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One of the pillars of keeping the business afloat during the Covid-19 crisis is consistent communication. In one of the previous Lamudi Academy online discussions, this is at the top of our best practices: conducting regular virtual discussions with the team, maximizing different platforms, providing value, and being sincere when reaching out to clients. In the next Lamudi Academy episode, we took a deep dive into the last aspect mentioned, encapsulated in showing care to property seekers.
Facilitated by Lamudi Academy’s Learning and Development Coach Nadine Pacis, the episode highlighted these topics:
Why Create Value for Customers
Real estate service is very personal. It’s largely hinged on a trust relationship between a broker and a client. The simple truth is, your clients are your partners for the long run. On average, it takes about one to six months for someone to decide on a property, perhaps even longer now, considering the outbreak.
Even after the actual purchase of a property, you want to stick to these clients, strengthening relationships with them, in order to seize future opportunities. Remember, referrals are the best lead generators. When your past clients endorse you to their family members and friends, there’s a greater possibility of creating more business, since the referral runs on a deeper level of trust.
How to Show Care to Customers
In a normal setting, showing care to real estate clients means taking them to a nice restaurant, holding a two-to-three-hour conversation, and sending gifts. But as you know, these things aren’t possible for the time being. The crisis demands quite the opposite of ‘traditional care’: social distancing.
Fortunately, you can show care to customers through digital platforms. Lamudi suggests following these tips in strengthening relationships with clients, despite the absence of face-to-face interactions:
Reach Out to Clients and Build Trust
There are two things you have to keep in mind for this: your audience and clients. The former refers to the people who follow your online platforms, from website to social media pages. These are the things worth doing to build trust with them:
- Ask for feedback. Know how they’re coping with the crisis. Ask them what they want to know about the real estate business, and what you can do to help improve the business.
- Listen to your customer community. Pay attention to what their concerns are, what they like to see on your digital platforms, whether that is about the quarantine or the real estate industry in general.
- Show improvements continuously. Tell them how you’re adapting to the current situation, say, introducing new services online, such as holding webinars on your social media page or engaging in video meetings for consultation.
As for the individuals you do or have done business with already, here are some ideas:
- Reach out to them and listen. Know how they’re doing and see where you can help.
- Let them know your lines are open. Send them a message that you’re available to talk about their concerns.
- Be flexible. Get used to digital tools. Test it out with family members and colleagues.
In all this, make sure to remember the overarching principles in keeping in touch:
- Be proactive. Anticipate your clients’ needs, concerns, and requirements. Reach out to them and be prepared.
- Be personal. Real estate is personal. Your clients will have their own concerns and questions. Make your solutions and communication strategies personalized.
- Be practical. The advice you offer should be practical and make sense to the client at this time. Be sensitive at this moment.
Leverage Online Platforms
Social distancing compels real estate professionals to go digital. For one, it’s where your clients are. And with that, you want to be there for them when they need you. Maximize these tools to make your business visible online:
- Social networks
- Forum/Message Boards
- Live Chat
- On-page Support Widget
Beyond being present everywhere online, being personable should likewise be your priority to make your business relevant to clients. There are two platforms you can use in this aspect:
- Messaging apps. Be personable but professional. Keep conversations short; long discussions are meant for online meetings.
- SMS. Message customers like you text friends. Don’t be too stiff or formal, bordering on robotic. Convey emotion and tone through your messages. Some additional tips:
- Confirm the issue or need.
- Empathize with the person.
- Tell them you’re going to do everything you can to solve their issue or need.
- Follow through.
If you think your client would need more information about their concern, move the conversation to a video meeting to address all of their needs. Use video conference tools. Be prepared for tech issues, or your client being unfamiliar with the tool. Check this Lamudi Academy session for video presentations.
With a longer, hopefully more informative discussion, your clients will appreciate you taking the extra mile to extend assistance. Thus, you’re able to build better rapport with them.
Highlight What You Can Offer
Remember that as an expert, you can offer three things when showing care to clients: information, solutions, and referrals.
Gather detailed information:
- Start looking for available information that you can use to answer your client’s concern.
- Idea: Create a digital info pack or an FAQ file that contains important updates and information that suits your clients’ needs.
Work on solutions:
- Have an online meeting where you can discuss a client’s concern and come up with possible solutions. Anticipate different scenarios and have plan A, B, and C for each.
- Idea: Have a step-by-step process prepared for your client to guide them from start to finish.
Let your client use your network:
- If you cannot find information or solve a problem, refer someone from your network who can.
- Idea: Set up an online meeting with you, your client, and your fellow professional, so that everyone can find value in the transaction.
Follow Through and Be Visible
When all the communication and education is done, take note that your job isn’t over yet. It’s important to keep in touch with your clients and audiences. Here are some actionable steps to follow:
- Check on them and ask for their feedback on whether or not their concern has been addressed.
- See if there’s anything else they might need.
- Make relevant updates online and make changes to your public sites. If you see a common denominator among your clients’ concerns, address them publicly to benefit a lot more audiences.
Again, keeping in touch is crucial when it comes to providing value to clients in the time of Covid-19. Be trustworthy, go digital but personal, and know what to offer. When everything’s said and done, keep yourself and your business visible.
If you’re interested in joining the next Lamudi Academy online session, refer to our official Facebook events page for the schedule.