Without relationships, it is hard to be a successful real estate broker. Without the trust of your clients, it’s nearly impossible to have a career in brokerage. One of the most important things you can do as a broker to improve your business is focus on building relationships. Here are a few ways to I’ve had success building a relationship-based career in multifamily brokerage.
Understand Your Client’s Business
As an agent, it is crucial for you to learn your clients’ businesses. Knowing each client’s business will help you find deals for the client and help you advise the client on when they should sell a specific property. Passing on a listing might seem like something you don’t want to do, but a broker should always be focused on the client’s long game. Sometimes this even means advising your client not to do anything — maybe the price isn’t high enough for their property, or they will have to overpay to acquire.
While you may be focused on closing a specific deal, the value of the client to a broker is greater than any single deal. Earning the trust of your clients is the foundation of the relationship. Your mantra should be “cultivate clients in lieu of closing deals.” This may seem like the antithesis of what a broker should be doing — closing deals is first and foremost, right? Your advice has to be detached from your personal needs. Your client’s business is more important than your commission.
When reviewing a potential deal for a client, ask yourself if it truly works for the client’s business. As the client’s agent, it should be your sole focus to procure real estate investment opportunities that align with your client’s business and to underwrite their deals in a realistic manner. As a broker, you cannot advise your client honestly and with integrity if you are too focused on your personal needs, such as meeting a sales quota or a specific personal goal.
Learn Your Client’s Hot Buttons
Instead of showing your client deal after deal that could work for them, discover what the blueprint is for their perfect acquisition. If you ask your client, “What does your ideal investment property look like?” you likely won’t get a meaningful response.
This is where indirectness comes into play. Understand the client’s vernacular. How do they talk about deals? How do they evaluate properties? What are key features they look for in a deal? What are deal breakers for them? Knowing this information will help you find the client a deal that is right for their business.
Don’t ‘Sell’ A Client
It shouldn’t be your practice to sell a client on a property. If you are representing your client’s best interests, don’t try to push them into a deal. Focus on communicating deal points in a manner that leaves no room for misinterpretation and always has the client’s best interests at heart. The golden rule of brokerage is: Always put the client first.
Your business should be centered around doing whatever it takes to represent your client’s needs and best interests, even if you’re losing commissions in the short term. Understanding your client’s business, earning trust, learning hot buttons and focusing on not selling will build richer, more valuable relationships with your clients.