Agents, Here’s How to Make the Most of Your Initial Client Meeting
As a real estate agent, it’s absolutely crucial to make a good first impression and, often, the time to make that first impression is during an initial client meeting. How well this meeting goes will usually determine whether you’ve secured a new client or whether they’ll be looking at other agents.
To that end, below is a list of must-know tips to help you ace your initial client meeting every time. Keep reading to learn how to make sure your client relationships start off on the right foot.
1. Do your homework first
To start, it’s important to make sure you’ve done your homework on your clients before the meeting even starts. This doesn’t mean that you have to obsessively Google and find out every little thing about them, but it does mean that you have to do your due diligence. In the sales industry, this is often called “lead intelligence.”
Essentially, you just want to make sure you’re prepared for the meeting. You’ll want to go over any notes from previous correspondence that you’ve had with them. Your goal should be to have a good idea of who they are, what they’re looking for, and how you might be able to help them.
2. Have talking points ready
As the real estate agent, you’re the expert in the room. While it’s important to listen to what your clients have to say, ultimately, they expect that you’re going to be the one who leads the meeting. After all, they’re coming to you for your expertise on a topic that they’ve either never dealt with before or haven’t thought about in a while.
With that in mind, you should have a few talking points ready to go in order to ensure that the meeting stays productive for all parties. While the exact talking points you’ll need to cover will vary between buyers and sellers, they could include things like:
- How they found you
- Why they’re thinking of selling
- What they’re looking for in a new home
- How familiar they are with the home buying or selling process
- Where they are in the mortgage process
- What they’re looking for in a real estate agent
- Whether they have any specific questions for you
3. Ask plenty of questions
Some of those talking points will undoubtedly include a good deal of explanation on your part. However, it’s also crucial that you make sure to ask your prospective clients plenty of questions throughout the process. The whole point of this meeting is for you both to be able to get a sense of whether or not you would like to work together.
The key to this, though, is to also make sure that you’re actively listening to the answers that they give you. Do your best to listen so that you can accurately address any particular questions or misinformation that they may have. It can also be helpful to have something on hand to take notes so that you can refer back to those answers later.
4. Find common ground
Additionally, while you’re listening to their responses, it’s a good idea to look for some common ground between you. Ultimately, homebuyers and sellers are looking for an agent who they feel understands them. Starting to establish a connection is one way to position yourself as that person.
Don’t think too hard about this. Your common ground doesn’t have to be a big cosmic connection in order to count. It could be something as simple as the fact that you all have kids or that you all prefer dogs over cats.
No matter what topic you choose, you’ll want to do your best to weave a few details like those into the conversation. While those details may not seem essential, they help to humanize you and to make you more memorable after the meeting is over.
5. Propose clear action steps
As you start to wrap up the meeting, it’s a good idea to propose a few action steps for your prospective clients to take. Action steps are the answer to the question, “What happens next?” They are small, actionable tasks that you or the clients can complete in order to keep them moving forward on the path toward buying or selling a home.
In real estate, some common action steps might be:
- Calling some lenders in order to decide who might be the best fit
- Completing a CMA in order to propose a fair sale price for their home
- Starting to declutter so that the property is camera-ready by the time you come to take listing photos
The caveat, here, is that you don’t want to seem like you’re giving orders. Whenever possible, it’s best to frame them as “recommendations.” That way, you’re positioning yourself as a leader by guiding your prospective clients on what to do next, but still giving them the freedom to decide if they feel comfortable moving forward.