Asheville- Real Estate Web 2.0 & BUILDING CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS 2009 Part 4
Re-connecting, Just Getting to Know or Building Sustainable Relationships—in the fast-paced Real Estate Web 2.0 Environment things are changing everyday. The face-to-face meeting and handshake may take place long after an initial “meeting” online.
This is a lot different than meeting folks at the local tailgate market or out on the myriads of trails here in the Greater Asheville area. Recently I was asked about the unique ways we REALTORS® build relationships given that 87% of consumers search online before they ever meet us.
...for answers I now turn to one of my favorite colleagues is JEFF DOWLER.
Here I am reBlogging what he has to say on the subject of Building rapport with consumers. I couldn’t say it better, Jeff!.
for Part 5 on what else to do besides establishing rapport... read HERE
Rapport, as everyone knows, is an essential part of building a relationship with clients, whether buyers or sellers.
In the “old” days this could not really occur until that call came in from a prospect about buying or selling, or you made contact with someone through a cold call, door knocking or other means. Even with the advent, and then proliferation, of agent websites the rapport building could not really commence until contact, via email or phone, occurred.
Web 2.0, and in particular blogging, has changed all that.
The words in our blog posts, and the soul that emerges, whether deliberate or not, heralds the birth of rapport with a reader. We don’t yet know who they are, what they want, nor why they are there, but the rapport, nonetheless, begins, and without direct intention on our part. Indeed, while rapport building in the past has always seemed intended…something we had to work at…blogging allows it to unfold and evolve without the pressure of focusing on building a relationship.
In our blogging rapport building is seemingly one-sided, for how can we develop rapport with an unknown entity, a faceless reader whose intentions, needs and personality are yet to be discovered? But can the reader not begin to establish a relationship with us without our even knowing it? Of course they do, unbeknownst to us.
Early on, before contact is made, rapport building is more generic, geared toward a faceless consumer we believe we want to attract – a first time buyer, a seller, someone seeking a second home, or perhaps a more non-specific audience. Focusing your writing on that which you know and understand about real estate and communities, and allowing your true self to unfold, will encourage that magical rapport building to begin.
The next phase of rapport building comes into play with that first contact from the faceless consumer – a comment, a question, an email or even a phone call – perhaps days, weeks or months after the birth of the relationship. It is this point at which we can truly begin the more intentional rapport building
- providing the requested information
- answering a specific question
- anticipating the needs of a relocating homeowner and sharing details that will aid them in their decision making or home search without them even asking, or perhaps knowing that is what they need.
Once the contact is made, by email, text, or better yet phone, your efforts to create the relationship that will result in a consumer becoming a client can shift into higher gear. Listening to what is said, or written, and attempting to understand what is behind the spoken or written word, allows the rapport to further evolve, to become more reciprocal. Knowing when to continue the connection, or how, is the key to avoid overwhelming the person who is, quite possibly, not ready for the rapport-building blitz we often try to impart.
Do not make the mistake of turning a reader’s cautious inquiry into an assumed demand for your expert assistance that exceeds the consumer’s willingness to accept these overtures.
The next phase of rapport building emerges when a face-to-face contact results…once the consumer has reached a comfort level whereby our direct assistance is desired, and they cry out for that personal meeting. While in the past this truly began the traditional establishing of rapport, Web 2.0 has added another dimension, since the rapport is already well underway. Many of the uncomfortable or cautious interactions of the “first meeting” in the past have now been replaced by a heightened comfort level and sense of “knowing” made possible by our blogging. The consumer already knows much about us, likes what they see, and has taken the next important step in the relationship.
How many of us have experienced that feeling when first meeting the consumer who knows us through our blog, or when we meet a fellow Rainer and discover they are just as they appear on-line? Is it not different from how we met folks in the past?
Your opportunity for rapport building continues in that first meeting, but has already developed far beyond what would have occurred pre Web 2.0. Whether meeting in your office, or escorting a buyer who is relocating around in your car, the possibilities for enhancing the relationship are endless. And because the rapport is already well established, our initial fears and concerns of a first meeting become things of the past, bolstered by the interpersonal interaction already in place. We can truly focus on the client and their needs, worrying less about creating a bond with someone we don’t know as in pre-Web 2.0 days.
Do not underestimate the power of your blogging. Rapport Building 2.0 is here for you to embrace, and enable you to create relationships far beyond what could be accomplished in the past until well after you spent significant time with a client.
If I can provide more information about Carlsbad and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360
or email me at JDowler@remax.net.
All content copyright © 2007 Jeff Dowler Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits
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