While agents are dropping out of the business faster than homes are selling, the top agents are sharpening their skills, focusing more intently, and looking at how they can improve their overall service to their clients.

After being in the business for over 23 years as a salesperson, and a coach, consistently selling an average of 90 homes a year, and still being in the business in the midst of these most challenging times, I have learned many things. I want to share some of those with you now in hopes that you will pick up a few good ideas that you can use right away to do more deals, and more importantly to take better care of your customers and clients.

If you regularly read my articles and blogs, then you know I love to make points that are easy to read and digest. I’m going to do that format again here. These are the top ten ideas that I have learned, and coach my agents on, with how to put your clients needs first and win everytime.

1. If you want to build customers for life and get referrals consistently from your past clients, do the best job possible the FIRST time around. Actually tell them in the beginning that your goal is to create customers for life. Tell them you would like to take on that challenge with them. Ask them to communicate with you along the way, If there is anything they feel you should be doing better or different to satisfy thier needs. Ask for open lines of communication during your time together.

2. Ask them to give you a list of their expectations of you as their agent, so you can be sure to meet them.

3. Always under promise and over deliver.

4. Give your clients information. They can never have enough information. The more you give them the less they’ll call you and wonder what you’re doing to get the home sold or find them the right home. Provide them with market statistics, especially right now. Let them know how many homes are for sale, what’s the average price range that’s selling, whats the average time a home is on the market, what’s the average list to sale price ratio. Giving them information proves you know your business, and that you are genuinely interested in taking great care of and educating them along the way.

5. Ask questions. Ask questions. And ask more questions. The more questions you ask the better you can help them. Here are a few quick ideas:

FOR SELLERS

What are your plans once we get the home sold?

How soon are you looking to get the home sold?

What’s most important to you, getting the most money or getting the home sold in a reasonable time frame?

How much do you owe on the property so that I can prepare a net sheet for you showing what you’ll walk away with after all expenses?

What do you expect from me while we’re working together to get your home sold?

FOR BUYERS

What’s most important to you in buying a home?

What time frame are you looking to be in your new home?

Have you interviewed a couple different lenders to get the best interest rate and closing costs package that you can?

What questions do you have about the home buying process that I can answer for you?

What are you looking for in a home?

What ares are you interested in?

What are your expectations of me as your agent, while we’re working together to find you your perfect home?

Simple, and obvious questions we should always be asking, yes! But the question is, are you asking them every time?

6. Be in communication with your buyers and sellers no less than once a week. Just touch base, say hello, see if they need you. Update them on what you’re doing to sell their home or find them the right home.

7. Send your sellers copies of all advertising that you’re doing so they can see exactly what is being done to sell their home.

8. Email buyers daily with new listings until you find the right home for them. Doing this daily shows them that you are truly on top of the market and dedicated to finding them the best house at the best price.

9. Be contribution based and not self absorbed. Put your paycheck needs, your opinions, your self totally aside and simply “BE” with your client and their needs.

10. Align with your client in all cases. Acknowledge their objections, and needs. Say things to them before you respond with an answer like:

I understand how you feel, I would feel the same way, that makes sense, why of course you would ask that, that’s a great question. And then move forward with your response AFTER you make the client feel accepted and comfortable.

So, hopefully this is some information you can put to use right away toward taking excellent care of your customers and clients and creating customers for life.

I like to view all my clients with the letters MMFI on their forehead, Make Me Feel Important. Acceptance is one of the most important human needs. Accept your clients and their needs!

“Christy Crouch is the co-founder of You’re The Difference Sales & Life Coaching, co-author of the highly acclaimed real estate objection handler book, Now What Do I Say? a collection of more than 400 answers to over 70 of the most common questions and objections faced in the real estate industry. She is still an active agent in Virginia, has participated in closing thousands of transactions in her career, was inducted in the RE/MAX Hall of Fame for her production. Christy is in the top 2.3% of her marketplace. Her goal is to share what she’s learned with other agents to support them in having a highly successful real estate sales business while having a happy and balanced life. To learn more about her coaching and products please email her at christy@yourethedifference.com or visit her website at www.yourethedifference.com”