The Real Estate Coach
Are you looking for a new value proposition to set you apart from the competition? Are you looking for a way to explain to your prospective clients exactly how much you care? Then consider positioning yourself as a real estate coach for the public.
Life Coaching Hits the Scene
Five years ago, very few people had ever heard of life coaching. Even fewer could tell you what a life coach did. Today coaching has gone mainstream: it’s been featured in articles in Newsweek, USA Today, and in The New York Times. It’s been the focus of the TV series Starting Over and it’s been lampooned on The Daily Show. Life coaching has taken on a life of its own and more people are beginning to understand what it means to them. As an agent, you may even have a life coach of your own: someone who is there to get you through the tough spots, be your cheerleader and generally kick you in the butt to keep you moving towards your goals.
Coaching Our Clients
Does any of this sound familiar to you? It should. It’s exactly what we do for our clients. The best of us are part entrepreneur, part expert marketer, part negotiator, and part life coach. Most of us have applied what we know from our life experience and our business savvy to the job of helping our clients through the process of buying and selling their homes.
The most stressful events for people are death, divorce and moving - in that order. As agents, we are almost always dealing with one of these issues, if not two. Our clients need emotional support. They need someone to lean on. That’s where we come in.
A New Value Proposition
In today’s market where the internet is making more buyers and sellers question why they need an agent, it is more important than ever for us to find a value proposition that speaks to the hearts and minds of our potential clients. Many of us have been offering these services for years – it’s just a natural part of our personalities. But most of us have never put it forward to our clients and prospects as a benefit of working with us. We’ve never advertised it. We’ve never even put it into words before. I mean, what would you say? “I hold your hand through the transaction”? That’s not very compelling – and it’s a little smarmy.
Explaining the Benefits
But as life coaching gains in popularity, we have a new opportunity. We can explain to our clients about the stresses taking place in their lives during a move. We can talk to them about how each move represents a redefining of self (since part of our definition of who we are is where we live). We can talk about how the internal stresses can affect their ability to make good decisions, how being overwhelmed can cause them to shut down rather than move forward. We can discuss what they can expect of their unique situation (buying their first home, moving up, moving down, etc.) and provide them with tools to get through the process emotionally. In short, we can become a life coach to them for their real estate transaction.
Who Would You Choose?
Now, as a buyer or seller, if you had the option of an agent who would get your house purchased or sold and maintain a professional distance, or someone who would provide that service, but would also help you cope emotionally with the change – who would you pick? Based on my experience when I ask this question at national conventions, about 25% of you are probably thinking “I don’t want to get to know my clients better; I just want to sell them a house.” This value proposition is not for you. But for the other 75% of you, consider how you could instantly shift your business by presenting your abilities in this light.
Higher Quality Of Life
It has been my experience that the commitment to the agent-client relationship goes both ways. Agents, who invest heavily in their clients’ well-being, find that their clients invest emotionally in them as well. Their clients are willing to be patient when they take days off or go on vacation. After all, just last week that agent told them to take some down time when they were getting too stressed out. It would be ungrateful of them not to give their agent the same space.
A Connection Point
As a culture, we are cocooning. We are spending less time interacting in person with the people around us. This is causing people to feel isolated and disconnected from society. As a result, in business, the next decade is going to be about customer service, interactivity, and relationships. Everyone will be looking for a connection. Where there is fear (as there is in almost every real estate transaction), there is an even greater need for that connection. Offer a coaching relationship to your prospects and watch your conversion and referral rates, as well as your quality of life, skyrocket.
|About the Author
Kelle Sparta is a speaker and trainer specializing in the real estate industry. She is the author of The Consultative Real Estate Agent – Building Relationships that Create Loyal Clients, Get More Referrals, and Increase Your Sales. Kelle is the founder of Sparta Success Systems, a real estate training company that provides tools, products, and training to empower agents and brokers. For more information, visit www.spartasuccess.com