Jul 18, 2023 12 min to read
Face-to-face meetings are everything.
In an era dominated by technology and digital communication, and in the years after literal lockdowns and social distancing, the true power of face-to-face meetings often gets overlooked.
However, in estate agency, the value of these truly personal interactions cannot be overstated.
If you were to look at your pipeline today, you could track its size (and your level of anxiety about the future) back to the in-person meetings you held in the past. Too many agents are hiding behind a screen or a phone and are suffering because of it.
We want to light that fire back underneath you by highlighting (perhaps obviously) why face-to-face meetings are the cornerstone of success in estate agency and provide a few proven ways to book more ‘real-life’ meetings to elevate your business to new heights.
There is immense power in personal interactions.
Think about it for a moment; who are the professionals you trust the most? Doctors? Dentists maybe? Why? Because you always go and see them (or they come and see you).
This is why they’re held in such high regard.
But as agents, when we need to deliver tough feedback, or have a conversation around price, or even just do ‘vendor care’, what do we do? We just phone. Or worse, we email.
Think about the last time you had an in-person meeting with a client. What was the outcome of that meeting? I would wager it was positive and the relationship, if nothing else, moved forward.
Face-to-face meetings are more than just formalities; they are the heart and soul of our profession. Nothing truly positive happens until we have that personal connection.
Take a look back through your calendar since the start of the Summer. How many actual meetings have you done? Split them into valuations and viewings (anything else is not a pound-productive meeting). You’ll notice that the number of face-to-face meetings directly correlates with your success (and bank balance). They are where trust is built, emotions are understood, and deals are done.
Let’s explore some strategies that can help you maximise these crucial meetings and take your estate agency to the next level.
New Vendors – Building trust from the start
When approaching new vendors, it’s essential to show them why you’re different to your nearest competitors, rather than just tell them. Find them a buyer first – someone who’s genuinely interested in their property. You’ll have a list of ‘hot’ buyers in your CRM. Find one (find 10!).
Engage with the would-be sellers about these buyers to genuinely test their motivations. Offer to take some photos of their home (even just on your phone) to show to your list of verified potential buyers to gauge their interest.
The photo-call gets you face-to-face and even if they don’t end up selling with you then, you’ve been inside their home and that matters when their ‘right’ time does come. You’ve been proactive, you’ve started to build trust and most importantly, you’ve been face-to-face.
Existing vendors – Get the results you need, the right way.
For existing vendors, maintaining a personal touch is equally crucial. Too many agents hide behind emails, when delivering anything but a viewing request or an offer, once they’ve won the business.
When discussing pricing, marketing strategies, or property presentation, always go face-to-face. This personal touch can make all the difference in their confidence in your abilities and their perception of your own ‘care factor’. By giving them your actual time, rather than your email time, you are delivering the news they need to hear (and would expect to hear from a true professional) and are emphasising that you’re with them every step of the way. By doing so, you’ll not only get the result you need (perhaps movement on the asking price, or a further investment in the marketing) but also retain them as a loyal client.
Buyers – go above and beyond.
Buyers, especially those who need to sell their current property, require special attention.
Show them that you’re invested in their journey by offering a personalised whistle-stop tour of their dream area/s. Put them in your car and let them hand-pick the houses they love most, and actively ask for the ‘why’ behind their choices. This approach goes beyond mere transactions; it shows genuine care for their needs and aspirations and actually becomes an experience that will stick with them into the future (meaning you are THEIR agent, and likely the agent for their friends and family too).
Moreover, if they have a property to sell, you can more easily suggest that you should come and see it when you drop them home at the end of the off-market tour. Chances are you’ll have a buyer for their place too, and now that you’ve put their needs ahead of your own, they won’t think twice about accepting this next phase of professional advice and support too.
Bringing it all together…
The power of face-to-face meetings in estate agency cannot be underestimated. They are indeed the most exciting part of the business.
Personal interactions build trust, create strong relationships, and provide invaluable insights into your clients’ needs. They enable you to show your true value (and personality), overcome objections, offer tailored solutions, and negotiate effectively. Face-to-face meetings leave a lasting impression and set the stage for long-term success through referrals and repeat business.