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Best of 2012: 4 Things a Real Estate Agent Should Never Say

December 27 2012

We're celebrating the end the year by counting down our 10 most engaging articles of 2012. This article was posted in April and is #3 in our countdown. See #4 here.

woman secretWhen you’re meeting a potential client for the first time, or conducting one of your first meetings after landing their business, they’ll be hanging on your every word. No pressure, right? Thinking that you have to say “all the right things” can be pretty intimidating. So, instead, I’m going to give you an alternative: focus on what NOT to say. Here are a few things that a current or potential client does not want to hear and may send them running for the door.

1) “I don’t buy into all that technology nonsense.”
Wrong answer! Chances are, your clients are going to be relatively tech savvy themselves and even if they’re not, they expect you to be. When you tell them that you don’t use technology in your business, what they’re hearing is “I’m out-of-touch, behind the times, and don’t have what it takes to help you in today’s marketplace.” Need proof that your tech skills matter? The California Association of REALTORS® annual consumer research indicates that more than 70% of consumers believe that being “tech savvy” is a “very important” trait in a REALTOR®.

What to say instead: “Let me tell you about the many tried-and-true, as well as technologically advanced ways I can help you achieve your goal.” This tells them that you’re not wasting time on ineffective newfangled gadgets while ignoring the time-tested keys to success (i.e. open houses, which we’ll talk about next). However, you are still keeping pace with current market conditions and can function in today’s Internet-centric atmosphere.

Need help with technology? Your broker, MLS, and Association are great resources! You can also count on RE Technology to provide a complete product directory as well as educational articles. If you have any specific questions, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

2) “I don’t do open houses.”
What your client could very well hear is, “I’m lazy, pessimistic, and not terribly excited about this project.” They’ve spent their entire adult life hearing that an open house is a key component of selling a property. And, to a certain extent, they’re correct. Now, it’s true that most sales don’t happen at an open house and that there are other, more important pieces of the puzzle. So, the best thing you can do is to demonstrate your value by honoring their wishes and, at the same time, informing them about the complex realities of the art of real estate sales.

What to say instead: “The timing of an open house is crucial. While it’s an important tool – one that I will use to full advantage – it’s only one tool in my toolbox. Let me explain . . .”

Open Houses are also excellent ways to meet people that you can put into your farm for future transactions.  You will often meet every neighbor during an open house. They are a rich source of area information.

3) “Don’t send me text messages – and I certainly won’t send them to you.”
True, text messages are not a one-size-fits-all method of communication. There’s a time and a place for their proper use; to get a feel for that, you can read our article “The Do’s and Don’ts of Text Messaging for Real Estate.” But to completely rule them out is to ignore one of the primary ways your clients get in touch when they have a quick comment or question.

What to say instead: “I’m here for you, no matter how you want to reach me. Please let me know your preferred methods of communication – if and when you’d like me to use home phone, office phone, cell, email, social media and text message.”

4) “I check my messages/respond to email once a day.”
Ever heard this voicemail greeting on a REALTOR’s® cell phone? C’mon, people – this is a fast-paced business and you’re dealing with clients who have strong emotions (and big bucks) on the line. They want an agent who is responsive, not someone they can only reach once in 24 hours!

What to say instead: “I’m here for you, no matter when you want to reach me. If it’s urgent, the best thing to do is to _______________. If I can’t pick up at that moment, I promise I will get back to you as soon as I possibly can.”

Next! View article #2 in our countdown.