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Sophisticated vs. Salesy: 5 ways to hit the right balance

by Tom Walsh

brian-rayl

Brian Rayl is a Realtor with Keller Williams

In the real estate business, agents have to strike a balance between engaging clients on a personal level and employing the sales tactics that will get a home sold. We asked Brian Rayl, a Realtor with Keller Williams who frequently writes for real estate websites like GeekEstateBlog.com and the Lab Coat Agents blog, for five tips agents can follow to successfully walk the line and avoid straying too far into “salesy” territory.

5. Respect the peace and privacy of others’ homes – Door-knocking is an outdated method of drumming up clients, but some agents still do it. Rayl notes that agents should be careful how they act and who they reach out to. Agents have to be careful to preserve their reputation, and because many people do not want to open their doors for strangers, persistence may not be welcome.

4. Avoid spam and respect “Do Not Call” lists – It’s unlawful to ignore “Do Not Call” requests, or requests to remove people from email lists. No matter the medium, agents must respect the rights and wishes of the consumers they are trying to reach.

“A phone call has a very low chance of converting,” Rayl says. “Do you really want to put not just your reputation, but your business and your broker’s reputation on the line for that?”

3. Center communication around clients’ needs – Contacting clients too often can be just as bad as neglecting to contact them frequently enough. Some agents are dead set on contacting clients via phone, text, and email until they get in touch. Others contact them only once and move on if they do not get an immediate response. No matter what feels most natural for the agent, all that matters is what the client wants.

“It’s the extremes that are bad,” Rayl says. “It comes down to communicating with the client. Ask them how often — and how — they want to be contacted.”

2. Use technology – Agents who bill themselves as “tech-savvy” must deliver on that promise, with high-quality photography and video in their marketing. All of their own branding and marketing materials should reflect the quality of the work and the sophistication of the tools they can offer clients.
Something as simple as a branded domain email address or a branded Gmail address can build agents’ credibility and appear more tech-savvy than using a free AOL, Yahoo! or Gmail address.

“If you are not targeting Millennials and you’re going after a mostly older crowd, then an AOL or Yahoo! email address might be fine,” Rayl says. “However, most new leads are younger people, and they look at an AOL or Yahoo! email address and think, ‘Well, they obviously don’t know technology very well.’”

1. Remain professional – Real estate is a personal business. Clients get to know the agents they will consider working with, and a great way for agents to show clients who they are is through a carefully curated social media presence.

Agents should keep things strictly professional on their websites and professional networks, though.
“Having photos like you with your kids or you on a boat fishing is important and appropriate for a social media platform,” Rayl says. “But do not put them on your website.”

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