Working with clients during a time of uncertainty
Home buying and selling is already a stressful experience in itself without the addition of a global health pandemic. High market volatility, government mandates restricting business operations and an unknown future can be a cause of anxiety for your clients. Here’s how you can be a voice of reason and comfort during a time of uncertainty.
While communication has always been a pillar of good client relations, it becomes all the more important during a time of crisis. Reply to emails, text messages and voicemails promptly. At a time when human interaction is lacking, prioritize phone and even video calls over email and texts to replace the face-to-face meetings you would have had otherwise. Listen more than you speak. Your clients will instantly feel a little better just sharing what’s on their minds.
Your clients will be eager for answers, like when the pandemic will end, when open houses will return or when the market will rebound. But these times are unprecedented and it’s okay to be honest and say that you don’t know what’s going to happen. Your clients will appreciate your honest approach and it’s a better stance to take rather than misleading with false assurances. You’re welcome to share your predictions, but make sure you convey that they are predictions and not facts. Better yet – back up your predictions with market data and reliable sources.
Keep up to date
On that note, make sure that you’re keeping up to date with the latest news releases, restrictions and market data available. Ideally, you’re beating headlines and social media by sending relevant updates and links to your clients so they hear it from you first. It’s a great way to build trust with your clients during this time as well.
The market has slowed but things haven’t come to a halt. As of publishing, real estate agent services and operations are still considered an essential service in Ontario and British Columbia. So while events like open houses aren’t happening, properties are still being listed, bought and sold. With the uncertainty of the pandemic, it just means that transactions are moving slower than they normally would. The best thing you can do is convey this to your clients so they can realign their expectations.