API Nation Covers a very popular topic all real estate agents need to consider in this market.
They mention how it doesn’t matter if you’ve been in this business for twenty years or for twenty minutes, you’re a professional. This means you are qualified, hold yourself accountable, and are trustworthy.
Did you know?
NAR has a 92 page document laying out exactly what is expected of a professional in Real Estate. That’s a lot to parse, but the essence is nicely summarized by another uber-successful professional- Julius Erving.
He said “being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them.”Julius Erving
Have you been living up to the standard of a real estate professional? Sometimes the easiest way to define something is to define the opposite.
API Nation talked to real estate agents, brokers, lenders, inspectors, and even clients to find out what makes an agent unprofessional.
The three most common professionalism mistakes mentioned were:
Mistake #1 Not Answering Your Phone
We get it. The phone is ringing off the hook. And we know most of the time it’s just someone calling about your “expiring car warranty” or with “exciting news about your student loan,” so we let our voicemail sort it out.
One problem — according to research by Forbes magazine 80% of leads that reach voicemail don’t leave a message. That’s $8 out of every $10 going straight into the arms of a more professional agent.
An easy way to answer the phone AND know you’re not picking up another telemarketer is to sync LionDesk to Google Contacts. That way any lead, and client, anyone you add in LionDesk will be added to your phone and the CallerID will be up to date. API Nation has an easy Google Contacts integration for you to check out here.
You can also connect via LionDesk inside your profile settings check out Google Contacts inside LionDesk here.
Mistake #2 Not Listening to Your Clients
Now the lead reached you on the phone and good news — you’re working together! Clients at this stage repeatedly brought up a mistake that made them feel the agent was so unprofessional that they called the whole thing off: they felt that the agent didn’t listen to them.
On the buyer’s side, it was that the agent was sending them listings that didn’t match what they had requested. For sellers, it was agents who didn’t respond in a timely manner and didn’t explain the process so the seller felt lost and unsure.
Experienced agents know that listening is a skill — something that gets developed with patience and work. Here’s some ABCS you can use to get your listening skills on the right track:
- Ask Questions
- Be present
- Clarify by repeating
- Solicit feedback
Asking questions is the first step to becoming a better listener. It also sends a reassuring message to the client that you don’t just hear them, but you’re actively listening to them.
Ask Questions, Be Present
Being present is tougher and tougher as we all have to juggle more hats. But when the client shares their thoughts with you, you need to remember that while this is a normal occurrence for you, this transaction is the biggest thing they’ll have for many, many years. So go ahead and put the phone away, take a deep breath and become present.
Clarify by repeating is a powerful practice. After you’ve asked your questions and ensured you’re not distracted, summarize and repeat the client’s feelings and goals back to them. It will help ensure that not only did you listen, but the client was able to get the message they wanted across.
Solicit feedback. Don’t assume that the listening is ever done. Continue to ask the client if they’re getting the listings they want, if they’re getting the guidance they need, and the value they were looking for from your service.
Better to Over Communicate than Under Communicate
In addition to these strategies to listen, be sure to over communicate with your clients. You can set your clients up on a drip campaign educating them on the selling or buying process. It’s a smart way to equip your clients with all the info they could possibly need, possibly answering questions before they think to ask.
There are some great Published Campaigns in LionDesk to use for this, so hop in there and take a look.
Mistake #3 Arriving Late or *gasp* Missing Appointments
It’s a common sentiment: you can’t respect a person and disrespect their time. That’s why the final mistake is also the most egregious — arriving late or missing an appointment.
Real estate is rarely a neat and tidy 9 to 5 job. One of the great things about working in this industry is the freewheeling nature of each day. There are definitely some in the industry who keep a more structured day, but by and large many of us seem to thrive on a bit of chaos. Which makes punctuality a real challenge.
There are great strategies you can employ to avoid this mistake. Strategies like hiring an assistant to help you stay organized, time blocking, or treating yourself to a fun indulgence when you’re early and waiting on the client (TikTok anyone?).
But one of the absolute easiest is to connect LionDesk to your Gmail account so that your Google Calendar and consequently your smartphone is always updated with the latest tasks and appointments you’ve created in LionDesk. You’ll have notifications reminding you well ahead of time. Your phone can even nudge you to depart early if Google sees some bad traffic in your future.
Professionalism Makes a Difference
Being perceived as unprofessional is not the end of the world, but it could be the end of your business and is absolutely the end of your referrals.
Take some time to reflect and solicit feedback from colleagues to ensure that you’re not committing any of these common mistakes. If you find room for improvement, great! You can make one of these simple fixes and set your business up for healthy growth for the future.
Don’t have a CRM yet? Try LionDesk for free for 30 days