Rapport can be defined as the harmonious relationship between people. It’s usually something felt mutually.
You need to establish rapport quickly with clients if you are to succeed in real estate.
While there are many instructions on how to build rapport, such as:
- Dress like the client
- Speak at the same pace as the client
- Repeat what they say
- Approve of what they say
- Show empathy
Etc. etc. etc., if you’re not careful these can become tricks or gimmicks.
Beware of tricks and gimmicks
While it may make sense to wear either casual or business close so you and the client are more in tune, there’s no reason you can’t learn to build rapport no matter how you are dressed.
Repeating what a client says can help make sure you understand them, or, if you’re coming from an insincere place can feel like mockery.
Learning to speak at the same pace your client is probably worth doing just as long as you remember that you are in the service business.
The truth is you need to care
A truth in real estate is that, for success, you need to be interested – to care about your client. When you’re genuinely interested you’re going to listen more carefully and respond from the heart with a desire to serve. When you care about a client more than your commission you’ll automatically want to be of ultimate service.
It’s this attitude of what I call being of service that will do more for your rapport building skills then any set of specific techniques. Those techniques will only have value for you if they help you learn to truly listen so you can give the best service possible.
People know how you really feel
Another truth in life as well as in real estate, is that for the most part, the people you meet know how you feel about them – just as you know how they feel about you. As human beings we are incredibly sensitive.
Just as you can tell when a waitress is angry even though she asks “how can I help,” so can that waitress tell if you’re likely to treat her with respect are not.
The same thing is true when you meet clients for the first or third time. They know if you’re working for them or only for your commission.
It’s actually fairly magical I think.
You don’t have to be “on” all the time
When you genuinely care about your clients they care about you. This is great because it means you don’t have to always be working just please them. In fact pleasing them may have little or nothing to do with actually being of service.
When you’re willing to let a deal go because it isn’t the best for your client you’re on the right track. When you insist on listing defects of a property accurately you know you’re caring the way you should.
Courtesy helps. When you know you’re going to be late for appointment and you call ahead with sincere apologies those apologies will probably be accepted.
Clients appreciate agents who can manage their time well most of time.
Clients know you are human
When you care about your clients, and when you’re genuinely honest and truthful with them they won’t begrudge you the occasional screw up – particularly if you admit it right away.
If you genuinely like people and want to help them solve their problems you probably won’t have to worry too much about building rapport. You can read the lists and even benefit from them, and your rapport building skill will surface naturally.
How do you build rapport with your clients?