3 Ways to Effectively Manage Real Estate Client Expectations

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Has it been decades since your new clients bought and sold their first home? Did they conduct their only transaction in another state under a different set of rules? Are they first-time buyers who have studied real estate by reading every unreliable source they can find on the internet?

Whether they’re first-time homebuyers or they’ve been through it all before, buying or selling a home can seem mysterious and bewildering to some, and managing expectations is the antidote for misunderstandings.

Adopt a beginner’s mind to educate your clients

Your clients don’t know what they don’t know, and neither do you! Fortunately, you can educate them by asking the right questions. Ask them about their previous experience buying and selling real estate (if any), and assess their understanding of real estate fundamentals (pricing, negotiations, time-on-market, the closing process, etc.).

People often don’t speak up when they’re confused because they’re afraid of appearing ignorant. Reassure them at every step, and remind them that there are no stupid questions.

The more your clients understand, the easier your job becomes, and the happier people will be to work with you.

Be honest, ethical, and transparent above all else

Do your clients have an overly optimistic perspective because their last transaction went off without a hitch?

Former real estate coach Kelle Sparta says that while you don’t want to scare people by listing everything that could go wrong, you do want to acknowledge the more probable bumps in the road. That means sometimes telling a client things they don’t want to hear but need to know.

Show compassion toward everyone involved in the transaction

Emotions are powerful, and sometimes even the most rational people lose their cool, especially with so much money on the line. Sometimes you can do everything right and still end up with a panicked client.

When this happens, it’s best to lead with compassion. Acknowledge your client's concerns, allow them to express their feelings, and then offer your expertise as a beacon of hope. If you bypass empathy and go straight into solution mode, they’ll probably miss the solution and continue to panic.

If you encounter a common situation, such as a low-ball offer for a seller or a bidding war for the buyer, explain that this is normal. Give them examples of similar problems, and let them know that it’s all part of the business.

Occasionally, of course, you’ll deal with a genuine crisis, but the same principles apply! Do your best to fuse honesty and compassion in your communication, and forge ahead.

Human beings can be surprisingly resilient with a competent ally by their side.

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