By Cory Brewer
My blog entry for this quarter will not come as news to most of the people reading it, but I think it’s a good reminder nonetheless: Every now and then, the clients and colleagues you work with will tell you one thing, but then do another.
Raise your hand if you’ve heard this one before from another agent: “I’ve got a great offer for you and my clients are really excited about the house.”
This “great offer” may even be full price…only you find out later that the buyer has a horrible credit score and can’t get a loan.
The point I’m trying to make is this: Nearly everyone I’ve talked to lately can feel the market starting to come back. Buyers, sellers, agents, lenders…everyone. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the excitement but I think it’s important, as an agent, to keep your cool and be level-headed while coaching your clients. It’s important to cover all the details of a deal, and a positive, optimistic attitude is key. But I also think it will serve you well to prepare your clients for the worst-case-scenario, because unfortunately sometimes that is exactly what can happen.
Draw on your experience – that is probably a big part of why your clients hired you in the first place. Cover your bases, and do your best to set the proper expectations from the beginning. So when that dream deal actually DOES come together, your clients will be thrilled that they were lucky enough to be working with you…rather than expecting everything to go smoothly only to have to suffer through unforeseen bumps in the road.
The market is coming back. It’s true. But don’t get caught up in the hype. Remember that a deal is not a deal until the ink on the contract is dry.
Cory Brewer is a REALTOR® in the Seattle area and Operations Manager at Windermere Property Management / LGA in Bellevue. Connect with Cory at www.wpmnorthwest.com.
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.