Building Trust Among Your Clients
Buying property is a big commitment for most people. As such, building trust with your clients is imperative if you wish to get ahead in your real estate career.
As a realtor, your primary goal is to build trust and credibility with your clients, bridging the communication gap so they will go through their real estate journey with you rather than your competitors.
Whether you’re starting off in real estate, or are looking to take your career to the next level, we’ve got you covered! We take you through the essentials that every realtor needs to excel in real estate sales.
STARTING THE JOURNEY
To understand trust, we have to take a look at how the brain approaches trust and fear. Oxytocin, or the love hormone, is produced when humans perform activities that make them happy. With the production of oxytocin, trust is created in the brain.
As a realtor, your goal is to be able to induce oxytocin in your clients, while being nice to them.
The opposite of oxytocin would be cortisol, a hormone that is associated with stress.
Let us take a look at the differences between an experienced and an inexperienced real estate agent, specifically in terms of how they approach their clients:
Transactional communication: The conversation is geared towards making the transaction rather than building a relationship
Relational communication: Their focus is on building a connection with the client.
Little emphasis on customer needs
Understands what the customer needs
They only attempt to sell what they have to offer
They sell why they do what they do. The focus is on building a relationship and delivering to clients’ needs.
A lot of realtors make the following mistakes leading them to lose clients:
- Not delivering on time – not being punctual
- Lack of communication
- Lack of following up
- Not being honest
HOW DO YOU BUILD TRUST WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS?
Having a connection with your customer creates a level of personal trust, but this does not guarantee a sale.
To build trust that can lead to a sale, you need to have a combination of three things:
Credibility, respect and trust.
Let’s find out how we can build this combination as a new real estate agent.
Buying real estate is a commitment to many buyers, which is why they seek agents who are trustworthy. People buy from those they connect with, like and trust.
Here are some simple ways to build credibility with your clients:
- Be authentic. You don’t have to pretend to be a different person for your clients. Be your own genuine self and keep it real
- Be punctual to meetings, as it is a reflection to your client about how reliable you are
- Watch your grammar. Avoid SMS language as it may look unprofessional (for example, using 4 instead of for or u instead of you)
- Stay informed on the current trends in the UAE real estate
- Borrow credibility from your employer’s name, if you are new to real estate. Mention your brand, your experienced colleagues, etc. to build credibility.
Client: How long have you been working in real estate?
Agent: I’m quite new to the industry, but I work with ABC, one of the country’s leading real estate agencies. My mentor, Mr X is quite popular in the UAE and he has been guiding me from Day 1.
Oxytocin is the hormone that is released when you trust someone. Conversely, Cortisol is the hormone that creates stress. Some of the ways oxytocin can be built up in your client (thus creating stress) is if you follow up too often or continuously call them every day.
Fear and anxiety are the two things that can stop you from closing a deal.
MAKING CONVERSATIONS WORK!
It is always the person asking questions that control the conversation. When you ask questions to your clients, ensure they are open-ended, where the answers are not just yes or no.
DON’T use closed questions, where the answers are monosyllables
Agent: Which area are you interested in?
Agent: When are you looking to move in?
Client: Next month
DO use open questions
Agent: What are you looking for in your dream house?
Client: Well, since I am finding a house to live in with my family, I want to have an apartment with a big living space. I also work from home quite often so I want nice lighting in the daytime
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR CLIENTS BETTER
Asking questions that are open-ended can not only help you gauge their interests, but you can also build conversations with them as these answers can be talking points to building a relationship with them.
Here are some ideas for a well thought out conversation:
Agent: Hello there! Tell me a little about yourself
Client: Hi, I’m Nick, I work as a recruiter here in Dubai, been here for about 3 years after my move from the UK.
Agent: Ah, I’m from the UK too! What has your property search experience been like?
Client: Super stressful, to be honest. I haven’t found that perfect bachelor pad for me. And when I do, it is a loud neighbourhood – and I can’t stand the idea of coming home to noise.
Agent: I understand how silence can be an important factor while searching for a house. Especially after a long day, it is really nice to be in a quieter neighbourhood….
Asking open-ended questions can get your clients to talk, thereby giving you a chance to better understand their interests in property.
ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS TO YOUR CUSTOMERS – the BITS structure
To sell real estate, you need to be asking the right questions in a way that builds credibility and trust while helping you understand your customer better.
We’ve mapped the structure of the ideal way to ask questions to your customer:
You start off with a BASE question:
Agent: What brought you to the decision to buy a property?
Client: I just realised that it is time to invest in a house and stop renting homes
The INVESTIGATIVE question:
Agent: What concerns do you have about buying property?
Client: Since it is an investment, I am worried about depreciation and liquidity more than anything.
These questions can help you get to the basis of your client’s worries. Make sure you give them a well-informed response to establish your credibility as a property expert.
The THOUGHT-PROVOKING question
Agent: How would you feel about buying property for another year?
Client: That actually sounds like an interesting proposition…
The SOLUTION OFFERING question
The final question nails your client’s concerns and provides them with a solution, where you are sure they would accept your proposition.
Agent: If you head over to Bayut.com later today and see other properties you’d like to visit, would you allow me to contact the agent on your behalf?
Having a framework in mind is a great way to overcome objections, which may arise quite often during your work as an agent.
One of the ideal ways to deal with objections is to follow four steps
- Address and Isolate
A lot of people have issues with acknowledging. This exercise focuses on the first 2. Let us go through some good conversation ideas when dealing with common objections.
OBJECTION 1 – We are just looking
The “I am just looking” client is unsure about working with you and needs to gauge the environment around before giving concrete information.
Agent: When would you like to set up a viewing?
Client: You know what, we are just looking…
Agent: That’s good to hear. A lot of people are looking as it’s truly a buyers’ market. What is preventing you from moving forward?
>A good way to begin your conversation is to acknowledge that they have not started their search. Ask them a simple question to move the conversation forward.
Here are a few more examples of using APAC you can use:
Client: We are just starting to look.
Agent: Great! One of the first steps is to make sure your financing is in order. Have you spoken to a lender yet?
Agent: Well, I am glad we met now. Have you had an agent explain the entire home buying process?
This technique is good for moving the conversation forward
Agent: it is a great time to start! What are you looking for?
OBJECTION 2 – Can you reduce your commission
Asking to reduce your commission is a tricky question that needs to be addressed carefully. A common mistake realtors make while being asked this question is giving a sarcastic or rude response. Instead, understand how your client is feeling, perhaps nickeled and dimed
Agent: So the final amount you will have to pay for this property will come up to AED 1.5 M
Client: Why don’t you lower your commission a bit too…
Agent: Would you like to be paid half your salary!
Agent: How about we go ahead and sign the contract
Client: Can you reduce your commission
Agent: I understand how this rate can give the impression of being high. Let me break it down into more manageable terms and explain why I can’t take less.
This is a property worth AED 1,000,000. The commission is AED 20,000. 10k comes to me and 10k goes to my broker. Since we worked with another agent this is divided my split is AED 5,000. Taking away from that does not provide me with a livable wage.
Agent: I want to work with you to make sure we find a property that suits your needs and I work hard to ensure that. Agents that are willing to reduce their commission are not taking their job (which is working for you) seriously. I am working for you to provide expertise. Do you think an agent who will reduce their commission will negotiate on your behalf?
OBJECTION 3: We are going to wait, we aren’t ready
This is usually after a lot of property viewings, where your client seems to be getting cold feet and backs away from any further decisions
Acknowledging their worries would be a good way to proceed with such a response.
Client: I don’t think we are ready to buy property yet.…
Agent: Why didn’t you tell me this earlier! You have wasted my time
Client: We are not ready to buy property. I think we’ll wait
Agent: I see. Could you explain if there is anything specific you are waiting for?
CLOSING A DEAL
The final step of the process of buying or renting a property is to close the deal. A well thought out response is key to ensuring that your client does not back out.
Here are a few ways you can close a deal, based on your customer:
This is an ideal response after re-stating the terms of your contract and the features of the house. You can also wrap it with terms or contingencies that are included in the contract.
Agent: The price is right, the location is right and it’s perfect for your family. So the property costs AED 6.5M and you will be receiving free maintenance. The service charges are also locked in for the next 7 years. It has four bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. Should I go ahead and set up the contract?
This response outlines that the property reflects everything they have currently requested.
Pro’s and Con’s Close
If buyers are having trouble making a decision or there are many details to consider, draw up a list of reasons for and against. Start with the pros to create a positive flow. Analyse the downside and move toward the close with an upbeat statement
“The price is right, location is right, school is close by. The only con is the construction next door. However, that will be complete in 3 months and property prices may increase very well. “
You mention that you too are an owner of the product you’re selling and as a professional, if you bought there, it stands to reason it’s a good investment for your client.
“I own a property at Arabian Ranches too and think it was one of the best investments I have made. Should we proceed with the next steps and make an offer?”
Get agreement on other issues, then zero in on their specific concerns. After this, you can discuss possible solutions to your concern.
“The price is right and this house is perfect. The only issue is the proximity of the school from the area. However School XYZ is opening a school here next year, so you wouldn’t have to worry about dropping them off at school ”
Point out to the client that the price of the property has remained stable throughout the year and there are only a few units available. Then you can ask exactly what they’re waiting for.
“According to the transaction insights from the past year, the price of this property has remained the same. There aren’t any significant drops or rises in the total price. So how about we go ahead and write up the contract?”
Just act as if the decision is already made and confidently ask:
“Should I come over with the contract now, or would this evening be better?”
This can be difficult for some agents but there are many agents that do this quite well
Show your customer that you understand how they feel at the moment (it is a big purchase, for many people). Make an effort to voice their feelings and understand their feelings
“I understand how you feel. I felt the same way when I bought my home. But it turned out to be a very smart move.”
With time and experience, you can practice these skills and step up your real estate sales game. Hard work, consistency and an eagerness to learn can definitely help you in your journey ahead.