By Michelle Risi
It is the question that is asked most often, yet the one that most people find challenging to communicate ̶ “Why should I choose you?”
Helping a consumer to understand what benefits you bring to the table is critical to the success of your business. In the absence of communicating value – you leave a consumer with no choice but to resort to negotiating your commission, or worse, choosing someone else. Effective communication in the real estate landscape is a skill that most Realtors® need to continuously work on. If you find yourself struggling with effectively communicating your value, here are three guidelines that may help.
- Ask questions. A lot of them
It is important to ask questions centred around the consumer’s needs/wants and motivation. It is equally important to ask questions that will reveal what they won’t be freely sharing with you; what will be holding them back from hiring you for your services. Key questions such as, “What are you looking for in a Realtor®?” or “ What did you like/not like about your previous experience in buying/selling real estate? can offer insight into their true needs and wants, apart from the real estate transaction itself. It is important to find out what they want you to do for them; what they hope the final outcome will be, and; what that will look like for them. You might be surprised to find out that commission is rarely at the top of the list.
Once you’ve asked the questions, it’s your job to translate it back to the consumer with a response that is not only easy to understand, but makes sense – for them. Don’t throw stats at them if that is not what they are looking for. Listen to what they have said to you and then provide the relevant information that shows them how, by choosing you, their needs will be met. Paint the picture of what the outcome will look like. Effective communication is a two-way street. Just because you think you’ve answered their questions and provided the information they are looking for, doesn’t mean they have fully understood. Don’t get lost in translation.
- Offer Advice
With information readily available, 24/7, and for free – there is a need for professional advice. When the opportunity presents itself, offer your professional advice. Don’t be afraid to counsel them on what you would do if it were your home. Advice is the difference between a facilitator and a true real estate professional. You have the knowledge and the experience – and that is what they are looking for. Don’t be afraid to offer your expertise.
Effective communication involves delivering a clear message that is received and understood. Just because you gave a dynamic presentation doesn’t mean that the message was clearly understood and internally aligned with what they are looking for. Aim to increase your understanding of the consumer to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications. In doing so, you will quickly learn how to effectively communicate your value.
This article originally appeared in the August 2015 issue of REM magazine.
Michelle Risi is the executive vice-president for Royal LePage Your Community Realty in Toronto. She is also the founder/director at the Real Estate Academy and President of Your Community Realty Toastmasters.