Q: What advice would you give to agents for assisting non-tech savvy clients?
A: There’s no doubt that in this day and age the real estate industry is becoming more and more tech savvy, where successful agents fully embrace new technologies and deploy the latest tools to generate leads, build client bases and grow their business.
So it can be complicated when you come across clients who don’t use or understand modern technologies and still rely on old school methods of communication.
These kinds of clients can disrupt how effectively you communicate with them, your typical sales routine and how successful you are at doing your job.
Here are my top 10 tips for doing business with non-tech savvy clients:
- Your first step should be sussing out what your client's tech knowledge is (if any), so you know where to start from. Ask questions like "What technology do you currently use?", "How do you search for property at home?" and "What sites or devices have you used in the past?"
- Use plain English and skip the jargon. Keep your explanations simple and avoid using complicated terms and acronyms. For example, say wireless Internet connection instead of WiFi. You may be enthusiastic about what you’re explaining but you won’t make any progress if they simply don’t understand what you’re talking about.
- Use familiar references and examples to help explain the technology and its function. Positioning a concept within a setting the client is already familiar with will help to contextualise the info you’re giving them. For instance, you could explain the purpose of a smartphone as being "a phone book, atlas, telephone, notepad, fax machine, filing cabinet, camera, photo album and encyclopedia all rolled into one device."
- Ask what their preferred method of communication is and use that method. It will show them that you understand their needs and they'll be more receptive because they are more comfortable.
- Try using visuals and examples. Graphics can convey ideas more quickly and effectively than words. Use your laptop or tablet to quickly show and demonstrate listing videos, marketing ideas or whatever you’re talking about.
- Regularly stop and ask questions. This will give you an indication whether they are understanding you and finding your help useful or not. This way you're effectively building a strong relationship with them and becoming their trusted adviser.
- Put things in writing so they can read it in their own time. It may seem like an ancient learning technique but some people are visual learners and comprehend more when they can review information on paper at their own convenience.
- Talk about results. If you’re going to introduce a technology, app or process, demonstrate how it relates to the client and the benefit it will bring for them. Show them by using it in front of them and explain it can speed up your productivity, and market their property more broadly, effectively and quickly. Remember to explain why you do something and the reasons behind it, not how you’re doing it. They want to know what you will deliver and when so don’t bore and confuse them with the step-by-step specifics.
- Compare notes and try to determine what is behind their reluctance to embrace technology, it may be a simple thing that you can help them overcome.
- Be patient and get hands of if need be. If a client is open to using a new tool then teach them how to use it. Take a minute and show them, as it will help you secure a successful outcome later. Don’t forget how difficult it can be when you first start using a computer, smart phone or new app, so take it slow so you don’t overwhelm first time users.
You may come across some clients who want nothing to do with technology for whatever reason and that’s okay. Reassure them that you will handle that side of things and that you can easily communicate with them via their preferred method. If you achieve a good outcome for them they may even reconsider their reluctance to use modern technology.
If you have any questions for Rocky and Rob please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Homely Team.