As real estate consultants, we all want our clients to love us. We want them to love us so much that they will refer all their family and friends to us for business. But sometimes this is not always the response that we get. For any service provider customer-facing business there will always be clients who are less than happy with us. They come to us with high hopes about what we can deliver and if they think that we have failed to live up to the hype then we can bid goodbye to the future referrals. That’s a sad but true fact for any business.

Setting the Bar

So how do we at Gupta & Sen set up our clients’ expectations? How do we lay out our own ground rules? Its actually very simple. We tell our clients what to expect. Right at the outset of meeting us whether it’s a property buyer or seller we educate them about how a transaction generally flows. Most property buyers and sellers are either trying to buy or sell property for the first or second time and generally will always have lesser experience and knowledge about the property transaction process. We tell our clients at what times and days of the week we are available. We also inform them when they can hear from us next. Whenever we speak to our clients it is very likely that at some point in our conversation we will set a new expectation for them. So the key to setting our client’s expectations is to be careful about telling our clients what to expect.

Agent expectations real estate

Systems for Setting Clients Expectations

Every real estate consultancy that values its own brand and its services should have a client expectations list. This is a written list that every property buyer and seller can expect of us. Obviously one needs a different list for a buyer and a different one for a seller. Have a look below of what buyers and sellers can expect of our agents at Gupta & Sen. Each agent will have a slightly different version of the list based on his / her own style of work.

Sellers

What you can expect when you list your home with us for sale:

  • I will return your calls promptly. The best number to reach me is 99999-99999. You will hear from me within 2 hours if you call me between 9 am – 5 pm on weekdays. You will hear from me before noon the next day if you call after 5 pm or on my day off.
  • You will receive a copy of my typical schedule so that you will know the best times to reach me.
  • I will consult with you on the sale of your home. I will educate you about the property market so that you can make an informed decision that is right for you and your family. I will never try to make that decision for you.
  • I will help you to properly stage your home or help you hire professionals who can spruce up your house to make it in the best possible condition for buyers when they visit.
  • You will receive weekly updates on the progress of your listing. These may come in the form of phone calls, whatsapp messages or emails.
  • You will receive a copy of every ad that I place for your home before it is run – whether it is an online ad or newspaper ads and flyers.
  • We will review the market and also reckon how your house is positioned in relation to the market periodically. I will make recommendations based on these reviews.
  • I will be honest and fair with you in all my dealings with you as well as the buyers of your property.
  • I will negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deals while at the same time maintain a friendly atmosphere between us and the people from the buyer’s side.
  • When you accept an offer on your property, I will present you a list of all the things that you need to do before closing the deal.
  • I will act as a friend and guide throughout the transaction process. I have dealt with and continue to deal with a lot of people in transition and I can offer you advice and tools that will best equip you to handle the stresses involved in the sale.
  • I will participate in ongoing education so that I can be at the top of my game and that means attending industry conferences, seminars, developer meets etc. This means that as my knowledge is updated you get more value by associating with me. This will mean that I will occasionally not be available on certain days except during breaks.

Buyers

What you can expect when you hire me as your buyer’s agent:

  • I will return your calls promptly. The best number to reach me is 99999-99999. You will hear from me within 2 hours if you call me between 9 am – 5 pm on weekdays. You will hear from me before noon the next day if you call after 5 pm or on my day off.
  • You will receive a copy of my typical schedule so that you will know the best times to reach me.
  • You will receive daily updates on the properties available in your area and the price range that meets your budget.
  • I will never show you more than 6 properties in a day. This is for your own benefit so that you can accurately remember the houses that you have seen and are able to reflect appropriately on the houses and whether they suit your needs.
  • I will consult with you on the purchase of your home. I will educate you about the property market so that you can make an informed decision that is right for you and your family. I will never try to make that decision for you.
  • I will keep all your personal information confidential except what you expressly tell me to share with the sellers and their agents.
  • We will review the market and also reckon how your house is positioned in relation to the market periodically. I will make recommendations based on these reviews.
  • I will negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deals while at the same time maintain a friendly atmosphere between us and the people from the seller’s side.
  • When your offer on a house is accepted, I will present you a list of all the things that you need to do before closing the deal.
  • I will be honest and fair with you in all my dealings with you as well as the sellers of the property.
  • I will act as a friend and guide throughout the transaction process. I have dealt with and continue to deal with a lot of people in transition and I can offer you advice and tools that will best equip you to handle the stresses involved in the sale.
  • I will participate in ongoing education so that I can be at the top of my game and that means attending industry conferences, seminars, developer meets etc. This means that as my knowledge is updated you get more value by associating with me. This will mean that I will occasionally not be available on certain days except during breaks.

By setting the expectations of our clients right from the beginning we limit their ability to expect things we would rather not have to meet. This move also give us the opportunity to keep things between our clients and us to be reasonable, honest and on track. Below is an example of setting good expectations in relations to buying property.

Buyer and Agent Expectation

When I meet with a buyer for the first time I would tell them, “Great! Ok so be prepared. I know the local market so well that I should be able to find your house in six showings or less. If we get to the sixth house and you haven’t liked anything yet then maybe I didn’t understand what you really wanted. If that happens, we will go back to the office and go over what you want so that this time I make sure what you really want. Ok?”

By saying the above, I have communicated several things to my buyer. Firstly that they need to buy immediately. So that neither of us ends up wasting our precious time. Secondly the buyer does not need to see the entire market before coming to a decision because I know the market for them. And thirdly if they don’t find a house inspite of seeing 6 houses there will be a consequence – going back to the drawing board. At no point in the conversation did I say that they HAD to pick one of the first 6 houses shown to them. In fact I told the buyer that it would be my fault if I didn’t find the house for them. But I have also set up the expectation in their minds that they would possibly WANT to buy one of the first 6 houses.

It is obvious that if I use this approach I would have to be very careful about the houses that I show them. I should be showing them only properties that strictly meet their criteria. Or else I stand to lose face after I make this comment. Even if I do happen to show a property by accident that does not work for them I can always apologize saying, “Wow, I’m sorry I thought this house would be close to what you wanted. But trust me this is not what I expected to see myself when I entered the house.” This way I always let buyers know that I didn’t think the house was appropriate and it didn’t meet my own expectations.

Buyers Agents What to Expect

Discovering Hidden Expectations

Sometimes our clients have hidden expectations from us. They expected some things to happen or not happen that they haven’t told us yet. After informing them about the things that they can expect from us I believe that as agents we should also ask our clients what they would like to expect from us. That way we can get a chance to address the issues right at the very beginning. If the expectations are reasonable we can always accept them and if the expectations are unreasonable then we can always address them or come to a middle ground.

I usually don’t worry about telling a client upfront what are the services that he / she will not get from us and more importantly why they cannot get that service from us. I do that by letting them get behind-the-scenes in our business, explain how our business works and what our lives are like.

Chloe Dodd
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