Understanding motivation is quite possibly the most relevant key to selling fine homes. Stay with me on this one for a few paragraphs. This is a brief description of one discussion to help set the stage.
“My wife and I have vacationed for the last several years in Southern Arizona. We are strongly considering buying a winter residence in Oro Valley or maybe even Oracle so we can enjoy it more often as we get older. On a trip there last week, we
decided to see what our options might be. We asked a person at the Marriott (where we stay) to suggest a local real estate agent that could help us navigate the possibilities. Luckily, she recommended us to a sensational chap, Mark Finchem. What made Mark so special? He made me realize what true customer service is all about.
When we called him, he didn’t immediately talk about the ‘unbelievable homes’ he was going to show us or the fabulous ‘steal’ that was available in one of the condo developments. Instead, he asked to meet us over a cup of coffee so he could get to know us and what is important to us. I wasn’t necessarily into sitting down and trading pleasantries. I just wanted to see what was
available. My wife convinced me we should respect Mark’s request, so we did. Almost immediately upon meeting us, Mark asked a question that had never occurred to me, “What makes you come back to Tucson and southern Arizona year after year?” I think other people had always assumed they knew why we came back.
WOW! Actually I had never thought about the actual reasons that I loved the area as much as I did. Why had we forgone other luxurious vacation destinations ever since visiting Tucson? What made it so special? I learned that eve my wife had a few different reasons than me. I learned something about myself and my wife that day. Mark quietly listened. It was about us, not a house or a deal.”
I tell this story to provide a description between the transaction and the experience. In a day and age when “time is of the essence” has come to be measured in seconds instead of days, the ability of an individual to help people express what they really want is crucial. In the example above the crucial skill was to listening, but from the perspective of the buyer’s agenda not the broker’s. Listening takes time.
Finding a great home, at a great value is all well and good, but when the space does not fit the vision one has of “home” it is just not the right fit. while some would say pleasantries are a waste of time, I would say the topics that come up during the discussion provide clues to what is important to the principal. If a buyer raves about the weather, I’m think’in that is an important factor to him/her or them. If they focus on friends and family in the area, then we owe it to them to recognize that “family” in the larger sense is a key decision driver.
Service means many things to many people. Measure the people you deal with today by the best service you’ve ever experienced and you will help us all raise the bar.