9 Things You Didn’t Know You Were Doing That May Be Turning Away Clients
A good real estate agent always takes time to reflect. They ask themselves questions like, “What am I doing well on?” and “What can I improve on?”. In many cases, it’s good to reflect as often as possible. But, in other cases, constantly overthinking something you said or did by mistake isn’t going to help you close on deals any faster. In this industry, real estate agents have to interact with all kinds of people regularly. It’s only normal that you won’t be perfect all the time. You’re only human, and most people will understand that you’re just doing the best you can at your job.
That being said, there are certain (subtle) things that not just real estate agents – but, any professional who interacts with people on a day-to-day basis – should watch out for, as it can easily turn away clients. Perhaps you don’t realize that you’re doing it or that it’s a problem, but if you are, it’s time to reconsider certain habits that could be getting in the way.
1) Holding Calls on Speaker Phone
Sometimes, it’s easier to take calls on speaker. You can hear better, and perhaps if you have an assistant, they can be in on the call as well. No doubt there are many agents that automatically take their calls on speaker, especially if they are used to answering calls while driving. However, you should keep calls on speaker only when it’s absolutely necessary. Not only is it rude to others in the vicinity, doing it in front of clients can have them concerned that you’re airing out their personal business in public. If you must put a call on speaker, ask the person you’re speaking to if it’s okay, and if not, let them know when you can call back.
2) Having Your Phone on Loud
As agents need to constantly be available, it’s a good idea to take your phone off of silent mode so that you’re not missing calls all the time (another thing that doesn’t look good). Get in the habit of turning your phone on silent when you’re meeting privately with a client, and if you have an important call coming in that you can’t miss, let them know beforehand. A phone with the sound on is distracting and will make your clients (and, especially your prospective clients feel as though you’re not focused on them.
3) Taking Calls in a Loud Environment
When it comes to phone etiquette, there could be a whole guide regarding what to do and what not to do. But, something you may be doing that you should avoid is answering calls in a loud environment. The person on the other end will be able to hear it, and they likely won’t feel very good about it. Try to find a quiet place or send a text letting them know you will call as soon as you can.
4) Bragging About Your Experience
If you’re an experienced agent, then it’s generally a good idea to share that with your prospective clients, specifically when it’s relevant.. Most people want to work with someone who knows what they are doing, and because of that, they value someone who is not just knowledgeable, but who has been doing their job for quite some time.
While you should definitely let people know your level of experience, it’s not something you need to or should be talking about regularly, or at all outside the first meeting and/or if they ask. The home buying experience is about the client, and bragging about your experience can run on a fine line between sounding professional and sounding arrogant.
5) Your Wardrobe
Are you the casual real estate agent, or the one who dresses like a stereotypical agent that you’d see plastered on a bench advertisement? A lot of what you wear will depend on the type of people you’re working with. While a casual vibe may work well with a younger crowd, people from an older generation will feel more comfortable with an agent who – for lack of a better word – dresses up.
If you’re not sure, remember that it’s always better to be overdressed for an occasion than underdressed. After some time with your clients, you may be able to dress down a bit, but never too much that your clients can’t identify who you are at an open house.
6) How You Talk About Others
Many agents are able to formulate strong rapport – even friendship – with their clients. One way to do this is perhaps by sharing personal stories about past clients and others you have worked with throughout your career, in order to build that trust and create a more relaxed environment when you’re all together.
However, always be careful about how you talk about others. Even a casual slight at a person or a situation can make your clients wonder what you’ll say or think about them when they aren’t around. Ultimately, clients want to be liked by their agent in the same way they’d want to be liked by their therapist.
7) A Messy Car or Desk
It goes without saying that how you keep your car, your office, and even your briefcase, can say a lot about you. If you show up to meet a client at a showing and they can see papers askew in your car and/or you scrambling in your bag for several minutes to find one item, they may easily get a bad taste in their mouth. Keep your life organized, and they may or may not notice, But, keep in unorganized, and your client suddenly gets the sense that this whole process will be just as messy.
8) Always Drinking Coffee
We get it. Agents need their coffee, as much or if not more than other professionals. And, although your clients may understand this, it just doesn’t look good to carry around your coffee mug with you wherever you go. It can give the appearance that you are always tired and/or you got a late start to your day. It’s a small thing that can lead to your clients experience subconscious thoughts about your demeanor. Drink your coffee in the morning (or, whenever you normally drink it) away from your clients, and leave the mug in the car. Unless, of course, you’re meeting your clients in a coffee shop.
9) Not Checking Your Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling
It may seem insignificant, but poor writing habits won’t make you look very intelligent, professional, or patient in the eyes of your client. Sometimes, a quick email or next needs to be written, which is understandable. But, constantly have spelling errors, periods in wrong places, or abbreviations. Take a moment or two to read over your message before sending it.
If something isn’t working with a client, most agents are focused on discovering big reasons that would push their clients away. And, while not all relationships will work out (and, you can’t beat yourself up over it), take a moment to acknowledge whether or not you are doing any of these small things that could turn off your clients to working with you.