Ask open-ended questions to get your clients to open up, listen carefully to their responses, then interject these phrases that will connect who you are as an agent directly to their needs.

“Here’s How I Can Help You…”

Ask your client: What challenges are you facing that you think would stop you from buying or selling?
This gives them a chance to alert you to possible problems in the transaction ahead of time and gives you time to think about how to work around them. Do they have credit issues? Are they upside-down on their current home? Do they need to renovate in order to get the price they want when they sell?

Once you have this information, you can tell them how your expertise will help them with their particular challenge. State what you’re most known for in your market, and relate it to their area of concern in the transaction. This is an opportunity to make a direct correlation between your particular real estate knowledge — which is what your brand is all about — and your client’s needs.

“Here’s How I Do My Job…”

Ask your client: What kind of agent do you want to work with?
This is a particularly good question for a client who is switching to you from a previous agent. Their answer will tell you what went wrong in the last transaction and in what areas they need your help the most. Maybe they want someone with more knowledge of a particular market segment, better follow-up skills, or someone whose personality jives better with theirs.

Here’s where you explain how you do what you do. Acknowledge the sensitive points your client brings up and explain how your own organizational skills and systems for doing business will make you a better fit for them as an agent. Someone who is organized enough to have their own business systems in place demonstrates a high level of professionalism. This speaks to who you are — an important component of your brand — and your clients will remember it as something that sets you apart.

“Here’s When I’ll Be in Touch…”

Ask your client: How do you prefer to communicate, and when do you want to hear from me?
Most consumers complain about a lack of communication from their agents, so this will give you an idea of how to set up a communication plan with you client so they always feel like they’re in the loop on the transaction. Make sure to determine the mode of communication they’re most comfortable with — whether that’s e-mail, texting, or calling — and the best and worst times of the day to contact them.

If part of your brand is centered around being a more responsive agent than the competition, now’s a good time to make a commitment around how often you’ll be in touch. If you promise weekly updates, make sure to tell your client which day and time you’ll be making contact, and then add it to your calendar and execute it faithfully. Having a communication plan will reinforce your commitment to be in regular contact with your client and to give them the information they need. There’s no better branding than that.

“My clients would tell you…”

Ask your client: What do you need in order to consider working with me a success?
This will prompt the client to get down to the brass tacks of exactly what they want from you. It will also allow you to circle back with them at the end of the transaction to ask whether you have met these goals — and that’s a prime opportunity to ask for a referral.

When your client tells you what they want from you, share the great things past clients have expressed about working with you. Send your client to your website so they can see your testimonials and be further exposed to your brand. Talk about your high referral rate and connect that directly to your unique selling proposition.

“The thing you should remember about me is…”

Ask your client: What else should I know about you?
This gives them one more chance to cover all the bases. Don’t be surprised if this question extends the conversation or brings up more personal topics. You may have a moment of silence as they rack their brain, but take special note of their answer. It will reveal things they want you to know that they might not have thought about until later.

Then reiterate something important about yourself. This is your final opportunity to hammer away at the one thing that makes you different than other agents. If your client can only remember one thing about you, what should that be? Think about your marketing tagline if you have one. That should be a clear identifier of what sets you apart.