The top complaint consumers have about real estate agents is Lack of Communication. As it is, agents already have a reputation that falls somewhere between a used car salesman and an attorney – pretty dismal if you ask me. Throw in the fact that agents fail to communicate with regularity clearly and it just makes things more complicated and stressful than they need to be.
It’s easy to forget that most details of a real estate transaction are utterly unknown to the client, so much so that it may feel and sound like agents are speaking a foreign language.
For most clients, selling or buying a home may be the most significant transaction of their lives! And, agents often lose sight of that. High anxiety is already embedded in the sale because there are so many moving parts and often two highly emotional and stressed out parties. Why agents don’t get this is beyond me and frustrating for me as well!
How communication creates the consumer experience
Communication is essential to delivering excellent customer service. For most clients, this may be the first and only time they’ve done a real estate transaction, or possibly the first time in many years they’ve had to transact in real estate. It’s easy to forget that most details of a real estate transaction are utterly unknown to the client, so much so that it may feel and sound like agents are speaking a foreign language. Then add on all the industry jargon on top of it and clients may actually feel they’re in a foreign country. Since most agents are either speaking to other professionals in the industry (e.g., loan officers, escrows officers, title reps, other agents, etc.) on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget that the way we speak is sometimes in “industry insider” speak and assume that clients understand not only the jargon but all the moving parts.
Agent’s must comply with the client’s preferred communication method, not the other way around so that the message is always clearly understood.
The communication process
The first step agents need to take is to take a step back and describe everything as it is, even if it is the most basic of basic concepts. Why? Well because our goal is to make the client not only feel comfortable but to have them understand the process and know what they’re getting into. The second step is to communicate frequently. This starts off by finding out the client’s preferred communication method; is it email, phone call, text message, Facebook messenger, etc. This is an essential step because where one client may prefer emails and perceive text messages as interruptions (nuisance) another client may feel the complete opposite. The significance of this cannot be underscored enough. Agent’s must comply with the client’s preferred communication method, not the other way around so that the message is always clearly understood. It makes it a much more appealing and smooth experience for everyone involved, and this way both the agent and client are working on the same page in the same book!
Let’s also not forget that your agent should not go dark when there’s a problem in escrow or some form of crisis. This is when your agent should be stepping up and proactively contacting you to fill you in on what’s what. Agents work for the client, not the other way around. Clear and open communication is crucial in every type of relationship, and a key to earning and displaying trust!
What have your experiences been in the past?