When you start your career as a North Carolina real estate broker, you will quickly realize one thing: You will never stop learning. The best-paid real estate professionals continue to enhance their careers by taking classes each year, so they are current on best practices.
But everyone was a rookie agent at one point, and often being a rookie means making mistakes. Learn from the errors of others by not making the same mistakes—especially when it comes to talking to clients. There are three things real estate agents and brokers should never say to their clients, and we’ve listed them here.
#1. “We will find the home of your dreams by [insert date here].”
Never make promises you cannot keep—and that’s precisely what you are doing when you guarantee finding the perfect home by a specific date. Promising your client you can find their perfect home by the time school starts in the fall or before the end of summer will rarely end well. It’s okay to set goals and targets, but there are too many factors at play that are far beyond your control, including available inventory, budget constraints, and personal taste.
“If you do not meet the mark, guess who is blamed?” said agent Denise Supplee, “You, the agent! And rightly so, because truth be told, one never really knows!”
#2. “I will always be available.”
You want to be available for your clients, but when you are a new real estate broker, it’s easy to overpromise. What happens is that you end up sacrificing your work-life balance by telling clients you are always available for them. This is another situation in which you are likely making a promise that you cannot keep.
“It is not only difficult to maintain but impossible,” said Supplee. “I work in a team. I have a back-up. And in a market where homes can go in a day, in order to prevent missing out on a client’s dream home, it is almost a mandatory practice. Especially, when working with investors.”
If you are flying solo without a team to back you up, set regular working hours for yourself—and let clients know what those are. That way, they won’t expect to hear back from you at all hours. But do be sure to respond during your regular working hours.
#3. “We can definitely sell your home for [insert client dream price] price,”
You may feel like you have a good grasp of the market in your area, but the truth is that there are no guarantees when it comes to price. Selling a property is challenging, and you can never predict exactly what a home will sell for—until the closing papers are signed. Your goal is to get the maximum price for your clients home, but you need to manage their expectations at the same time. It’s crucial to educate them about the realities of selling a property.
“I always provide a range,” said Supplee. “I am honest with my potential sellers and make sure they understand how important proper pricing is. There are many listing agents out there, that sadly, just for the sake of listing a home, will tell a seller what they want to hear rather than the cold hard truth.”
How to be a real estate agent clients respect
There are other ways to please your clients than telling them what you think they want to hear. Instead, be polite and passionate about real estate, and spend some time educating them on the process. For most people, buying or selling a home is the most significant financial decision they’ll ever make, and they will appreciate someone who walks them through the process with insight. If you are just a people-pleaser, chances are, you won’t be able to make good on the empty promises you’ve made.