In real estate, communication is key


Are you ahead of the curve or lagging behind in your communication style? As you know in today's world of real estate, communication is an the center of everything we do. When was the last time you updated your style of communication? Do you text and email your clients? Do you pick up the phone and call them? Do you send hand-written notes periodically? Do you schedule face-to-face visits?

Those of us over the age of 45 (give or take) didn't grow up with computers, and some of us didn't even have them in school. We were thrown into the technology age and we had to sink or swim. I happen to be a swimmer. I have embraced technology in communication and actually teach classes at my real estate office. I also hand write notes to my contacts, and past clients a couple of times a year and I go and visit with them.

Communication is key in our business. Without proper communication we don't have a business. As real estate agents we don't sell houses, we sell our time. So, are you ahead of the the curve or lagging behind in your communication? I read a article today that said "the ability to communicate is a quality demonstrated by the best of the best." Great communicators know that this quality is as much about listening and making yourself available to another person as it is about relaying a message.

The Millennial generation is the "wave" of home buyers that is hitting the market now. This generation grew up with computers in their homes and schools. They are the first generation to grab onto technology and run with it. We need to understand what they expect in communication and we must be able to produce it.

There are three expectations that Millennials typically have:

• Speed. They expect rapid communication from us. The ability to reach out is not a luxury for them, its a necessity. Waiting 24 hours to call them about a new opportunity or to respond to an offer is unacceptable.

• Information. They can pull new home listings and mortgage rates off the internet so don't waste your time sending this. What they need from us is our guidance and negotiating skills. We know the home buying and due diligence process well. Give them what they need. As first-time home buyers most are not comfortable with these processes. Make them comfortable and they will become a client for life!

• Mediums. By now you should know how to text and email. If not, take a class. When important decisions need to happen (such as accepting an offer) nothing beats a face to face meeting or phone call. Other less important issues can be communicated via email, or text message. Millennials feel strongly about  these forms of communication, and if you reach out to them using their preferred method, you will become a trusted advisor.

Technology doesn't backtrack, it only moves forward, much like the generations that have become our business base. So, ask yourself, are you ahead of the curve or lagging behind in your communication style?

Heidi Kelley is a lifelong Rhode Islander who grow up in Riverside and graduated from EPHS. She became a realtor because she wanted to give clients the customer service and education every home buyer or seller deserves. She is affiliated with Keller Williams and can be reached at 401/633-4763.


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