Managing The Meltdown: Successfully Navigating Your Clients Through a Stress-Free Home-Buying Process
Moving into a new home is among the most stressful events an individual will go through in their lifetime, right up there with a divorce, the death of a loved one and the loss of a job. Yet surprisingly, most real estate agents are never taught how to manage a client’s emotions in a way that will prevent a meltdown from occurring.
By using a few simple techniques and front-loading the process to show clients what they can expect at each step of their journey, it’s possible to mitigate and even avoid meltdowns, says Steve Wener, a San Diego-based real estate agent.
To help set expectations, Wener provides each of his clients with a flow chart of the entire buying process, from pre-qualification, to the MLS search, to contract negotiation, to home inspection, to permits, to HOA docs, to the lending process including; mortgage, escrow, title, and home warranty, to eventually the possession of the home.
Providing a visual overview of the process gets clients into the right mindset for what’s to come and also shows the value of having an agent there with them to navigate each step.
But setting expectations is only one part of the solution, perhaps even more important is for the agent to take the time to truly connect with their client and understand what they are experiencing during the process. Gaining a better understanding of the client’s motivations will make it possible to empathize and sympathize with them throughout the transaction.
Here are a few general techniques to use:
- Make a point to get a better understanding of your client’s personality
- Ask what their biggest concerns are
- Verbalize again and again that you are on their side and that you are going to take care of them
In the event that something unexpected comes up during the process, out-of-line pricing or an unforeseen seller expectation, it’s important to be ready to vocalize to your clients that you are willing to walk away from the deal if needed.
When it comes to the most contentious steps in the home-buying process, Wener warns that there are typically four points when clients are at their most vulnerable and prone to meltdown:
- Contract Acceptance
- Request for Repairs
Whether it’s how to handle the client’s annoyance at the lender asking for the same paperwork over and over or having a strategy for dealing with your client’s cold feet after an offer is accepted, taking the emotional component out of your dealings with your client and putting yourself in their shoes will be the key to managing a meltdown.
Constant communication and reinforcement of the bigger picture can also help reset emotional clients and better equip them to make it through each step of the transaction unscathed.
Above all, the job of an agent is to be the calm sounding board that can artfully guide their client through the home-buying process, making it as stress-free as possible.
Want more tips on how to communicate effectively with clients? Check a free ebook The Communication Code brought to you by Steve Wener and your friends at Chime!