Do you consider yourself a salesperson or a consultant? The answer is more important than you think!
I’ve been in real estate sales for more than 15 years now. However, I have never viewed myself as a salesperson and never have conducted myself in a sales focused manner. I’ve always viewed myself as a consultant.
But what’s the difference?
The Universal difference in consulting versus selling is a salesperson tells a buyer what they need but a consultant helps them discover what it is exactly that they need.
I believe that through consulting, you can build a thriving long term real estate business that generates repeat business, plenty of referrals and most importantly, satisfied clients.
We’ve all experienced being sold to in a pushy, sleazy way and it’s often quite an unpleasant experience. That’s why I’m laying out for you my top tips of how to transition your business from sales associate to real estate consultant in 2022.
But first, why do we hate being sold to? I think when we’re talking about a sales relationship, it often feels like the salesperson is driven by making the sale and making it as quick as possible. They just want to get you to purchase a home and then move on to the next customer. Gone are the days of the type of “always be closing” and sales volume regardless of the consequence. This type of behaviour is not a good strategy for your real estate business.
The internet has done away with the middleman, and in effect, the internet now is the middleman, and the consumer now has most of the relevant facts at their fingertips. Because of this, the consumer is now looking for a trusted guide to help them market their property or make sound financial decisions on what’s the most likely to be the largest purchase. So be that trusted guide.
To be honest, the techniques that make customers uncomfortable are often simply poor social skills. Consulting is meant to be an active service enjoyed by both customers and the provider when the transaction is done correctly. Both parties can actually enjoy the process.
Here are the 4 things you can do in 2022 to transition your business from real estate sales person to real estate consultant:
Tip #1: Connect with your customer
My first tip is to always connect with the consumer. When it comes down to it, selling real estate is all about relationships. I didn’t need to tell you that but it bears mentioning when to take the time to connect with someone before you share what you offer. This shows genuineness that customers are often drawn to. Nothing feels worse than when it seems as if someone only cares about your money, so make sure you don’t make your potential clients feel like that.
The most important part of the consultation process is the rapport building. Don’t skip over it. Some of my favorite ways to connect and build a rapport with clients are active listening and asking open ended questions. Active listening requires you to give your client your undivided attention and let them know that they haven’t. Don’t look at your cell phone while you’re meeting with your clients. Just shows that you’re distracted and not really engaged with what they’re telling you. Ask open ended questions that require answers that are more thorough than yes or no. These types of questions invite your clients to be open with you, which can help build a connection in the person. Remember the old adage that you were born with two years and one mouth and to use them accordingly.
Another way to connect with potential clients and existing clients although be passive is through the content you produce on social media, your blog, and a weekly or monthly email out to your sphere. This is often the very first way that new potential clients get to know, like and trust you without you actually being in their presence. So make a conscious effort at what you put out there is an extension of your personal brand and helps you create authority.
Tip # 2: Don’t be tied to the outcome
My second tip is to not be tied to the outcome – meaning don’t try to control things that aren’t up to you. This is a classic salesperson mistake. We try to control our customers’ decision to buy but the only person we can’t control is our client. We have no power over this. When we try to control the wrong outcome, our customers sense we’re trying to take charge of their decision and they don’t like that one bit.
So we need to stop trying to do our client’s job and do ours instead. We have to decide that our goal is to help our clients see as clearly as possible how to get what they want. You need to get rid of commission breath as they can smell that from miles away, and it’s highly unpleasant.
Tip #3: Understand you’re playing the long game
My third piece of advice to you is to understand that you’re playing the long game. If you get your real estate license to make a quick buck in a hot market, well then you should stop reading, pack up your stuff and just leave the business.
For those of you that got into the business to build a long term business that will provide for you and your family for the next 10,20, 30 years — this is for you. You will always get the best result for your client if you don’t rush. If you rush it, it creates pressure and pressure causes:
- Your clients to resist the sale as they don’t believe you have their best interests at heart
- Bad decision making because you haven’t given yourself or your client enough time to make an informed decision
Tip #4: Know when to walk away
Now my last and could be the most important advice to you – is that you have to know when to walk away. Allow yourself the ability to move on. If you take the time to build the rapport with potential clients, and listen to them, you’ll likely have a pretty good idea of whether someone is genuinely interested in working with you, and/or serious about purchasing a home. If the person isn’t interested in committing to work with you, or they’re just interested in looking at houses only, it’s ok to move on. You don’t need to work with everybody to be successful. This decision can be really hard when you first start, as you need to make some bucks to pay some bills. When you allow yourself to move on from a relationship, you can use that time with more serious clients, or prospect more to find those serious clients. After 15 years, I can tell you that it’s not worth trying to work with people that don’t either respect you, or are just wasting your time as the “home tire kickers” that just want to look at everything and have no clue what or when they want to buy a home.
So, there you have it. I’m confident that if you implement the strategies that you will start to work in a way that is more authentic and client focused. I know your clients feel more comfortable working with you, and in turn, will tell all their friends and family about the “no pressure guidance” you provide. Before long you will have built a business that is reliable and fulfilling for many years to come.
For more great info to help you in your real estate career, check out my youtube channel!
Until next time!