Turning Opinions Into Facts as an Agent to Better Educate the Client and Avoid Steering!
One of the first things they teach you when in school to become an agent, is to be careful of your wording always! Your life can be turned upside down very quickly by just using a few words. As an agent is very important to keep your opinions to yourself regarding some aspects of real estate. You may be quick to answer questions for your client because you care and obviously want the best for them. Although, sometimes instead of firing off a response. It may be more beneficial to take a step back and reassess certain questions before answering. If your client asks you for example "hey how's the school district in this area?" You may feel the urge to say "oh the school district is great your kids will love it!" It's a natural response especially if you know it is considered to be a great school district. But as an agent that's exactly where you made a big no no. What happens if someone else tells them it's a bad district? What happens if their kids don't like the school district? Well they essentially could turn around and sue you because of that opinion. The best approach to that question, and how to answer it correctly would be to answer with facts and no opinions. So go and google the school district, pull up some statistics on it. So if your client asks the question you can respond with " Well the school district is ranked number 4 in the state for best test scores. They have a 99% graduation rate. They also offer three additional sports programs than the neighboring county school districts offer. See how different that response is. You're now giving your client facts and now actually gave them useful information, vs facts that may be giving them false promises. This strategy can be applied to lots of questions your clients may ask. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is steering. As an agent if you are accused of steering, that could potentially be career ending. Let's say your client asks you how safe or unsafe the neighborhood is. Don't ever tell them your opinion. You could subconsciously be giving them your opinion based off of a prior experience or story from someone else. That is not fair to your client. Your client has to make that type of decision on your own. Also their opinion on safe vs unsafe may be vastly different than your opinion. When clients ask a question like this the best course of action is to direct them to a fact base source to find out the statistics of the area and let them make a decision. There are times where you may give your opinion. If a client asks a question like what you think color of the trim work in the bathroom of a home, surely you can give them your opinion on that. Anything that typically has facts behind it, or could be considered steering, it's better to guide your clients to reliable fact based information. This not only educates them, but it helps your clients make decisions on your own, and keeps your bases covered. This post is not me trying to scare you. It's for the purpose of helping you better educate your clients, give them the most accurate information, and help guide them in the right path! They will surely thank you later and will really show any client that you know what you're doing. I've noticed from my experience that giving your clients facts rather than vague opinions, helps build the relationship, and trust between the client and yourself. In my experience with my clients, most of the time the facts help them see certain realities that they never considered. They will remember that moment, and you forever. Especially if it saved them from making a poor decision they didn't even know they were making. That is the kind of agent you want to be viewed as! I hope this post gives you some guidance you may not even know you needed! Watch your words and educate with facts! If you ever have any questions please feel free to contact me.
C: (610) 716-3611
O: (610) 828-6300