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5 Tips for Managing Client Expectations

November 19 2013

client interactionAs a real estate professional, you're selling your services to clients. Within any service industry, clients are going to expect the world from you. It's your responsibility to make sure that you and your client are consistently on the same page. It's not simply a matter of telling them what they can expect, but also what they can't.

Managing client expectations is a unique skill set, and one that takes practice to master. But with time, patience, and consistent effort, you'll be an expert in no time! Here are five tips for managing your real estate client's expectations that you can start implementing into your real estate business today.

1. Be honest and genuine - While this sounds like such a basic principle of client service, it's often easy to forget! In any service industry, you want to be able to say "yes" and please a client's every want and need - but that's just unrealistic. Before taking on a new client, take a moment to reflect upon and commit to what kind of real estate professional you are (and/or want to be). Your ultimate goal is to maintain lifelong relationships with clients and get referrals and repeat business, right? So, don't sacrifice what you want most in the long run for the commission (or whatever it may be) you could get in the short run. It's better to say "No" to a client than work with someone who you cannot be honest with or genuinely care about.

2. Set boundaries - In any relationship, boundaries are crucial. The better you get at setting them, the better your relationships will be across the board. What do boundaries mean in the sense of your client relations? What things are off limits? Calling you at midnight? Probably. Asking to only be shown homes that allow children to be enrolled in a particular district? Depending on your area, requests like this may be off limits, too. Explain that while you can assist them with x, y, and z, certain requests may require further investigation on their end.

3. Make zero assumptions - Just because your client currently has a large backyard for the family pet who is prominently featured in the family photo above the fireplace, doesn't mean they need to have a large backyard in their new home. Don't rule anything out based on observation alone. Take these observations and parlay them into a conversation.

4. Communicate consistently - It's a good idea to discuss communication with a new or potential client as to manage your own expectations of working together. How often does your client want to communicate? What modes of communication are they most comfortable with? When during the transaction will communication increase? These are all great topics to discuss with a client at the very beginning – instead of waiting until there is a miscommunication and having to backtrack.

5. Under promise and over deliver - This is a gold standard for managing client relationships and no tip-list would be complete with out it! So, what does this mean for you as a real estate professional? If you need to find out a piece of information for a client and call them back, overestimate the time it will take you to do just that, and call them before the time originally quoted. If a buyer asks you for information on a property, don't just give them the MLS data with facts and figures displayed in a hard to read manner, send them a complete CMA property report with not only MLS data, but facts and figures from a variety of top websites to paint the complete picture of the property and location. It's doing the little things that will build relationships and maintain consistent clients and referrals.

To view the original article, visit the Cloud CMA blogCloud CMA blog.