Have you ever found yourself sitting in a meeting with a vendor and can't help thinking that you've forgotten something? Many experts will tell you that you ned to systemise and work through scripts and keep lists of what you need to ask. Now, I am a believer in systems but I am not a believer is sticking rigidly to a script or a list. Each client is an individual and each one needs your careful attention and tailored advice.
So, how do you make sure you have learned everything you need to know from just one meeting; after all, time is money. These 5 key points will make sure that you have covered everything you need to leave your client, the vendor, feeling like you have their best interests at heart.
1. Listen and listen again
Listening is a skill. We all hear words but we don't always hear the message. Words are used to convey an expression of feelings or portray an example of other people's behaviour, perhaps. They are the icing on the cake and do not necessarily convey the true message.
Listen again by asking questions about the vendor, his/her situation and most importantly, what they would like to achieve by selling the property. Then sit back and shut up. Give them room to explain and possibly vent about their problem.
Once you think you get it, test your listening skills by summarising their words. Go around again if you have to. Whatever, you do, be clear about what they want so you can deliver what they need.
2. Be honest about the property
It is highly unlikely that the property is a stunner. After all, they've come to you because they cannot sell it, right? So when they ask you why it hasn't sold and you think the old carpets and worn curtains are the problem, then tell them. But do keep point 4 in mind as you do so.
If you can be honest about that, you can be honest about everything else, can't you?
3. Understand the finances
As you listen to the vendor, certain numbers will start coming to you without even asking - the asking price, the outstanding loan / mortgage, the house that sold last week just down the road. take them all on board and write them down. If you have to ask for them too many times, you'll look unprofessional.
Also, keep a list of which numbers you must have before you go. Again, you do not want to appear unprofessional by asking for key data several days later.
4. Respect the property
There are some properties you would not buy because you cannot stand the décor. Just smile and carry on being professional. I don't think I have to say anymore.
5. Have all your tools with you
By tools I mean, the stuff you need to view a property as well as any paperwork you may need. So, make sure you have a torch, a measuring tape, a marble (to check if a shelf is level), the contracts, marketing brochures and if you are very modern, your tablet.
If there was just one key point to emphasise when being with a vendor, it is to be professional, no matter what is thrown at you. Keep smiling, nodding and focussed on helping the vendor. Do this and they'll love you forever.