Let's Talk About Communication
It's easy to forget, in the real estate industry, that communication between people is as important as it's ever been before — especially with the rise of technology. This is an issue in business and among people, in general. One of the most popular forms of communication these days is through our phones, though very few people actually use it as a phone. As REALTORS®, it's important to be aware of which forms of communication our clients are using so we can use their preferred method. This is also true for communicating with other REALTORS®. In this episode, Monica and Chris talk about different types of communication, as well as different attitudes to use while communicating.
Remember that we have to be professional 24/7 when it comes to communicating via technology. Just because we're not speaking with someone face to face, it doesn't mean our tone can't be interpreted or perceived as rude. This is something to be aware of as you’re communicating with your clients and other people in the business. Early in the relationship, treat communication formally, and respond to the communication pattern of the other person once you’ve established the relationship.
There are four different personality (DISC) types and each type has a different preference for communication. You have to be able to work efficiently and well with all of those people. You don’t have to be like everyone you work with, but you have to be able to communicate with them professionally.
You may also need to rely on several different types of communication to relay the same message. If you’re sending along attachments, or maybe an offer, you may also send a text or give them a quick call to let them know those things are on their way. Monica refers to this as the trifecta of communication. Waiting on only one method of communication could cost your client a deal.
Email is an especially sensitive form of communication. Things can get lost in transit or it's very easy to make a typo when entering an email address that could cause your email not to get to its intended recipient. There are also many third-party systems that handle email, and you could potentially unsubscribe from emails that might be important. Chris shares a tip — separate your business and personal worlds in your email. Make sure your real-estate-related items are going to a separate place from any personal emails to help ensure you're not missing important information you need. This will also help you compartmentalize distractions during the day.
Chris shares a strategy he has for maintaining his emails — the four D's. The first one is Delete: delete emails that aren’t important, or "junk mail." The second one is Delegate: get things to the appropriate party right away. Don't use your inbox as your to-do list. The third one is Do: respond to things that are time-sensitive but also take time each day to make sure you are responding to emails that need your attention. There are apps in the app store that manage emails that may have more features than the ones that come with your phone.
When communicating with text or email, make sure the people you are communicating with know who you are. That is, make sure in the text or email you have some type of signature so the recipient knows who are you and can get back in contact with you depending on the situation at hand. Make it easy to let people know who you are. One big takeaway: as REALTORS®, one of our big goals is to reduce resistance for our clients. Meditate on the systems in your business to see what you can do to make things easier for your client.
Challenge from Chris: Think about the question, What makes me an expert? As you continue to interact with your clients and consumers, make sure you are able to communicate what you do well. This also helps the REALTOR® understand their own self-worth and the position they have in the industry, and also provides something to build upon. Make sure you identify problems and share with your clients how you are going to solve them.
It is also important to keep your clients updated, regardless of what's going on. Monica talks about a template-type email that could be sent the same time each week that keeps clients in the loop. Chris shares an example of a daily follow-up, and the "no update update." If you’re working with a client on an issue, make sure you update them on the progress. Even if you don’t have an answer, let them know you’re still working on it so they don't wonder about it.
Being an awesome communicator really helps client retention, especially during times when the market changes. The tougher the market, the communication is likely needed. Tailoring your approach to suit the client's needs really goes a long way. If they think and know you are doing everything you can, the relationship stays strong.
Technology and communication are amplifying your ability to have one-on-one conversations with your clients. You have to prune both sides, the tech and the personal relationship, to create effective communication between you and your clients.
Monica's final tips: When you get an email, make sure you send a quick reply to acknowledge the email. For emails, think about using a strong subject line to make it stand out. If you work in teams or with assistants, make sure the transfer of communication is clear, so the right person is getting the right information.
About Chris Donaldson
Chris Donaldson is a real estate broker, popular keynote speaker, teacher, business coach, entrepreneur, and leadership expert. A businessman with a teacher's heart, everything Chris touches begins and ends with the goal of helping you achieve what you want.
Jumping into the world of real estate while still just a college student, he quickly transitioned his love of teaching to become one of the youngest certified real estate instructors ever in his home state of Louisiana. Now the CEO of Donaldson Educational Services, Founder/CEO of Donaldson Training Solutions and active real estate broker, his daily mission is to make YOUR life and career better.
Passion and enthusiasm to help others are evident in everything Chris touches. Whether that simply means helping you obtain that new license you desire, making sure you understand your license requirements, compliance, and continuing education, or doing his part to help you excel with "next level" training to help you succeed — it is all under the umbrella of the businesses and efforts Chris works on each day. The goal is simple, that someone benefits from any of the programs, courses, books, free content, or anything else that is created by Chris and his amazing team.
Chris currently lives in New Orleans Louisiana with his beloved "watchdog," Putter. While not working on his businesses, he enjoys golf, fitness, and not burning down the kitchen trying to cook. Giving back to the community through various charitable foundations is always at the top of mind, especially those that can directly affect the lives and futures of those the organizations serve.