September 19, 2011

Getting on the Same Page

I had a good meeting with my boss today.

We are both busy people who have a lot on our respective plates and are never really without something to do. It is just a fact that one of his "plates" is making sure I am doing all I can to provide assistance, support and value to the associates and managers within our organization so they can continue to deliver outstanding service and memorable experiences to their clients and customers. 

When you start getting busy it becomes easy to think you're on track with your actions and on schedule to deliver what is expected but having some check points along the way is always a good idea.

How do you make sure you're on the "same page" with everyone and anyone who might be reading from the same manual?

Servicing Your Sellers

How are you "touching base" with your Sellers during the listing process? It might be a wise practice to schedule weekly "check ins" with all of your Sellers so you can discuss your marketing efforts, any changes in the market (new listings, price changes, new pending deals, buyer activity) and upcoming events you may have planned.

Doing this weekly allows you to create open communication with your clients and let's them always know what you're doing to not only maximize exposure on their home and generate potential interest, but eventually earn your fee they will pay you when it sells.

Another thing this might do is eliminate many of those "got a minute" interruptions that some Sellers might bother you with throughout the week if they knew they could count on your weekly call. Be sure to put it in your schedule and be diligent about making the call. Prepare your thoughts the morning of these calls and anticipate any questions or concerns they may have for you.

Scheduling these "check ins" at the time you take the listing will start your relationship off on the right foot and show them that they have listed their home with a true sales professional instead of someone who just sits back and waits for the market to deliver an offer. These weekly calls also eliminate the possibility of your Sellers saying they "never hear from you."

Positioning Your Purchasers

If you're a full time Realtor in today's challenging market, you know you don't have time to be a chauffeur and spend your day working with "lookers." You want to work with people who are ready, willing and able to buy, right?

We spoke in The Realtor's Toolbox earlier this year about the 5 Reasons for a Buyer Counseling Session (see video blog series here) so let's assume that this is where your relationship truly begins with each Buyer. How are you making sure that you're always on the "same page" with your clients who are searching for that next place to call home?

Are you what might be called a "Pop Tart Agent" who just jumps and runs when a client wants to see a house or do you have a system to identify the right listings that match what the client has identified as their needs and wants? If you don't get control of your schedule don't be surprised if your schedule grabs control of you.

Schedule your showings and don't be afraid to ask your clients after each session if they want to explore moving forward on any of the houses you showed - also known as "asking for the sale." If you feel that you're spending too many sessions just "looking" don't be afraid to schedule another "mini" Buyer Counseling Session to verify that what you're showing them and what they are looking for are still in alignment. Otherwise you're not only wasting their time, you're wasting your time!

Get in Tandem with Your Teammates

Do you keep in touch with your lenders, inspectors, attorneys and title companies? How do your systems you have in place ensure that you and your office staff know what is going on with your transactions? If you have a team of agents you work with, do you schedule regular meetings with each other so everyone knows what going on with your clients? Does your manager have a good idea of what your current "pipeline" looks like so he or she can help you keep all the deals you're juggling from falling at your feet?

Constant communication, dotting every 'i' and crossing each 't' can be a good idea because you never know when a question or emergency might arise.

Don't leave success to chance. Make sure you're utilizing systems and scheduling regular meetings with anyone who has a chance to affect or impact your business. That way you can focus on building relationships, solving problems and having fun.

Photo via Flickr - courtesy of Horia Varlan