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SOURCE Joseph and JoAnn Callway
Real estate giants Joseph and JoAnn Callaway explain how to succeed in a market where the power has shifted from agents to consumers
PHOENIX, June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Until recently, the real estate model could have been summed up as "empowered agents, dependent consumers." But with the arrival of the Information Age, consumers seized the power…and as a result, an entire industry is struggling to reinvent itself.
You might assume this shift is bad news for agents, but JoAnn Callaway says it's actually an opportunity to serve clients on a higher level.
"Truly serving clients-putting their well-being above your own-creates customer happiness, return business, and yes, prosperity," says Callaway, who along with her husband and business partner, Joseph, wrote Super Agent: Real Estate Success at the Highest Level (Wiley, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-118-83425-1, $25.00, www.superagentbook.com). "It's a far more powerful approach than the old method of doling out proprietary information."
Here, excerpted from Super Agent, are 10 habits to put into practice right away:
Stop thinking it's about you. It's not-it's about them. Constantly think about how (and if) your clients benefit from everything you do or say.
"It's not easy to sublimate the self and put clients first," says JoAnn. "Yet there is no better way to build strong client relationships."
Sell benefits, not features. Don't just explain to a family of four that a home features five bedrooms. Point out that the fifth bedroom could be used as a media room, a home office, an exercise room, etc.
Don't be the source. Be the source of the source. For example, if clients are wondering about schools, give them a report from the school district.
"Part of your unique value proposition is your knowledge of the market and your experience in real estate matters-so stick to that area of expertise!" says Joseph.
Don't wait for clients to ask about commission. State it up front. Your commission is not negotiable. The minute you negotiate with a seller, you are no longer their respected real estate advisor; you're a commodity that can be traded in if a better price comes along.
Buy a closing gift-and don't skimp on it. Closing is your first big opportunity to say "thank you" to your clients and to cement their ongoing loyalty. So don't skimp-this may prompt the client to return…or to send a referral your way. The Callaways give Tiffany & Co. crystal weave bowls.
Work to keep your clients after the sale. If all you do is close five deals a year and you keep those clients, at the end of 20 years you will have 100 faithful clients sending you business-either their own or through referrals. Super Agent shares numerous ways to keep clients' loyalty.
"Our 'trademark' is sending every former client a personalized, handmade Christmas ornament each year," says Joseph.
Just pick up the phone! Average agents avoid picking up the phone to talk to clients, especially if the task at hand is unpleasant. But if you apply the "Clients First" philosophy, no situation will be made worse by talking to a client-and most will be made better!
Strive to be an expert. Super agents read materials related to their field. They attend seminars, conferences, meetings, and networking events, too. Then they position themselves as a source of reliable information through newsletters, blogs, seminars, social media, books, etc.
Treat other agents with respect. They may be competition, but they are not the enemy. All agents expand the inventory available to buyers and expand the buyer pool to sellers. And each agent needs to work directly with other agents. So the next time you're interacting with a competitor, treat them with respect and courtesy and remind yourself that no one succeeds alone.
Do the right thing when you screw up. The Callaways once mistakenly thought that a handwritten seven looked like a nine on a contract. The error made a $20,000 difference and didn't surface until two days before closing. The Callaways took the hit and paid the difference.
"Karma paid us back with interest," says Joseph. "The lender and the client have both sent business our way."
About the Authors:
Joseph Callaway and JoAnn Callaway, coauthors of Super Agent: Real Estate Success at the Highest Level, reached a billion dollars in real estate sales in their first ten years, a feat never before achieved. They are founders of real estate company Those Callaways.
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