What is it about successful real estate agents that sets them apart from those that struggle to connect with clients? 

I mean, we could make a list of all the things successful agents do that their floundering counterparts do not. But for now, we’re focusing less on agent tactics and more on something top real estate professionals do that you might not be doing (yet). 

You could be the most empathetic person on the planet. But if you’re not taking the time to find out what a particular lead has experienced before they reach you, you’re doing it wrong. 

Lisa Chinatti knows this better than most. Recently, she visited the Oneil Team to talk about how she built the biggest real estate team in Massachusetts. 

And it all starts with understanding where the consumer is coming from. 

Empathy isn’t enough

As a rule, people would rather work with someone who understands what they’re going through. And starting the process of buying or selling a home is stressful. 

So, whether they’ve gone through the steps of requesting a showing with Zillow or Realtor.com, or they’ve just spoken to your ISA, you need to know what they’ve experienced and to have a sense of how that could affect their mindset and decision-making process. 

The better you understand what they’re going through, the easier it will be for you to add value to your interactions with them. 

Because if all you have is a general outline of their experience at the top of the funnel—before they meet you—you can’t really understand what they hope to gain from that first meeting.

For starters, chances are excellent they don’t want to be subjected to the same questions and rehearsed pitches they’ve heard already.

Here’s how you avoid botching that first impression. 

Understand the consumer’s experience with Zillow and Realtor.com

When Lisa and her team are going through a new campaign, she wants everyone working that campaign—from lead gen to face-to-face meetings—to experience everything the consumer has experienced up to that point in time. Because she wants every one of them to hear the messaging the consumer is being hit with. 

For example, do you know what the consumer experiences with Zillow—or with Realtor.com?

Have any of you created your own inbound connect from Zillow to hear what the consumer is hearing, to see what the consumer is experiencing with the text messages and all of that, before they ever get to you? Have you done it with Realtor.com? Have you looked at the landing pages and gone through the entire process for any lead source that you’re using? Because I’d argue if you haven’t, you’re probably missing part of the process to understand what is the consumer’s mindset when they pick up the phone.

Lisa Chinatti

Lisa pointed out that Realtor.com asks the consumer an avalanche of questions. And if you start asking the same questions, you’re only going to frustrate them because they’ve just spent 15 minutes on the phone answering one question after another. It’s their turn to get information.

Knowing what they’ve experienced before you first connect with them enables you to avoid doing or saying something that will cause the consumer to shut down. 

It enables you to put yourself in their shoes for a moment and ask yourself, “How would I want to be approached? What kind of experience am I hoping to have with this agent? And what am I hoping to feel by the time the conversation has ended?”

Your job is to understand all that. So, make the time. 

Understand the consumer’s experience with your ISA

If you’ve got an ISA working your leads, have you ever just sat there and listened to them work 5, 10, 15, or 20 leads to know what those leads experience before they get to you?

Or before you go to a showing with the appointment set by your ISA, have you reviewed the entire history within your CRM to understand what a particular prospect might want to know or might be expecting from their first meeting with you? 

Can you confidently answer every one of these questions: 

  • Did we miss a call?
  • Were we always on time with our follow-up?
  • Did the consumer have questions or concerns we should address?
  • Were there things where it seemed that consumer experience went one way or the other?

Because if you can’t, you don’t really know what you’re walking into. And, as Lisa pointed out, “You’re not showing up as the best version of yourself to really connect with that client.” 

One of my biggest pet peeves is the agent who just shows up for the showing and is just opening up the door and showing the house. That’s not sales. That’s not service. That doesn’t earn you business or money. That’s being a door-opener.

Lisa Chinatti

Find ways to add value throughout the process

Look through the process of buying or selling a home, and we bet you’ll see several different points at which you can add value and improve your client’s overall experience. 

Say you’re doing an open house. That gives you a great opportunity to go knocking on the neighbors’ doors and invite them because they might be curious. If you’ve done enough open houses, you’ve probably seen curious neighbors walk in. But for every one that does, there are likely five others who didn’t because they weren’t sure it was socially acceptable to do so—especially in a post-COVID world. 

How many people were allowed at an open house at one time in May of 2020? One. Does every consumer know that that’s changed? So, are they still thinking that they may not be able to get into the open house even though they want to see it? How impactful is it if you go knock on the door and hand them a personal invitation—a little printed card with the info and a personal invite and a connection–a friendly face they know they can look for when they get there so they know they’re not gonna be out of place?

Lisa Chinatti

This is just one example showing how understanding the consumer experience can reveal a variety of ways to add value at every stage of the transaction. Top agents know that understanding the consumer experience is critical to upgrading it in every way possible. 

What gaps in your understanding of the consumer experience will you address this week?