Build better relationships with your clients: Get to know your client

“I am not what you see.
I am what time and effort and interaction slowly unveil.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

Spending the time to really get to know your client can be a great way to ensure not only that you are offering them the very best service you can, but also that you are building a customer for life. As their trusted advisor, you are more likely to be the one they refer when their friends, family and neighbors mention they need a Realtor. Going deep is a process that takes place both in conversation with your client and behind the scenes. It involves a little research and follow-up. It definitely requires some sort of database – whether that’s CRM software, a spreadsheet, or a system of index cards. It’s an investment of your time that will build your business. Here are some great ways to get started.

When you meet new clients, take note of their employers and industries. Once you’re home, set up Google Alerts to follow any breaking news about those companies or the industries as whole. (Read Using Google Alerts to track your sphere to learn how). On a basic level, learn the lingo and have a general idea of how that industry is performing. Ask questions when you meet with your client about the news impacting their business, even if it’s something simple like, “what do you think of the merger?” or “I heard something about X, but I don’t know much about it. Can you explain it to me in layman’s terms?” Demonstrate an interest in what they do and how they’re doing.

Understand their relationships. Sometimes things are pretty straightforward, and sometimes relationships are messy. Strong ties can influence big life decisions, so at least on some level, you should have some understanding of who is influencing these decisions. If you find that a best friend or relative is giving advice that is counter to your own, ask if you can meet to clear up confusion or conflicts (making sure you have an understanding about what may and may not be discussed). Listen to and address their concerns. Be an advocate for your client.

Leverage social media. Follow your clients and pay attention to their likes, preferences, milestones, celebrations. Send handwritten notes to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or other celebrations. Don’t include business cards or ask for business in them. Just celebrate with them. Marketing can come later.

Understand their motivations. Ask them questions to really get to know why they want to make a transition, what motivates their psyches, what gets them excited, and what makes them nervous. Why are in the market now? How quickly can they make a decision? Are they able to pull together the appropriate paperwork?

Work smarter in 2017 by keeping your pipeline full of clients who already know you offer a superior level of service. They’ll be happy to refer you to their sphere and you’ll spend less time marketing to people who don’t know or care who you are.