4 Tips for Acing Your Next Real Estate Legal Consultation

4 Tips for Acing Your Next Real Estate Legal Consultation

As a lawyer, it is absolutely crucial that you learn to perfect your real estate legal consultation skills. After all, the legal consultation is where you will ultimately secure all of your future clients. With that in mind, we’ve brought you four tips for acing your next consultation below. Whether you’ve only recently passed the bar or you just feel like you need a bit of a refresher, keep reading to learn how to win over your next potential client.

1. Start the consultation with an open-ended question

It can be tempting to start a real estate legal consultation off by giving a spiel about yourself and your services. However, in practice, it’s better to let the potential client lead the conversation. In this case, after you’ve gone through the initial pleasantries, it’s likely a good idea to start with an open-ended question like, “What brings you into my office today?” or “So, how can I help you?”

Then, let the potential client do most of the talking. It’s only after they’ve told you about whatever problem is causing them to seek legal services, that you should talk about yourself and your experience. In truth, listening to their plight will help you get a much better sense of whether you are the right person to help them and, what experience of yours is most relevant.

2. Take the time to answer any questions

After you’ve taken the time to introduce yourself and your expertise, the next step is to open up the floor to any questions that the potential client may have. Again, it’s critically important to listen to the client’s concerns at this step in the process. While it may be tempting to rush them out the door, especially if you know that you are not the right fit for their case, resist the urge to do so.

If your goal is to establish yourself as an expert in your community, you’re going to want to present yourself as a resource, even to those who ultimately may not become your clients. With that in mind, be sure to listen to their concerns and to take the time to thoroughly answer any questions that they may have about your services and legal process.

3. Be upfront about your rates

Once you’ve answered all of their questions, it’s time to talk about your rates. In this case, you’re going to want to be upfront. While talking about money can be difficult, odds are that the potential client is already vaguely familiar with what to expect. Often, people only come to an attorney for a real estate legal consultation after they have read reviews online or have gotten a referral from someone they know.

Still, this is one area where you don’t want to have any confusion. Be sure to clearly outline your rates, your fee structure, and, the rates of your associate or paralegal, if you have one in your office.

Additionally, try not to make any assumptions about their financial situation. The truth is, that you never know whether someone can afford your services. It’s only after stating your fees with confidence that your potential clients can make the decision of whether or not they can afford to bring you on as their attorney.

4. End by outlining the next steps

As the meeting draws to a close, do your best to wrap things up by outlining the next steps. Regardless of whether or not this potential client decides to utilize your services, they should have a clear picture of how to proceed when they leave your office. If they have options on how to move forward, you’re going to want to outline those as well.

Once they know what to expect if they decide to move forward with your firm, the last thing to do is to make sure they know how they can reach you. That way, there will not be any confusion about what they need to do once they have made their final decision.

At the end of the day, all any client wants is to be treated well and to feel like an attorney is on their side. Ultimately, even if you are not the right person to take on their case at the moment, there’s always a chance that they could end up giving you a referral down the road. To that end, make sure to treat every potential client with respect, much like you would want to be treated by another professional whose services you were considering. More often than not, empathy is what convinces clients to choose one lawyer over another.

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Tara Mastroeni

Tara Mastroeni is a real estate and personal finance writer. She has a BFA in Media Production from Emerson College. Her work has been published on websites such as Forbes, Business Insider, and The Motley Fool. She has also been featured as a subject matter expert on Innovators with Jane King and the American Trends podcast. Find her at TMRealEstateWriter.com or on Twitter at @TaraMastroeni.