And how it can help your business

If you know Rachel likes to text, and Eli hates phone calls, it can help cement great relationships that will see you through multiple home purchases. I've talked about the importance of a great database here, but I can't reinforce it enough. But beyond a great database, how else can you ensure you're connecting with your clients?

Luckily, I've got a few easy suggestions on ways to connect with your clients emotionally. And luckily, they're just that - easy.

When a client walks into a home, do they walk gingerly on the old shag carpet? Not bother opening closets? Are their arms crossed the entire time? It should be clear already - they’re not interested in this home, at least not as-is. Stop selling the as-is features, and check in to see what they’re really thinking.

Sometimes easier said than done, but always important. Don’t just consider what your clients are saying - consider what they’re not saying as well. If someone is lamenting about the loss of outdoor space when moving from a house to a condo, but keeps reassuring you, ‘it’s fine, they’ll get used to it,’ they might be pleasantly surprised if you offer to show them a few houses, ‘just in case they’re interested.’ You’ll show your value, and they’ll appreciate your sensitivity and perception.

If you notice your clients only respond to your emails at night, or call you back when you text them, it could be an indication that they prefer to communicate in a different way. Follow their lead and mimic their style, and you may end up with happier, and more satisfied clients.

Consider starting any relationship, whether with buyers or sellers, with a questionnaire. See what their fears are, what they’re excited about, and what’s a priority with them. This also has the added bonus of protecting you and giving you the opportunity to ask about outstanding loans, home info, etc. Track it in your database so it’s always handy to reference.

When in doubt - ask. Instead of guessing on how your clients like to communicate, or what they value, ask them, and get a straight answer that helps both of you work better together. 

Looking for more ways to boost emotional connections with your client base? Let’s book a call and work together to create long-lasting client relationships.

It doesn’t have to

It's a classic scenario - you've got important plans you made weeks ago, when a client wants a last-minute showing. 

You: 

a) Cancel all your plans immediately and book the showing. This could be it!
b) Tell them you'll book something for next week, and risk losing the sale. 
c) Wait... there's another option?

You’re not alone if you find it tough to navigate your personal and work life balance. There are thousands of articles out there on how cell phones, social media, and competitive job markets have led to a lifestyle of always working. But trust me - creating some personal time doesn’t mean you have to risk losing your sales, and it’s critical when you run your own business. 

Figure out how you like to work. If you’re a person that loves the thrill and excitement of closing that sale no matter what - at the risk of always being available to your clients - that's great. However, that work style may not work for everyone, and may not be sustainable in the long run. If you prefer having set hours that you respond to messages and clients, that's great too. You might find it easier to manage your personal life, but there could be implications from a client perspective as well. A lot of it will come from managing expectations and the communication you have with your clients. Be true to you: if you know you’re the kind of person that needs alone time - having a working model of "always on call" might not be for you.

In the long run, experts say time off to recharge is critical to your long term success. And as hard as it is, when you’re self-employed and feel like you should always be connected, remember: it’s okay to take some personal time.

Put in time now, gain it back later

I know, I know - it'll only take a second to send that client info over. And then, just three minutes, maximum, to confirm the showings for tomorrow. 

But hey - we both know you'll be at your laptop for another three hours - not three minutes. The fact is, there's just always one more thing that can suck you in. So - how do you fight the compulsion and deal with all those small tasks that take just one more minute?

Well, I’ll tell you - and you might not like it.

It’s all about putting in the work now, to save you time later. It might seem like it’s more work, but trust me, streamlining and prepping your tasks is going to save you hours down the road. 

Here’s a few of the biggest timesucks you can find yourself with, and how to correct them:

Still feeling overwhelmed? Not to worry - after all, that’s what I’m here for. Book a quick intro call with me, and find out how you can streamline all your tasks with just one move: hiring me to do it for you.

Let’s talk self-auditing

There's nothing like a good audit to get your juices flowing, am I right?

Believe it not, no, I'm not joking. Completing a self-audit is one of the most helpful (and satisfying) tasks you can do, and one of the easiest ways to give your business a facelift while keeping costs low.

This process can seem overwhelming, but here are three great places to start.

  1. Gather all your materials and assets

As Marie Kondo knows, it’s tough to evaluate what you have if it’s not all together. Start by compiling all your materials, from your website, to your latest take-homes, to your online profile bios and any advertising materials. Are they all saying the same thing, or do they look like they could be from multiple agents? Do you have more materials than you really need?

  1. Ask for reviews

Your clients and coworkers might be your strongest critics, but they should also be your biggest advocates. Consider sending out an anonymous survey, or book one-on-ones (lunch should be your treat!) with a few trusted people, and find out what they loved - and didn’t love - about working with you. Did they find you emailed way too frequently? Missed sending them important listings? Or did they love how organized you were and how you took the time to walk them through something new? The important thing here is to look beyond some of your best relationships, or you’ll risk getting a skewed opinion - remember, this is about improving, not giving yourself a pat on the back.

  1. Find your biggest areas for improvement

The best place to start is with the things that will make the biggest impact. This could mean anything from redoing your marketing materials so your key messages are clear and look consistent, or it could mean revising your selling strategy. Don’t let yourself get sucked into the small changes that, while easier to make, won’t make an impact on your bottom line in the same way that more daunting tasks can. 

If you’re not sure where to start on a self-audit, or want a professional opinion on what your biggest improvement options are, book a quick call with me and let’s talk.

Can you afford to hire yourself?

Being self-employed, our income is never steady, and never a sure thing. We often find ourselves trying to do every task ourselves just to save a few dollars - but is that actually costing you more money?

Consider what you could be doing instead of all those small tasks. Does all the time you're spending filing documents or updating your website equal a sale? Was it worth it? In some cases no - but in some cases, maybe so. 

Whether it was your favourite subject in school or not, it's time to do a little math to calculate what's worth your time, and what's not.

First, figure out what your time is worth. As real estate agents, we may not charge an hourly rate, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a ballpark number of what your time costs per hour. You can break this down by looking at your total income over a year, and how many hours you invested in your business. 

Next up: compiling all those tasks, and how long it takes you to complete them. Try tracking your time over a week, or even a day. How long does your average showing last? Your end of day paperwork? The time spent writing a contract? The short administrative tasks?  Once you know how long those tasks take, you’ll be able to determine if they’re worth it to outsource. 

Now - let’s put them together. If it takes you an hour to update a contract, and you determined your rate was $100/hour, it’s worth it for you to be the one to update that contract, unless you can find someone else to do it for less than that. But if your hourly rate was $500/hour, you can probably find an intern to junior colleague to update for you because it’s actually not worth it for you to lose out on $500 that could be invested elsewhere.

But remember these two important risks:

If the intern writing up the contract makes a crucial mistake, it could cost you a lot more than $500. Is the task at hand more important than the dollar amount you assigned to it? And, if you’re not using that hour you just gained to do something that contributes to your business, it’s not $500 you just gained back - it’s money you just lost paying someone else to do it for you.

For a more personalized look at how analyzing your tasks can affect your bottom line (or your take home salary) let's schedule a call, and let's crunch the numbers together.

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