The best agents establish a communication plan that will help them bond with clients, establish loyalty and build a relationship that lasts. Some agents underestimate the powerful effect that a reliable communication plan can have on a relationship.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the steps required to build the foundation of a communication plan that will keep clients happy and keep you top of mind for all things real estate long after the transaction is completed.
A solid communication plan includes the following four elements:
1. Regular and predictable contact. Set clear expectations around how and when you’ll communicate with your client, and then do what you’ve said you’ll do. There are many ways to do this, but the goal here is to win your client’s trust. Maybe you’ll check in every Tuesday morning, or every other Saturday afternoon. Find out when they want to hear from you, and always follow through.
2. Flexibility. Some people like to talk on the phone, and some only want to communicate via email. A great communication plan takes the needs and preferences of each individual client into account. By accommodating your clients, you show them that you know them well and respect their choices.
3. A method for clients to give you feedback and initiate communication with you. An important aspect of maintaining effective communication is giving your clients a way to get in touch with you and ask you questions. Make sure they have an easy way to give you feedback, and be ready to alter your plan to their preferences at any time.
4. Written documentation of all communication. Even if your client prefers to conduct all discussions verbally, write a summary email after each call to make sure everyone’s on the same page. You are the client’s only agent, but the client is one of many for you. Having things in writing will help you keep track of important details.
Your next step is to create a communication calendar. One easy way to do this is to create a free Google calendar dedicated to your clients. Include birthdays, holidays and special occasions, as well as your marketing schedule. The calendar will help you stay on top of both your tasks and your client communications. Your brokerage may also offer software options to help you stay in touch, and there are a number of products out there you can use to set up your system.
1. Have a plan of action. Prepare anything you’ll need before contacting the client, and have all details related to their sale or purchase at hand. Also, be ready to update your client on what you’ve done since you last communicated, and what you plan to do next.
2. Don’t just check in. Share news they can use. The more you explain what’s happening, the less they will have to guess. If you don’t have anything to share, it’s still better to check in then to let your client wait.
3. Give as much detail as possible. Let the client know what you’ve done since you last spoke and what your next steps will be. Even if you have a regular call set up, end each communication with a reminder of when you’ll be in touch again, and always ask if the client has any questions.
Remember, communication works two ways: Let your clients know that they can contact you anytime. When they do, be responsive and get back to them quickly. If you miss a call, always offer some kind of a response so they know you’ve received their message. If you don’t, they’ll be left wondering.