Technology hasn’t replaced agents — but it will change the value they bring to clients. In fact, as new homebuyers and sellers seek to streamline the real estate process, 93 percent of people foresee changes in their relationship with agents due to the impact of technology. 

This means that agents who learn to leverage new digital tools and services can ultimately bring even more expertise to their clients, but only when a standard of trust has been established. Here’s how agents can build that trust with their clients to nurture long-lasting relationships.

Know and present all options 

Homebuyers and sellers can do a lot on their own with the technology available today, but with so much information at their fingertips, an agent’s guidance is even more invaluable. When they do come to you, it’s an opportunity for you to prove your depth of knowledge and skill by helping them sort through all of their options. This means staying educated on new services and products for your customers, including solutions for specific sellers, as well as presenting them with more options than they think they need, as their priorities might shift.

Withholding information is a surefire way to generate mistrust. People want to know their agent is looking out for their best interests and that they’re not just trying to get a deal done. To demonstrate you are a trusted advisor, you need to present all the client’s options throughout the buying or selling process — even outside-of-the-box solutions or ones you may not typically recommend. This way, your client will see you as the ultimate source of truth from the get-go. 

Provide transparency with costs

Would you trust someone who hides fees or misleads how much something will cost? Likely not, especially when you’re dealing with one of the largest financial transactions of your life. For agents, taking the initiative to explain all costs upfront will help clients make the best decisions for them and avoid surprises. Whether it’s a review of your own commissions, or explaining fees from vendors or hidden costs involved in a move, helping your client understand where the money goes and why is an effective way to build trust.

Keep in mind that people may not recognize or understand the value of many services during a purchase or sale. For example, they may not see the point of staging their home or spending money on marketing materials. However, this is an opportunity to demonstrate your value and help your customer understand who is getting paid and for what. Remember, you never want the last interaction with your client to be the surprise of a new fee or additional cost they weren’t expecting. 

Be an effective communicator

No one wants to be “ghosted,” and certainly not by their agent, but they also don’t want to be overwhelmed with messages. With so many channels for communication, striking the right balance of being supportive and reliable but not pesky is a good way to prove your dependability and trustworthiness. At the outset of the relationship, get an understanding of how and when your client likes to communicate and then proceed accordingly. Connecting with check-in texts, follow-up emails, or simply letting clients know you’re available for a phone call sets up a two-way street — in turn, clients know they can reach out to you for direction.  

To learn more about the evolution of real estate relationships, visit Opendoor.

This post was originally published on this site