the process and becomes a source of validation.
If they think your grandson who knows computers can do a better job than you, show them case studies of how you helped other customers get great deals.
In other words: “Show, don’t tell.”
Here is an anecdote from the B2B furniture sector:
The designer tried to convince the CEO of a company to invest in his staff chairs because he didn’t think they should be as comfortable as an executive chair.
“I told him to sit in the chair and perform the same tasks as his staff on a typical day: sit for hours, look for files in the surrounding cupboards, roll to the landline as quickly as possible, etc. He found that whole ordeal was very inefficient, not to mention uncomfortable. “ – Lorenzo, Tryone. Outboxed Solutions Inc.
In the end, the equation is as simple as:
Listen proactively + know where they come from + provide evidence = a happy customer
To get to this point, however, you really need to understand what drives your customers to buy. What pain point are you trying to fix?
Then use your hard-earned expertise and use this knowledge to paint the picture of your happy life without having to take the brush in your own hands.
At the end, prepare an offer that speaks to you personally and provide them with half of the evidence you have obtained. They will argue with you up and down, but they will not argue with themselves.
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