Purchasing real estate is a big decision – often the biggest investment of the buyer’s life, so naturally they want to make sure they’re making a good decision.
If your potential buyer is hesitating to make a decision, it usually boils down to the fact that they don’t feel confident in the decision. Sometimes they may feel that they need more information, but often they’ve received so much information that they’re overwhelmed.
Buyers now have a lot of options which can lead to this overload; they talk to their friends, they read opinion pieces on the real estate market, they search online and they talk to your agency.
How can you help them to feel confident in their decision? Here are a few suggestions.
Find Out What They Know
What real estate news has the client been following? Who else have they been talking to? Most buyers will start their research and begin following real estate trends as soon as they decide to look for a property to purchase.
If you aren’t keeping up with the same news or trends, you will put yourself on the back-foot of conversations with your prospective buyer. You need to know what trends are being discussed (even at a national level) and what information may be making your client nervous or hesitant.
If you have a good understanding of the issues in real estate news, you’ll be better able to approach a conversation from the perspective of how those issues are impacting (or not) your local area and whether there is true cause for concern.
Don’t play guessing games; apart from the obvious items that you’ve read in the news too, ask them what they’ve heard and whether they have any concerns. It seems that whenever someone expresses the desire to purchase property, all kinds of friends or relatives come out of the woodwork with their own “gems” of real estate advice.
If you are forearmed with the facts about the local market, the property itself and the buying process, you should be able to address any concerns the buyer has developed from talking with family or friends.
Emphasize your customer service
Most buyers are concerned with not wanting to be “pushed” into a decision by a salesperson, so when you present the prospect with the facts, make sure you allay these types of fears by explaining calmly and not pushing a decision.
Emphasize to the client that top customer service is your first priority and that you wouldn’t want them to feel rushed into making such as important decision.
As The Real Estate Trainer demonstrates, a response could look like this;
Prospect: “We don’t want a pushy salesperson”
Agent: “Good. Because I consider myself a customer service professional, not a salesperson. My job is to address your needs and provide you with professional guidance and assistance during the home buying process.”
Be An Educator
Whether the customer is paralyzed by information overload or feels that they don’t have enough information, take the role of a teacher to help them sort through the information they have or that they feel is missing.
Sit down with your client and help them sort through all the information they have. Show them how it either fits together or is irrelevant to the buying decision in the area they are looking. Practically speaking, this means that you need to not only know what information is being put out in the news, but take the time to understand and break down statistics in a way that will be simple for clients to understand too.
While time management can be challenging for busy real estate professionals, for the sake of being better positioned to ease the fears of your clients, it is worth devoting some time each week to going over real estate news and staying updated.
Image source: Flickr
[tweetthis]Be an educator first for your real estate buyers. This can help them through indecision.[/tweetthis]
Use good visuals
Your customers are always looking for information to increase their confidence in a buying decision, and creating good, relevant content which they are able to refer back to can be a huge help (and part of your “educator” role).
Did you know that just by creating a few simple visuals, you can improve the impact of the content you create? Statistics show that while people will usually retain 10% of information they heard 3 days later, if you pair that information with relevant images, they will retain 65% of the information.
Could you explain complex statistics or information more easily if you created a visual to depict it? The advantage of doing so is that you can use it on more than just the one client in front of you who is having trouble making a decision – it will be relevant for the rest of your clients too.
Understand Their Journey
Buying a home has been described as being like “multi-tasking on steroids”, and for large parts of that journey, your buyer is highly concerned with managing risk. Assuming you’ve done an extensive amount of homework on the buyer and their needs, you need to now understand their journey and how those needs are impacting it.
Your buyer is trying to process a lot of information, for example;
- Am I buying in the “right” area?
- Does this property meet our needs?
- Will this property appreciate in value?
- Do I need to do any maintenance to bring the property up to a standard?
- Where do I find reliable, unbiased information?
- Can we afford the repayments/taxes on this property?
One of the overarching concerns throughout the journey is whether the information a buyer is receiving is trustworthy, so this is a good place to start. Have on-hand independent sources for the information you provide and be prepared to refer the prospect to where they can get further information to bolster their decision (city records, surveys etc.).
It really comes back to putting customer service above being a “salesperson”; remember that the journey of the buyer can typically take 11 – 30 months before they reach a decision to buy, so be there as a trustworthy source every step of the way.
The decision to buy property usually involves mountains of information to inform the purchase, yet this information can be a contributor to buyer indecisiveness, especially if they’re feeling overloaded.
Become an advocate for your prospects by staying updated on the latest real estate news and knowing what they have heard. Be able to break down complex statistics and market information in a way that is simple for them to understand and refer back to. Know where the connections are which make information in the news relevant to their decision or not and be ready to explain it to them.
Finally, understand the journey the buyer is going through: their doubts and fears. Be the one who is there for them with reliable information along the way. A well-informed buyer will be much more confident and likely to reach a buying decision.