Working with Sellers: Three Strategies Real Estate Tech Can’t Replicate
Ever heard of the iBuyer market? In this space, sellers can request an offer from a large company that will then buy their home, list it and sell it to someone else. This has been part of the business model at companies like Zillow and Opendoor for a few years. Keller Williams is the latest player in the iBuyer market — the first company with brick and mortar brokerages to get involved.
Many of these companies cite convenience as the main reason sellers might hop on this trend. To me, this represents a greater problem in our industry today. When a client would rather choose technology over an interaction with a real estate professional, it implies that the level of care and service we bring to the table is on a sharp decline.
With this realization, it’s no wonder sellers flirt with the idea of impersonal iBuyer markets. In today’s high-tech “convenience” culture, it is crucial that real estate agents prioritize a business model favoring relationships, skill-building and transparency. There is a certain level of care and service that the Internet can’t provide — that’s where we need to step up our game. Instead of just doing deals, establish your value by building relationships and demonstrating consistent professionalism — these three real estate strategies are great starting points.
- Set up a pre-listing appointment. This is where you build rapport with your potential client. Before you take the listing appointment, schedule a phone call or brief meeting over coffee to go over a few logistics and motivations. Why are they moving? When do they want to move by? Assess what they think the home is worth — if they toss it back to you, let them know that you will get them that information, but you’d like their frame of reference first. You’ll connect with the seller, becoming better equipped to provide great service when you get the listing.
- Be transparent throughout the process. Selling a home often leaves the seller anxious. A true professional will communicate frequently and honestly with a client to keep them informed during this hectic process. Give them the details on home tours and open houses, and share what your real estate marketing plan is. Show them that you will do all you can to find the perfect buyer for their home, and eliminate stress on their part. Have a communication plan in place where you give weekly updates. Technology makes it easy to forget this step, so commit to whatever check-in schedule you choose with your client!
- Hone in your negotiation skills. This one is huge. The iBuyer market often shorts people on equity due to that convenience factor. Your negotiation skills set you apart from the web! As an agent, you have the power to get your seller the deal they deserve, but it’s up to you to refine those skills. You still want to be realistic with them, of course — this could take some different negotiation as you reach a price that accommodates the market and your seller. Remember your client’s motivations for selling and acknowledge them as you both talk through the right price for the home.
When you implement these real estate strategies, you will provide your client with an incredible selling experience that they will actually enjoy. Then — here’s where the real magic happens — they will tell their friends and family, who will want your services for their own real estate transactions. Working by referral is a beautiful thing!
If you want to hit the ground running with your sellers, but aren’t sure where to start, I encourage you to check out The Pathway to Mastery™—Essentials, the latest Buffini & Company training program that takes a deep dive into seller strategies and much more. Real estate tech trends will come and go, but great service will never go out of style!Joe Niego