Managing seller expectations is part and parcel to being a real estate agent, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Communication is key to forging lasting relationships between real estate agents and their clients. Solid communication helps avoid misunderstandings on both sides and keep transactions moving.
The best agents set expectations with clients by putting together a solid communication plan. This plan should outline when and how communication will happen between you, and it should help you bond with your clients to create loyalty that lasts.
Here are four things you’ll need in your communication plan that will help you set and manage seller expectations:
1. Communicate your role
In order to succeed as a real estate agent, your plan must be flexible enough to recognize client needs, but structured to help you stay the course should something unexpected come up.
Like buyers, sellers come to the table with their own expectations. But you are the pro, and you need to convey to your clients what works and what does not.
So, show your clients the lay of the land. It could be helpful to use visual representations you can point to as you move through the process. Be supportive and understanding of their needs, but make sure your sellers always know that you are the expert.
2. Do what you say you’ll do
Your clients want to feel like you’re earning your commission. That means providing them with regular updates on their home search or real estate transaction, even if not much is happening.
Be visible and approachable throughout the selling process, and remember that it’s important that you not only commit to updating your sellers on the status of their sale, but also that you follow through exactly how your sellers are expecting to hear from you.
Whether the news is good or bad, keep your clients in the loop.
3. Be transparent
Let’s be honest: unreasonable clients exist. That’s why you need to make each client aware of what you can and cannot accomplish for them from the beginning.
If you end up over-promising and under-delivering, you won’t have a happy client, and you certainly won’t earn repeat business or land referrals that way. Instead of promising the moon, do your homework using resources available from your local MLS and REALTOR® association, and explain how you’re using that information to help sell their home.
4. Manage pricing expectations
Your sellers want to get as much for their home as they possibly can. Of course they do. But depending on what’s happening in their market, that might not be possible.
So, it’s best to be upfront with them from the start. Be sure to present them with comparable listings, and base your pricing recommendation on things that matter to buyers, including cost per square foot, updates and landscaping. Be direct about factors that impact your sellers’ sale price. Propose incremental price reductions in advance. This way, if a price cut is needed, it won’t come as a total surprise to your seller.
Keep these tips in mind to build trust with your clients, help them manage the stresses of selling and avoid miscommunication.
Looking for more information on how to develop your communication plan? Check out our video course, “How to create the most effective client communication plan,” here.