THE PLAYBOOK: The Importance of Data When Talking to Clients
Editor’s Note: The Playbook is an RISMedia biweekly segment centering on what brokers and agents are doing to ensure they not only survive but thrive in these challenging times. Industry professionals explain the strategies they’re employing and unique ideas they’ve formulated. Tune in every other Thursday for another addition to the series.
As a REALTOR®, the job is all about communication. In fact, communication is key. But how you communicate is an entirely different obstacle. In today’s constantly changing market, finding the most effective ways to communicate with clients so they can understand the process is of utmost importance. And while there are no shortage of ways to communicate, industry leaders point to providing education through data as one of the best.
Most buyers and sellers come into the real estate market with little to no background knowledge beyond what they’ve grabbed from the news and/or TV shows. To trust you as their REALTOR®, they need you to not only show them the way, but teach them as well. And the easiest way to show your know-how is to be straight with the facts by breaking down the data with them.
Ennis Antoine, managing broker/sales manager at Compass Realty, agrees that clients want to know that you’re knowledgeable to be able to trust you.
“When you can present stats to them on how many homes have sold in the last 30 days or two weeks, or how many are pending, it makes you the expert in the area, and they rely on your information with integrity,” said Antoine. “If you don’t have stats, you’ll be done in this industry.”
Anam Hargey, team lead/broker with @properties, adds that the kind of data/statistics you’re sharing with clients will help prepare them for their specific situation and their needs from you.
“When working with clients who are selling, I give them stats about how low inventory is in our area, especially compared to previous years. I show them a comparison chart and share stats about how low inventory increases their home values and that they can sell for more in this market compared to previous years,” says Hargey. “With selling, I also prepare them for the low inventory and explain how it will take time to be able to find a place and compete against multiple offers.
“I think this vital conversation helps prepare clients for what to expect and to have realistic expectations,” concludes Hargey.
Hargey and Antoine agree that prices and sales are the two big points to hone in on when talking stats. As for where to source your data—national or local—Hargey notes that “it’s a nice mixture of both.” National data is great for showing the trends of the overall market and breaking down how real estate works overall, but localized data to your market, and even your brokerage, is really where it’s at.
“What we do is we compare the national trends to the local market,” says Antoine. “It’s important that anybody who does real estate, they understand that all real estate is local, and that they understand the numbers for that local community. The national trends may say one thing, but in a local market, it could be just the opposite.”
Overall, Hargey and Antoine say that providing data—mostly localized sales data—will build your reputation with clients as an expert. After gaining their trust, the sales part of the REALTOR®’s job will come easy.
Bonus tips from Hargey:
Return to more old-fashioned ways of lead sourcing.
Focus on becoming known in your community.
Make sure behind-the-scenes structures are in place, and that everyone on your team is well-trained to handle this market and future markets.
Bonus tips from Antoine:
Always educate consumers and eliminate the noise affecting them.
In this market, it’s all about equity positioning.
Historically, real estate has always been a solid investment. Despite possible losses, real estate is the best investment in the long run.