The Importance of Communication
It is often stated that the biggest gripe that any seller has of an agent is lack of feedback…. but I think there is more to it than that. It’s about communication in general.
When an Agent makes contact with a Seller for the first time, a relationship is formed, one in which the Agent will be required to constantly communicate with the client. Initially the communication may be one where the Agent advises him/her how best to prepare his property for sale and how the Agent will go about marketing the property. Just like with any other relationship the Agent should always be looking for an opportunity to interact with the client in such a way that the client is never left wondering what it is that the Agent is doing in terms of selling his property.
To this end, Huizemark developed the “Marketing Report”. This document gives a brief description of the property and then goes on to clearly identify the efforts that the agent has put into marketing the property and finding a buyer. It gets updated weekly and one can email or, preferably, go through it with the Seller face-to-face. The “Sellers Feedback” form is used to write down the list of buyers that have seen the property over the last week, together with all their comments and what they value the property at, as compared to other properties they have seen. This must, if at all possible, be presented and discussed with the client personally. It is the agent’s duty to educate the seller as to the positive and negative points affecting the value of his property and what the buyers think it is worth. The Seller needs this information to make the decision to sell or not.
The Agent needs to show compassion when dealing with a Seller (or a Buyer). The Agent who has a sole mandate on a property needs to recognize the importance of the fact that he is the only one who can produce a Buyer, and the Seller is relying heavily on the Agent to produce the goods. In a market such as this, prices are not what the Seller would like, so he is probably stressing from that point of view. If he is a motivated Seller, he will probably have time constraints and will crave information, feedback and updates. Falling short in this regard will at best disappoint, at worst it will turn the client against the Agent and it will reflect in the commission rate he is prepared to pay when it comes to signing an offer. Every client the Agent takes through the property is a potential deal in the Sellers’ eyes, especially if the Agent mentions that the Buyer has shown an interest…..the Seller will hang onto that information until the Agent decides to tell him the outcome. If the Seller is phoning the Agent more than the Agent is contacting him, it is a sure sign that the Agent is slipping up in the Sellers expectations. Some people need more interaction than others, so the Agent needs to monitor this closely. The Agent must always answer his phone, especially when it’s a client calling. This is especially important if the Agent is aware that the client has a concern. Letting the phone go onto voicemail will not help. The Agent needs to deal with the issue and put it behind him so he can focus on selling.
Giving marketing communication in a tight market can be hard work as it is often rather negative, but it must be done. The Agent is simply the person whose job it is to relay the information that the Agent receives from the Buyers… The Sellers must be allowed to process that information and make their decision. Agents need to perfect their communication skills. When they do, the sales process will run a whole lot smoother!
– Andre Hamman