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Meeting and Exceeding Clients’ Expectations

May 19, 2018 by

HSA Home Warranty’s high-quality, comprehensive plans benefit buyers and sellers alike

No matter the market, real estate professionals are committed to going above and beyond for their buyer and seller clients. For Paddy Coan, manager at Jack White Real Estate in Wasilla, Alaska, and her licensees, home warranties are a key component to meeting—and exceeding—clients’ expectations as they make their way through the home-buying or -selling process.

A popular locale for investors and military personnel alike, Coan notes that the tremendous amount of new construction in the area has made for a vibrant community.

“In 1997, when I first started working as manager at Jack White Real Estate, there were 30,000 people calling the area home. Today, that number has risen to 110,000,” says Coan, who goes on to explain that most of the area’s housing stock was built after 1992.

And thanks to the firm’s longstanding relationship with HSA Home Warranty—a premium warranty provider that’s been offering high-quality, comprehensive plans and superior customer service for over 30 years—Coan and her licensees can rest assured that their clients go through the real estate process with an added layer of built-in comfort.

“I’m a strong proponent of home warranties as part of our company risk-management program,” explains Coan, who notes that educating clients about the benefits associated with a home warranty provides a bit of a safety net should a covered appliance or major component of a mechanical system break down from normal wear and tear after the transaction has been completed.

In fact, Coan recently had a client wake up to a warm refrigerator—an issue that was resolved with a quick call to a dedicated 800 number all buyers and sellers have access to.

While each and every client who walks through the company’s door has the opportunity to take advantage of everything the home warranty has to offer, Coan explains that buyers and sellers alike are reaping the rewards—with upwards of 90 percent of the firm’s listing clients choosing to add seller’s home warranty coverage, in effect during the listing period to the new buyer’s coverage, which takes effect once the home sells.

Working with HSA for the past 10 years, Coan has been nothing short of impressed with the relationship from the get-go. And that includes her local HSA rep, Yvette Maldonado.

“Yvette has made our working relationship with HSA even more valuable. Not only does she take the time to educate our agents about the features and benefits of the program, but she also goes above and beyond when dealing with our clients,” says Coan.

“In the end, having a home warranty changes the way our clients feel about things as they buy or sell a home—and well beyond,” concludes Coan.

For more information, please visit www.onlinehsa.com.

Tepping_Paige_color_60x60Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at paige@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Staying Top-of-Mind With Clients During the Holidays

Dec 7, 2017 by

For many buyers, the holidays take priority over the home search, creating a seasonal slowdown. However, in 2017, existing-home sales show that January and March were the top two producing months (year to date), leaving us to wonder if clients are waiting for a fresh start to their search. This seasonal slowdown presents REALTORS® the perfect opportunity to seek out new ways to stay top-of-mind, and start the new year on the right track when buyers are ready to continue their search.

A Season’s Greeting
A simple gesture is all it takes to win over buyers during the holidays. A great way to stay top-of-mind is by utilizing a tried-and-true method of sending a smile: the holiday card. Holiday cards are inexpensive and easy to design. Furthermore, taking the time to design a personalized holiday card and handwriting a note are sure to let your recipient know you care.

If your budget allows, you can send a gift card with your holiday card. Gift cards tend to be the easiest way to go, but there are ways to make it more meaningful. For example, if you know your client is looking to move to a certain area, find a local coffee shop or restaurant and get them a gift card from there, instead of a franchise they can find anywhere.

Be Helpful
As the community expert, you can provide buyers with plenty of helpful information during the holidays. Creating custom email campaigns to suit your client’s needs is the easiest way to achieve this.

While your clients are preparing for their holiday festivities, ease their stress by creating a list of local caterers, event rental places, family photographers and other services they can benefit from throughout the holidays. This also increases the chances that these companies will refer you to someone else. For clients with smaller homes, offer tips on how they can make their small home feel larger for holiday parties. You can send sellers tips on how to decorate their home during the holidays without losing potential buyers.

Spread the Joy
Take full advantage of the holiday season when creating social and email campaigns. Design your content and layouts with festive designs to spread the joy of the season.

For instance, most cities or communities have their own light shows or tree lighting ceremonies each year. Send clients the times and locations of these events where they live, or will be moving to, so they can see firsthand the sense of community the area has to offer.

Whether it’s through social media, email or direct mail, staying top-of-mind during the holidays is all about telling your clients that you are here for them. By utilizing these three tips, you are sure to be their top choice come the new year. If you are looking to connect with more motivated buyers this holiday season, look no further than Homes.com’s Local Connect program. New inventory is now available, just in time to start the new year off right! Click here to learn more.

For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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3 Reasons Your Clients Should List During the Holidays

Dec 1, 2017 by

Before the internet, buying a home involved long hours of flipping through MLS books and driving prospects around neighborhoods; something many agents just didn’t have time to do during the busy holiday season. Now that buyers are able to search, filter, and scan through potential listings without leaving their couch; home buying during the holidays has never been easier. Here are three reasons why your clients should list during the holiday season.

  1. Capitalize on less competition.
    During the holiday season, sellers can feel like they don’t have enough time to maintain their home for showings or negotiate potential offers. Because of this, they wait and re-list their homes at the beginning of the coming year. While this may make sense for some, it can also mean major missed opportunities.

The smaller number of listed properties can work out in your seller’s favor since more potential buyers can potentially see your client’s home. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity by telling your clients to keep their homes show-ready at all times and recommending the best listing price possible. If your client’s home has been on the market for a while, this may be an opportune time to consider a price adjustment.

  1. Enhance the emotional experience.
    Buying a home is an emotional experience for both the buyer and the seller. Often, the buyer’s emotional connection to the home is what really solidifies the sale. The holidays are an especially sentimental time for many, as they bring back warm memories and allow buyers to imagine future celebrations.

Selling a home over the holiday season enhances the emotional connection that a potential buyer can make with your client’s home. Foster this opportunity by reminding sellers to stage their home accordingly. Since different types of potential buyers will be coming to visit, avoid including overly religious decor. Instead, opt for simple and classic, such as a wreath on the door, a simple tree devoid of children’s popsicle-stick decorations in the main room, and subtle garland in the kitchen. Also, consider burning a pine or cranberry-scented candle for those buyers who come over for a tour.

  1. Work with motivated buyers.
    If someone ventures out to look for a home during the holiday season, it’s clear that they’re a motivated buyer. Take advantage of this opportunity by making sure the property is marketed in the best way possible. This could be a great time to update listing pictures, check in with your clients on their listing price, or re-post the listing on your social pages or blog. In addition to this, remind sellers that they should be flexible around this time, in case a potential buyer wants to schedule a last-minute showing. This is also a reason why the listing should be in peak-showing condition.

Follow these tips and hopefully your clients will be out with the old and in with the new by New Year’s Day! If you are looking to connect your sellers with motivated buyers, look no further than Homes.com’s Local Connect program. New inventory is now available, just in time for the holiday season! Click here to learn more.

For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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How to Make Difficult Clients Happy

Jun 1, 2017 by

Human emotions play a significant role in the home-buying and -selling process. Sellers may feel excited to be moving into a new home; however, at the same time, they may feel remorse and sadness for leaving family memories behind. Homebuyers may be overwhelmed with wonder and glee to start a new life, but worried and cautious about the responsibilities of owning a home. As a real estate professional, you work in the service industry and deal with these types of emotions every day. Luckily for you, many clients are happy and thrilled to start their new life—but that isn’t always the case. Difficult clients are part of the business, but with a few tips, you can turn a hardship into a profit.

Listen
Many difficult situations arise because the client feels like they are being ignored—a situation that can be avoided if you listen to your client’s needs, wants, and negotiables from the start. Create an “interview” process for all clients prior to working with them to find out all this information. This is the perfect time to ask questions to figure out what the client is looking for, as well as understand them as a person.

Some situations need to be seen from the other person’s point of view. By constantly trying to make them see things your way, you are telling them that their concerns don’t matter and are not important. Think about how you would act in this situation and give the client a response in a manner you would like to hear and/or see.

If the client is already feeling frustrated and you see signs of difficulty arising, let the client talk until they have finished stating their worries and/or concerns. This lets the client feel like they are being heard and listened to. This is also the perfect opportunity to start evaluating different solutions you can offer your client, then once they are done, acknowledge that their concerns matter and move the conversation towards the end result, rather than continuing to focus on the problem.

Communicate
Have you ever heard the saying “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it?” You might be the cause of difficult situations without even being aware of it. A great way to overcome this is by mimicking your client’s tones and dialogue. For instance, if your client is using a more professional tone and you are using a more laidback tone, then slightly adjust yours to the level of the client.

By watching your client’s body language, you can notice if they are uncomfortable with the way you are speaking. Take note of what phrases and words are being used and see if/when they react to what is being said. By adjusting your speech, you should see the client relax and calm the situation before it escalates.

Educate
Sometimes, as an expert of your field, you may communicate with clients in a manner that makes them feel like you are patronizing their intellect without even knowing that you are doing it. As a real estate agent, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the industry and market trends, and know to communicate this knowledge to clients. With a clear understanding of the industry, your clients will be less likely to disagree with your insight. This is especially helpful when dealing with unrealistic pricing issues.

Be Goal-Oriented
Selling/buying a home can be an excruciatingly long process and create frustration for your client. They want to be updated often and see results quickly. As an agent, you want to stay goal-oriented and focus on the end result. Create a document that can be easily updated with what tasks have been completed and what still needs to be done, so your client can have a visual aide showing where they are in the sale.

Know Your Limits
Differences in personalities can be the cause of major difficulties within the client/agent relationship. As a service provider, you need to learn how to deal with all types of personalities in order to make the sale; however, there are times when the client’s personality just doesn’t mix well with yours. When this happens, it might be best to refer the client to a friend or a different member of your team who could provide the client with better service by understanding how to deal with their personality type.

There might come a time when you have tried everything possible and still failed to maintain a positive client/agent relationship. If your situation ever becomes so toxic (for you) that it outweighs the potential revenue, it may be better to cut your losses than to continue moving forward with this client. Once you do, you can take the time that would’ve been spent with this difficult client to work with a more productive client. Let Homes.com Local Connect introduce you to leads in your area. Secure your zip codes today.

For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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