As agents, you will find yourself in a variety of roles – counselors, negotiators, decorators, and friend. To be successful in these roles, you need to remain focused on the task-at-hand and remember how it feels to be in someone else’s shoes.
People buy and sell for a variety of reasons. It may be for a big change in life, it may be a strategic business decision, or it may be to secure a future. As the agent, it is important to understand your client’s motivation. Understanding the motivation will help you understand the role you are likely to play and how you will best be able to meet the needs of your client.
If someone is selling or buying because of a big change in life – whether that is marriage, divorce, or a death of loved one – as the agent, you should expect that there may be emotional times, and sometimes without warning or explanation. The key to being helpful is to keep your client grounded by focusing on the why or the benefits.
If it is a marriage that has triggered the transaction, there is excitement but there could also be feelings of being overwhelmed. Your approach should be one that takes the process one step at a time, rather than looking at a long list of everything that needs to get done. Recognize if your client is showing signs of feeling overwhelmed in their responses – they may be expressing doubt or have an inability to make small decisions or they may make comments about needing more time. Help guide them with your expertise.
If it is a divorce that has triggered the transaction, there is a high likelihood of either a vindictive approach or a ‘just make it end’ attitude. Help your client navigate what is truly in the best interests of the transaction and don’t let them just ‘give the property away’ or purposely tank the transaction. Use market statistics to show the current temperature of the real estate market and how their property fits into it. Of course, you need to do as your clients wish, but you can use data and logic to help overcome some of the emotions involved for your client.
If it is a death that has triggered the transaction, there are going to be moments of sadness. Home is more than just a word, it is a place of belonging and security. It is full of memories that will be hard to face. As the agent, you want to respect those feelings and what they represent to your client. Help them to honor the memories by presenting and showing the home in its best light. Help your client protect the artifacts of life by being proactive and offering advice and insight about staging. Be genuine and sincere as you work to list the property that has significance to your client.
If it is simply a business transaction with an investor, you likely won’t encounter any high emotions. Investors want to know numbers and how things pencil. Do your homework and your due diligence to speak with intelligence and credibility.
Always protect and promote the interests of your client. A part of that is recognizing why they need your services in the first place, and honoring the life transition. It may just be one more deal to you, but it’s a big deal to your client.
Just my two cents.