Managing Client Expectations for Successful Transactions

Purposeful Guidance and Emotional Control Lead to Better Results

While the general process of selling or buying a home is typically the same for most transactions, inevitably each transaction will experience some number of unique nuances and challenges. Preparing clients for those occurrences is a skill that agents and teams must develop to navigate a higher percentage of their clients’ transactions to successful conclusions.

This takes preparation and an effective attitude. Achieve those—and better client experiences—by incorporating the following approaches into your client management:

1. In Advance With Sellers: Once the listing agreement is signed, and before any showings or offers occur, have your team members walk through the rest of the process with your clients. Regardless of the specific circumstances of that specific listing or the current market, guide them through the general timeline of events—including how you will work on their behalf at each step—to reinforce your role as their real estate professional. Timelines for a sale and closing can vary widely, so communicate that up front. If you know of any likely sticking points about the property or other issues, touch on those, too, along with some general possible outcomes. In general, though, don’t worry about predicting absolutely everything in advance because that is not possible. Instead, touch on expected events or issues in a general and preparatory way and assure them how you will work with them at each point.

2. In Advance With Buyers: Similarly, guiding buyers—especially first-time homebuyers—through the process of showings, offers, inspections and closing in advance will both prepare them for future steps and set the stage for them to follow your lead. Particularly in today’s market, preparing them for a competitive bidding process and need for quick decisions may be pivotal to their success.

3. In the Moment With All Clients: Inflection points in a transaction—negotiating the contract and addressing home inspection results or any unexpected issues—are when all of your preparation and professional skills now come into play. First, manage the situation by remaining calm through good news and bad; remain the expert that your client needs you to be while focusing on guiding them through any issue at hand. Secondly, don’t practice sales prevention; while there are some issues that cause a deal to fall apart, most of the time a mutually agreeable solution can be found. Don’t be the agent that says, “I’m not going to let my client…” Instead, remember that you have a seller who wants to sell and a buyer who wants to buy. Yes, you must be your client’s advocate, but find solutions whenever available and, in the end, you will likely have more satisfied clients than if you were more focused on being right than making your client successful and happy.

Managing your client’s expectations, as well as their reactions during important transactional milestones, will lead to more successful closings and happier clients. Include the tips above when developing your own plan or checklist for educating your clients and you will see your business run more smoothly, your clients rely upon you more and successful closings occur at a higher rate.

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