Your Client’s Experience Starts Long Before You Meet Them | RE/MAX Ready

I really don’t like going to the dentist.

Most people feel that way, but I don’t like going so much that I’ll wait years between visits.

A few years ago, I managed to get myself to the dentist. Right from the start, the experience wasn’t great.

First, the woman at the front desk seemed less friendly and more sales-driven. As I sat in the waiting room, I could hear her brusque reply to someone who wasn’t interested in scheduling a new appointment.

Then, once I reached the examination room, I was affronted by the blaring television. It was fixed to the news channel, so in addition to having my teeth poked and prodded, my ears were in for some negativity.

Before I even met the dentist, I was having a negative experience.  

When I finally did meet her, she was great: personable, helpful, and gentle with the tooth poking.

But by then, she was fighting an uphill battle to keep me as a patient. In addition to not liking going to the dentist in general, I’d had an unpalatable experience in her office so far. The nicest, most pain-free dentist in the world would’ve had a hard time convincing me to come back.

Contrast this experience with one I had more recently.  

Last month, I had to go to the dentist again. What happened was something cracked out of my tooth—the day before I was supposed to go on vacation.

I knew a dentist visit was inevitable. Years before, I’d waited to address a dental problem with disastrous results. (After procrastinating too long, I’d ended up phoning dentists frantically, in ridiculous pain, praying any of them would give me a root canal on Christmas Eve.)

Needless to say, I resolved to see a dentist before I left town.

I’d seen an advertisement for a different dentist’s office than the one I’d visited previously. Now seemed like a good enough time to give them a try.

Unlike last time, I had a good experience from the start.

When I arrived, the person at the front desk was friendly and helpful, even as I filled out the 14 pages required to become a new patient.

As I sat down in the dentist’s chair, country music was playing, which was great since I love country music.

In addition, a kid’s movie was playing in the background. I liked this, too, since I have young kids and am always on the lookout for movies they’d like.

By the time the dentist arrived, I was in a positive state of mind.  

The dentist herself was great, just as the last one had been. But unlike the previous dentist, this one managed to retain me as a patient. (I even went back for a cleaning two weeks later!)

The fact of the matter is: the two dentists had been equally good. But I stuck with the second one because the experience leading up to meeting her had been so much better.

Here’s how this relates to being a real estate agent.

Just as with these dentists, there’s a lot that will impact your clients’ perception of you before you ever meet them.

  • Your clients will experience:
  • Your writing style in emails
  • Your email signature
  • Your phone manners
  • Your voicemail message
  • Your response time
  • Your social media and web presences
  • And potentially more!

So much happens before you ever get in front of your client. And like in dentistry, in real estate it’s easy to scare people off. While buying and selling real estate isn’t inherently dreadful, it is intense, emotional, and high-stakes.

If someone gets the wrong vibe leading up to a sale, the chances of them fleeing are good.

So ask yourself, what are your clients experiencing before they ever meet you?  

Are those things setting them up to partner with you—or are you fighting an uphill battle by the time you’re meeting them face-to-face?

It’s important to acknowledge that YOU CANNOT PLEASE EVERYONE. 

In the second dentist’s office, I liked the country music and kids movie, but another person might have hated those things and not wanted to come back.

The important thing is to be aware of your choices.  

Know that your choices will impact your clients—and make those choices intentionally.

BE WHO YOU ARE, but be on the lookout for things you might be doing that are alienating clients you’d like to work with.

And when you do meet your clients, pay attention to:

  • Your wardrobe
  • Your hairstyle
  • Your tone of voice
  • Whether you shave or don’t shave (if you’re a guy)
  • Your general presentation

These things might not seem like a big deal, but an experience at a restaurant is more than just the food. It’s also the atmosphere.

The little things count more than you know.

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Matt Mittman and Eric Rehling are the owners of RE/MAX Ready in Conshohocken, PA. See articles from them about assessing a prospective homemaking the boring choicediversifying your workweekcreating the best possible offer for your clientthe importance of inefficient communicationthe Eaglesthriving during your busy seasonmagic wandsperfecting your customers’ experiencegood trainingmeasuring profitabilityroutinestaking the right kinds of risksreal experience of being a real estate agentcommunication stylesbuilding an audience, and more.