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I Would Like a Cheeseburger, But Hold the Cheese.

Jeremy Williams

Jeremy Williams

By Jeremy Williams

What would happen if you ordered a cheeseburger at a fast food restaurant, and in ordering asked to hold the cheese?  What reaction would you expect when you pulled up to the window to pay?  The reaction would most likely be confusion because the restaurant’s expectation is that when you order a cheeseburger from the menu that the customer must want cheese.  Though an extreme example, maybe we need to be careful when preconceiving the expectations of our buyer and seller clients.

Webster defines an expectation as a prospect of future benefit; anticipation.  At one point in my business I offered a 100 percent  Satisfaction Guarantee program.  Basically, what I was stating was that I already knew that I was going to meet or exceed the expectations of my clients.  I was offering a future benefit to my client with the preconceived thought that I knew what they wanted in the agent/client relationship.  I essentially set a trap for myself.  Expectations we have might not necessarily match those of our clients.  How do we avoid the trap of disappointment and discontent?

To avoid the trap that could be set with expectations, it is simple.  In your initial meeting with the buyer or seller client, ask what your clients’ expectations are before stating your own.  You will be surprised how their expectations may differ from your preconceived thoughts of their expectations.  Once you know their expectations, let your clients know how you can or can’t meet them.  Never say that you will exceed their expectations because it is not necessary if you are meeting the needs set forth.

In summary, instead of setting expectations in advance, listen to the expectations that your clients have of you in the agency relationship.  If you can’t meet or work through those expectations, refer the client to a team member or business partner that can meet their particular needs and wants.  By doing this exercise upfront, you will experience a much healthier working relationship with your clients with win-win results.

So the next time you order a cheeseburger, think about what would happen if you asked to hold the cheese.  What are your thoughts on expectations?

Jeremy Williams of Keller Williams Realty NE in Kingwood, Texas specializes in the residential real estate market of Kingwood, Atascocita, and Humble, Texas.  Visit his Web site at www.williams4yourhome.com.

Comments
  1. Ken Culbertson

    So true – Great Post! I will often ask at a listing appointment whether the client had ever used a Realtor to sell a house before. Then I simply ask, what was it that you liked, and did not like about the level of servicing and marketing. Another simple question which often times gives lots of great dialogue is ” what is most important to you when choosing your real estate professional?”… Then, sit back, listen, and deliver!

  2. Ken,

    Great comment. I do think it is important to have a set of key questions such as those you mentioned when you go into a listing appointment. Those questions will draw out the expectations they may have of you. Thanks for contributing and adding value to this topic. Have a great week in the business.

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