Customer Relationships: 5 Tips for Success

Follow these tips to improve your relationships with buyers and sellers.

May 1, 2010

Share your knowledge judiciously.

Some buyers and sellers want everything laid out for them; others will feel you’re talking down to them. Before you launch into a subject, probe for customers’ level of knowledge. Most would rather engage in a discussion than listen to a lecture.

Err on the side of too much communication.

Even those who feel very knowledgeable about the process want to be kept in the loop. Find out their preferred communication method; then use it to let them know you’re staying on top of every step in the process.

Don’t oversell your expertise.

You’ll alienate customers, and increase your risk of  liability, if you tread in areas where your level of knowledge is thin. Build a network of bona fide experts, so that when your clients ask questions you can’t or shouldn’t answer, you have referrals at the ready.

Be sensitive during pricing discussions with sellers.

Even if you know in your heart that a price drop is warranted, don’t let sellers think you’re more interested in the sale than in their financial well-being. Listen to why they think their home is worth more; demonstrate that you respect their views, and let them know that the pricing decision is ultimately theirs—even if it means you’d rather pass on the listing.

Help buyers narrow their choices without feeling steered.

With big inventories in many markets, several buyers we spoke with felt their agent didn’t work hard enough to find them the house they wanted. To avoid that problem: Guide them through an exercise of discovering their wants and needs, encourage them to view properties online and share their favorites with you, and know the inventory well so that you can help them identify the right listings.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is the former director of multimedia communications at NAR.