Meeting the Home Buyer: 5 Steps to Leave an Incredible Impression
Meeting a home buyer for the first time can make you feel like you're on a first date — What should you say? Where should we meet? How can I impress them?
When you're trying to win business, the stakes can feel high. But there are some tried and true ways to impress potential new buyers, showing them they should trust you with their business.
- Find a good location to meet
- Make a connection with them
- Do your homework before meeting the buyer
- Don't ask if they're preapproved
- Avoid pushing the buyer-broker agreement
As you advance through your real estate career, these tactics will become like second nature. Here's how we recommend impression potential home buyers in a first meeting:
Find a Good Location to Meet
The location of your meeting is key to making a great first impression with new buyers, as it will set the tone of the relationship moving forward.
First and foremost, the location should be convenient for your potential client. You don't want your potential buyer going out of their way to meet with you, and you want to ensure the location is comfortable for everyone.
While some realtors might be inclined to meet at a nearby coffee shop or restaurant, the ideal place to meet a potential client is at your brokerage's office.
You'll have the resources you need, like WiFi, printers, coffee, and a desk.
By inviting them to your brokerage's office, you're showcasing your professionalism and showing from the initial meeting that you are a credible and established agent.
When you meet at a restaurant or coffee shop, you risk a loud, unfavorable environment to conduct business.
Make a Connection with Them
When you meet with a new buyer for the first time, you want to know those clients for the individuals they are — not just as another deal or transaction.
Buying a home is an emotional process for many clients, and they want to feel that they can trust and count on their realtor. It is one of the most significant purchases they'll ever make!
When building a connection with someone you've just met — and especially someone you might be in business with — you want it to be a natural conversation about shared interests or backgrounds.
Ask about their family, sports, where they went to school — things that indicate you're interested in their life outside this real estate transaction.
Clients can determine when an agent forces or fakes a connection to get their business. So instead, be genuine in your approach and slowly build the relationship authentically.
It will benefit you and your reputation in the long run, plus make the client feel at ease!
Do Your Homework Before Meeting the Home Buyer
Real estate agents should be empathetic and understand that the home buyers they're working with likely have a million questions about the process and what it takes to buy a home.
Being ready and able to answer their questions will help boost your credibility and build trust with new clients.
When you meet with a client for the first time, walking them through the process and what they can expect from start to finish can help alleviate anxieties around what comes next.
They will likely have questions like "How do I make an offer?" or "How can I get connected with a lender?" As their agent, guiding them through the process is your top priority, so coming prepared and doing your homework ahead of time is crucial.
The longer you're in the business, the more you will notice the same questions come up over and over. So practice how you respond to common questions and hone in on how to communicate clearly with your client.
Don't Ask if They Are Preapproved
It can seem like a simple and obvious question to ask your clients —"Have you spoken with a lender to get preapproved to buy a home?"
While rooted in common sense thinking, asking that question to potential clients can be insulting and should be approached with the utmost sensitivity.
It implies they don't have enough money to buy that house or can't get approved with a mortgage.
If you're concerned that a potential client wasn't appropriately approved or has the financial means to buy a home, you should pause before asking any potentially insulting questions.
Instead, you can rephrase the question of the lender's preapproval to ask, "Will you be buying this home in cash? Or will you be taking advantage of the historically low-interest rates?"
Asking it this way flips the question and flatters the buyer by implying they could pay cash for the home. A win-win all around!
Avoid Pushing the Buyer-Broker Agreement
In real estate, a buyer-broker agreement can protect the real estate agent from losing out on commission or having a client decide to use another agent during their home search.
It's a contractually binding agreement that states the buyer will work only with you, their agent, to buy a home with a specific commission amount.
While some brokerages strongly encourage all agents to have a buyer-broker agreement signed before working with buyers, it can also add pressure and stress for the home buyer.
A potential client who initially was interested in working with you might be spooked off once the legal jargon and signing on the dotted line are brought into play.
As an agent, determine if and when is the right time to have a client sign one of these agreements. When executed appropriately, an agreement protects all parties down the line.
Final Thoughts on Meeting Homebuyers for the First Time
Meeting new home buyers can be intimidating, no matter how long you've been in the real estate industry.
But if you see every new meeting as a chance to show your value, win new business and build great relationships, you'll excel at wooing all your new clients.
TL;DR: Think about what your buyer would WANT to see in their first meeting with you. They want someone who is professional, knows their real estate, and will make the process easy for them, right? You can show them that by creating the perfect experience for them.