Would you like to be the agent that clients rave about? Do you long to be appreciated for all of your hard work? Do you wish that your clients were less demanding? You can make all of these wishes come true, simply by managing your clients' expectations.
Don't Be A "Yes" Man
One of the biggest challenges you face as a real estate agent is that you're probably a people-pleaser. You want to say "yes" to every request. You never want to let the client down. You simply must get everyone to like you. As a result, you end up promising more than you can reasonably deliver. When this happens, you either work yourself to the bone to make it happen anyway, or you end up letting the client down. Both results are less than optimal.
People are either happy or unhappy with a level of service they receive based on whether it did or did not live up to their expectations. Let's face it - if you promise them the moon and the stars, they won't be happy when you only deliver the moon. Now if you had promised them only the mountaintops and delivered the moon, then they are stunned and amazed - WOWed in fact. We can determine how a client reacts to our services by providing them with a reasonable (a.k.a. easily attainable for us) set of expectations.
Give them a list of services that you provide. Tell them your policy for taking and returning phone calls. Give them a copy of a sample schedule for you that includes the days that you take off. Train them to understand when you are available and when you aren't. Explain the process of buying or selling a property to them in great detail. Tell them what is expected of them and what they can expect you to handle for them. When you set the clients' expectations for them, then they don't have the chance to set those expectations anywhere else. It leaves no room for them to be overly demanding without seeming unreasonable.
Avoiding The Trap
The other benefit of telling people up front and in writing what it is that they can expect when they work with you, is that you don't have the opportunity to shoot yourself in the foot by promising more. When you sit down to write up these pages of expectations, you will do so in a quiet environment with no one in front of you asking for your help. You can be reasonable and rational when setting out what services you can provide. You can leave out a few items in the written list, so that you can throw them in later as the "WOW" factor. Then, you can hand those carefully crafted sheets to your clients without fear of what you've just gotten yourself into.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that your clients don't know what to expect until you tell them. They don't know what you've done unless you tell them. Set your clients' expectations at a reasonable level and then exceed them. Do this consistently and you'll watch your repeat and referral business grow exponentially.