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4 Strategies for Effective Communication During Closings

February 07 2012

Today’s homebuyer or seller has come to expect clear and frequent communication from their real estate agent during the closing process. Because today’s consumers are more knowledgeable about the closing process than in years past, they demand frequent updates on key points during their closing– which they may be familiar with because they’ve purchased a home before or researched the process online.  Your clients are likely no exception.  But the key isn’t just communicating with them; it’s communicating effectively. Let’s talk about several of the basic – and the more advanced – strategies and tools available to real estate agents.

 

The Basics

First, a review of the classic, more basic forms of communication and when they’re most effective.

 

1) In-person meetings
If you have bad news or a complicated concept to explain, it may be a good idea to set up an in-person meeting. This is important for relationship building.

 

Talking on the telephone or sending an email can limit our ability to explain concepts effectively or express emotions. It can also lead to misunderstandings of tone or meaning. If an in-person meeting isn’t possible – if, for example, your client lives elsewhere or is on vacation – the next best solution is a phone call.

2) Phone
Talking on the phone can be one of the most convenient forms of communication during the closing processes—especially in an age where almost everyone is available via mobile phones.  It gives your clients the opportunity to ask questions in response to the information you give them and get answers in real time. This can help to assuage your client’s anxiety and build rapport.

 

3) Email
A good policy to follow in using e-mail is to refrain from writing anything in an email that you wouldn’t want printed and taped up on the “public notice” board at your gym or the office refrigerator. That said, email does have its benefits and uses. For example, it is often used to transmit documents. If you’re worried about security, you may want to consider a document management, transaction management, and/or digital signature solution. These tech tools can help keep you communicate with customers conveniently with optimal security and confidentiality.

 

Advanced Solutions

This article touches upon a few technologically advanced communication tools above (document management, transaction management, and digital signatures). There’s another new tool in the marketplace that has been gaining a lot of positive buzz:  myFirstAm™ from First American Title.

 

4) myFirstAm
With myFirstAm, you get order status reports on a daily or weekly basis, and order milestone notifications as soon as they occur. Through this feature, myFirstAm allows agents to keep their clients informed throughout every step of the closing process. So, for example, you can let your clients know when key tasks are completed – preliminary report received, documents recorded, etc.

 

Communication Strategies to Avoid

As you might expect, there are also a few communication strategies you might do well to avoid as a general rule. While there are anecdotes of agents and brokers who have occasionally used the following strategies very effectively, these are likely exceptions.  Always, the key is to understand your clients and match your communication style to their preferences.

 

So, generally, it may be best to avoid communicating transaction-related information to your clients via:

 

 

How Do YOU Communicate?

Comment below to share your experiences with communication during the closing process. Which tools and strategies have you found most effective?