Building Lifelong Relationships

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relationship buildingIn a recent meeting with real estate industry leaders, we played the role of clients purchasing property in today’s market. We randomly established the customer profile, as a family comprised of a young couple with two teenage children that were buying their first home.

The couple began by searching for information on the internet which helped establish desired communities and house styles. Next they researched financing online and contacted a loan officer to find out how much home they could comfortably qualify for. 

Armed with information they had collected they started visiting open houses and calling agents from yard signs in the areas that they were now targeting. They visited an open house that they liked and asked the agent to write an offer for them. 

Another scenario brought the agent into the process after the loan officer referred the couple to an agent to help them find a home.

Since the majority of the participates in this exercise hold real estate licenses and have practiced real estate in the past, we could not help but notice the startling changes in the steps then and now. There is a recognizable difference in an agent’s role in days of yore when customers walked into a real estate office and asked for assistance and today when buyers have sometimes identified the home they want to purchase before contacting an agent to structure the deal.

Of course, change is inevitable in any industry, and the individuals in the group have worked through the recent changes, but there is something about seeing it on a whiteboard that makes a big impression.

What impact have the changes in the buying process had on the role of the agent? 

When customers used to depend on agents to find properties, and show them one by one over a period of time, rapport and trust were generally developed during this showing stage. Now, since technology provides the platform for the majority of consumers to begin and advance their home search without an agent, and agents enter the process later rather than at the beginning, there is less time invested in building bonds that bind.

Let’s face it.  We can’t change the impact that technology has made…nor would we want to. And I will never suggest that an agent turn down the opportunity to work with a customer who is well on their way through the home buying process. However, we must not lose sight of ways to help customers from the start and ways to increase our value to consumers.

A few ways to start at the beginning of the process are:

1. Providing consumer education classes that explain the home buying process step by step.
2. Holding open houses in order to give buyers the opportunity to experience homes on their own.
3. Providing consumer friendly websites with industry information, community information, and housing details for customer searches.
4. Utilizing social networking to detect real estate interests. (Careful with this one.  Social networking is for relationship building and not to be used as a sales tool.)

Getting involved with buyers at the beginning of the process, conditions for a stronger bond and a trusting relationship with a customer that will carry you through the closing as well as through many years to come. This relationship establishes the reputation of a real estate professional, not just a real estate agent.

Technology may have changed the agent’s role in a real estate transaction. But, the importance and value of building lasting, trustworthy relationships will never be replaced by technology.

What do you do to help buyers at the start of their home search?

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5 Responses to “Building Lifelong Relationships”

  1. Dennis Doll Says:

    Quickly being replaced by technology, many “traditional” activities may be out the window, but the rule of building personal relationships is still the key to winning in any market, and that will never change! Metro Brokers stance on bringing that technology to the agents with training, support and tools give us an edge on those who refuse to accept change.
    I value your insight into the real estate industry of today. Your leadership brings about the necessary changes agents need to make in order to survive and thrive!
    Thank you Brenda for your continued training and encouragement.

  2. Valerie McDonald Says:

    A lot to think about here. I do think a lot of buyers do some research online as the start of their homebuying process. I think that what you mentioned is the case in some situations & perhaps true of the first house or two buyers ask to be shown.
    However, since they cannot in some cases sort out the foreclosures from the other houses, many times they get frustrated with the process after falling in love with a house they have seen online that turns out to be verbally under contract with the agent waiting for signed paperwork from a bank before showing the house as under contract in MLS.
    I think we have to be open to a wider range of scenerios.

    • Brenda Waters Says:

      Exactly! There are zillions of scenerios — most of which emphasize the critical role of the real estate agent in the transaction. We know the value of our service. It is important for us to help the consumer buy providing them with education and information that only professionals can render.

  3. wayne hunt (tucker) Says:

    I have been Unemployed because of lay off in the past quite some time
    ago and have looked into various fields and also here in Real Estate
    not my best in math studies past-? this is what really concers me-
    and finding a Mentor to help and guide indeed….I do have all the
    time to put in as going along to study-and have that-Is there
    one who would any encourage me or offer any point to me? ?
    Thanks so much to you….Wayne ( have received a packet from
    recruiting from GMAC and most impressed with this co.!!!!)….

  4. Brenda Water Says:

    Wayne, we would love to help you discover all of the opportunities that are available to you in Real Estate. Mentoring, coaching and training are all important components for agents when launching a career and remains to be vital to one’s success throughout. We have counselors available to meet with you one-on-one for your career evaluation. You may find the link below helpful as well as it offers additional insight into winning traits and daily activities of real estate agents. http://www.bhgrealestate.com/Views/Careers/#careerPage=home. Please let me know when you are ready to set an appointment with a counselor.

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