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Staying Professional While Helping Clients Through Hard Times

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Clients in Tough Times

We’d like to think that being a real estate agent is always a joy. You’re always helping someone move up and move into something better.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Sometimes clients come to us because they are in the middle of a very difficult or stressful time. Divorce, downsizing, or losing a spouse can all cause someone to need to buy or sell a home.

As real estate professionals, it can be difficult to help clients with real estate when their personal problems seem overwhelming. Here are ways you can keep it professional while still being compassionate.

Refer Clients to Appropriate Professionals

While we sometimes feel like therapists or counselors, most of us are not qualified to fill these roles. It’s tempting to simply be there as a “listening ear,” but then our contribution as real estate agents is lost in the shuffle.

Instead, draw some strong but compassionate boundaries in your business. When someone is going through a very difficult time, let them know that you care and that you want them to have the best help they can get. Which means they should talk to someone other than you.

It can be especially helpful if you have connections with therapists or counseling services in your area. These folks will be much more helpful to the client than you will, and it will keep you from having to carry the emotional burden.

Focus on Real Estate

People who are going through difficult times are often very unfocused. They have a hard time staying on track, and may not be good at making decisions.

As a real estate professional, this is where you can really shine. Keep things moving on the home sale or purchase. Ask questions to keep your client on track. Narrow choices down so they only have to choose between two or three things, not 50.

It can also be helpful to bring out the positive aspects of the transition. When done with sensitivity, this can help the transaction move forward smoothly.

As an impartial professional, you can give a clear-eyed view into what might be a very emotional situation for your client. This impartial advice is extremely valuable, and you shouldn’t feel bad about separating your emotions from the transaction.

Understand When They’re Just Not Ready

Not everyone in a difficult life situation is ready to buy or sell a home. We never like to “fire” clients, and it can be especially hard when someone is struggling. However, there are times you simply have to realize they are not ready, and walk away.

You do a lot of marketing to get a client, so it’s hard to cut someone off. But unless you want to be going back and forth with a grieving widow about selling her home for several years, you need to have a point at which you step away and check back at a better time.

The good news is that many times when you return to the situation months later, the client has worked through their grief and emotions and is in a much better place to pursue a real estate transaction. You can end up with a dream client if you just wait a little while.

 

Do you have any advice for handling clients who are in a rough spot? How do you keep it professional? Share in the comments!

Developing the Right Mindset About Real Estate Marketing

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Mindset for Real Estate Marketing

If you had to answer this one-question quiz, where would you fall?

My thoughts about marketing my real estate business are:

  • A) Ugh, really? Why can’t I just sell homes?
  • B) Gotta do it. When it’s out of the way, I can get to the stuff I love more.
  • C) Marketing is my core focus. It’s how I live my dream!

If you’re like many Realtors®, your answer was A or B. Not very many real estate agents fully embrace marketing as the focus of their business. Most people go into real estate to help people with home ownership, not to be marketers!

However, embracing marketing as central to your business will help you be more successful in your own business and in buying and selling homes. Here’s how you can change your mindset around marketing.

Marketing Your Business Helps You Sell Homes Effectively

Many Realtors® don’t think about the connection between marketing their own business and marketing the listings they have for clients. But marketing is marketing!

When you raise awareness about your own business, you’re testing methods to get attention and inspire action. Those same techniques will help you sell homes quickly for clients as well.

You get to test everything out on your most forgiving client – yourself – and then run with what works. You can translate what you learn DIRECTLY into what you do for clients!

Don’t think of marketing your own business as a distraction from your core work. Instead, think of it as a testing ground for the techniques you’ll use to help the clients who hire you.

Recommit to Your Personal Success

If you became a Realtor® to pursue your dreams while helping your clients pursue their dreams as well, you’re in the right place. However, without consistent marketing for your own business, you won’t be able to do either one.

As Jay Conrad Levinson points out in Guerrilla Marketing with Technology, “No matter what business your business card says you’re in, you’re really in the marketing business.” Even if you produce top-quality results, no one will know unless you tell them.

Don’t take that as a negative. Recommit to your personal success by committing to become an expert at real estate marketing. When you do, your business and your service to clients will both soar.

Remember That You’re in the People Business

No matter what business you’re in, you’re in the people business. This doesn’t contradict what I said about the marketing business above; it goes hand in hand. Committing to your personal success and marketing expertise requires that you understand people.

People aren’t interested in you until they’re sure you’re interested in them. They don’t want to be another “fish you catch” for the day. They want to make sure you see them as real people. People with their own dreams and hopes and desires.

The best way to do that is to make sure your marketing focuses on your clients. Don’t talk about yourself and your successes at the beginning. Talk entirely about the customer and what they need. Once your prospect knows you understand them, they’ll want to know more about you.

When you remember that you’re in the people business, you won’t be tempted by quick or unethical marketing schemes. Your marketing and your business should serve others first and foremost.

Ready to Get Started?

If you’re ready to recommit and focus on your marketing, Printerbees can help. Take a look at our Selling Secrets postcard series, which allows you to cultivate and connect with listings in your farm area.

We can also help you refresh your business cards, set up a Just Listed or Just Sold series, and more. Just contact us and let us know what you need! We are committed to your success.