It doesn’t matter how effective your Facebook advertising campaigns are: if your meeting skills are weak, you will constantly struggle to land new clients. It’s a hard pill to swallow but it’s the truth.
In the age of digital marketing, most real estate agents have forgotten about the art of the “face-to-face” meeting. Every real estate transaction requires some sort of interaction between an agent and a client. If you are looking to increase your sales, focus on your meeting skills. Yes, some agents are naturally more charismatic than others but everyone has the ability to increase their interpersonal abilities.
If you are interested in becoming the local real estate leader of your city, you need to become an effective communicator. If you can master these 7 skills, your meeting conversion rates will skyrocket through the roof!
#1) Do Your Homework
The first thing that you should do after booking an important meeting is head online. I know, you thought the days of completing homework were long gone. It turns out, all those hours you spent completing research in school was time well spent.
You need to fully understand every key piece of information that relates to your client before you shake their hand. Start with a simple Google search and see if you can utilize Facebook and Linkedin to discover:
- Relationship status/family situation
- Preferences (likes, dislikes, and hobbies)
- Their stance on major themes/global issues
Have you ever been lost for words? Not sure what to talk about to ease into the real estate discussion? If you have these four points of information you will be able to instantly build a bond and potentially talk for hours.
These pieces of information will allow you to pre-qualify the lead but they will also be the building blocks of the conversation you will have in the future.
Remember, you don’t want to directly mention anything from their social media channels (that’s kind of creepy). You shouldn’t know their cat’s name is Snowball before they mention it. You can, however, bring up your love of cats and let them naturally guide the conversation in the direction of their choice.
#2) Utilize Your Local Network
Your local network is one of your most valuable assets as a real estate agent, and the most important. The entire system I built with Parkbench, for example, is based on hyper-localized marketing. The relationships you form with other business owners and influential figures will bring you more referrals than you know what to do with.
After completing your preliminary research on your potential client, scour Linkedin and other network groups to see who you both know. A professional or personal connection could be your foot in the door.
#3) Tell Stories of Past Homebuyers
Discussing housing trends, interest rates, and home inspections can be…a little dry. This is especially true if your prospect doesn’t know a lot about real estate, to begin with. Instead of listing off facts and news updates, show your client your value through a story.
By telling a story of a past client or a positive transaction, your prospect will be able to place themselves in the shoes of your previous client. They will get a sense of what it’s like to work with you and begin to form a base level of trust.
There is incredible power in a good story. Hone your skills in this area and you will land more clients!
#4) Listen to Your Client
The number one mistake real estate agents make is talking too much. When you are talking, you can’t be learning. Your job as an agent is to learn as much as you can about your prospective client and then devise the best way to solve their problems.
When listening, make sure you make eye contact but don’t hold an awkward stare. Nod your head and actually listen instead of thinking about what you might say next. It’s perfectly acceptable to pause for a moment of reflection after they are done talking. In fact, this shows your prospect that you really care about them and are trying to think of a valuable answer instead of using a script.
Tip: While listening, notice the type of words and the references that the other person uses. When it’s your turn to talk, try to incorporate similar language cues. This is a technique called mirroring that will cast you in a favorable light.
#5) Give Full Attention During Real Estate Meetings
When you’re in a meeting, your only job is to listen and serve your potential client. That’s it. If you want to lose the respect of a homebuyer, check your phone during the meeting. This is not the time to answer a call, respond to a text message, or to craft an email.
The prospect has already put some trust in you by accepting your meeting. Show them that you deserve their trust and give them your absolute full attention. This also allows you to absorb more information and retain pertinent details about the client.
#6) Become A Closer (But don’t be pushy)
Being a closer doesn’t mean channeling your inner Don Draper. No, the best real estate agents find a way to close a meeting without being aggressive or obvious.
Before going into the meeting, ask yourself, “what is my desired outcome?”
If you know what you are trying to accomplish beforehand, you can slowly work towards that goal during the conversation. Remember, not every meeting has to end in the client agreeing to representation or signing the deal that you believe is best. As long as you are progressing the relationship at the end of the conversation, you have done your job.
Let’s say, for example, the next step is to start looking at homes. Your next step should be to ask for permission to send an email over the next day with a list of 10 properties you believe they will love. Never leave a meeting without obtaining agreement to some sort of follow-up or closing action. This is what it means to be a great closer.
#7) Always Follow Up With Prospects
Always, always, always follow up after a meeting. This could be an email, text message, or a phone call if you feel it’s appropriate. A quick note after a meeting thanking a person for their time also goes a long way.
Your follow up doesn’t end with a simple message. During your initial meeting, try to get a feel for their favorite drink or snack. Surprise them with this treat at your next meeting and watch their eyes light up.
This is the pathway to rave reviews and a steady stream of high-value referrals.
Conclusion: Put it Into Practice
Just like anything else, face-to-face meeting skills need to be practiced and frequently implemented. Set yourself a challenge to run through this 7-step checklist with the next 10 clients that you meet. You’ll be amazed at how friendly and receptive clients are when you focus on communicating and giving them your full attention. What are you waiting for? Get closing!