Managing Your Clients’ Expectations

Written by Ali Calladine, April 27th, 2017

managing expectations

Don’t hold up your client’s beliefs that aren’t realistic.

Buying or selling a house is an emotional process. We often see pretty big gaps between people’s expectations and reality when it comes to Real Estate – whether in their expectations of multiple offers, what they think a house is worth, how fast they expect the process to be, etc.. Sometimes clients come in with these expectations, and sometimes we make a mistake that leads them astray.

As a REALTOR® it’s easy to see clients’ expectations as unreasonable, but often they’re just misinformed, hence why they’re hiring us. For the benefit of them and ourselves, it’s important we engage with and manage these expectations. Here are 3 key tips on how.

  1. Know their Expectations

Naturally, to manage expectation, you must understand them. It’s always better to understand the weather patterns and what’s on the horizon that to just wait for a storm to hit. The least you can do is ask. Ask what your clients’ expectations of their agent are, what they understand of the market, what they expect as a price, and why.

To go above and beyond, look for contradictions in how they talk about their dreams, their understanding, and their financial situation.

Talking about expectations gives you a lot more knowledge, but even more so, getting that conversation out in to the open will actually put your clients into the mindset of having realistic expectations rather than holding onto things that aren’t realistic but aren’t ever called out.

  1. Address them Early

Reigning in people’s expectations can be nerve racking. They’ll be disappointed, and based on who they are they might take it out on you. Don’t let this lead to procrastination or neglect on addressing their expectation gap. The longer people hold expectations, the more complicated those expectations become, and the more your clients will become attached to them.

As early as possible, you want to develop a well-rounded understanding of what people believe and why the believe that, and compassionately dissipate the expectations they have that are dangerous.

  1. Open up Possibilities

One of the reasons that it can be so hard for clients to have their expectations shifted is because they don’t feel like they’re losing control. You’ll find your clients respond much more positively to being brought back to earth with their expectations if the reality of the situation isn’t a dead end. Address what’s off in their expectations, and present all the different options that exist about where you can go given that reference point.

Addressing expectations is difficult. It takes practice and intuition to do it smoothly, but as you develop this skill, it’s better to be uncomfortable than to hold up your clients’ expectations that are unrealistic and will eventually crumble at times when emotions are running high and bad decisions have already been made.

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