About the Author: Ryan Fitzgerald is a Realtor® in Raleigh, North Carolina and is the owner of Raleigh Realty. This year, Ryan was named as one of REALTOR Magazine’s 30 under 30, a prestigious award given to realtors who illustrate stellar traits in customer service, community involvement, and business acumen.
As a real estate agent, it’s common to focus on getting your clients to and through the purchase agreement. However, going from purchase agreement to closing can make or break your client’s entire experience and perception of your services. When you take the extra steps to ensure a smooth closing experience from beginning to end, you will gain a reputation for going above and beyond. And, you can benefit from a lifetime of referral business in return.
Here are the top 5 ways that you can create a remarkable closing experience for your clients.
SET PROPER EXPECTATIONS
Happiness is the distance between a person’s expectation and his reality.
To create a great closing experience, you need to set the right expectations from day one. As easy as it can be to tell buyers and sellers what they want to hear, the importance of setting proper expectations from the very beginning cannot be understated.
For example, if you are in a strong sellers market, you should set the expectation with your buyers that they will need to be flexible with settlement date. Sellers typically have a desired close date and with multiple competing offers, closing on their deadline might make or break the offer. In this scenario, buyers will want to make sure the seller’s desired close date aligns with their mortgage lender’s timeline.
While this creates an expectation for the client that they may experience difficulties, it allows them to mentally prepare and not be surprised if the situation occurs. If you decide not to bring it up, it can create a bad experience for everyone involved, leaving the buyer feeling frustrated and potentially weary of moving forward.
TAKE CONTROL OF THE PROCESS FROM THE BEGINNING
Your real estate license makes you the expert in your client’s eyes. They will rely on you to control the transaction. If your clients don’t sense you are in control of helping them, they are going to begin to search for outside guidance and advice, which can cause conflict. If you aren’t able to give them confidence that you’ve got the process under control from the beginning, you will ultimately be the target of blame if things don’t go well.
PREPARE, PLAN, AND EDUCATE
One of the best ways to take control of the process and ensure a great home buying experience is to plan everything ahead of time.
If your title company uses Qualia, your buyers will be automatically updated for all key milestones without you having to do any extra work.
Taking an extra 30 minutes to create and educate your client on their personalized closing plan can save you hours throughout the process. The buyer will know they are in great hands when they see everything is planned out for them, as it’s likely they don’t know what to expect. As the closing progresses, keep them updated at every milestone, such as when the deposit is received, title is cleared, and closing appointment is scheduled. These quick check-ins go a long way in providing peace of mind to your buyer and keeping everyone on the same page.
WORK WITH A TOP REAL ESTATE CLOSING TEAM
You are a reflection of the people you recommend in the real estate transaction. From home inspector to title company, make sure you are putting your clients in touch with the right people to help them have a smooth transaction.
Communication and trust are a huge part of creating a great home buying experience. The people you recommend also need to have great communication, and they need to be able to earn the trust of your client. You want the best players on your team who can perform at the highest level. This will give your clients the confidence in both you and your team.
LEVERAGE LEADING SOFTWARE AND SERVICES
Last but not least, you need to be utilizing intuitive, secure technology to make for a great home buying experience.
From online document signing software to transaction management software, the technology you use needs to be easy to understand with a great user experience. The software you use becomes a reflection on you as the real estate agent.
In order to create a truly exceptional closing experience, you need to think about every step of the closing from the shoes of your client. If your client is filling out confusing forms coming from multiple different people, companies, and online portals, they are going to be overwhelmed and frustrated. If you take control of the transaction and bring the entire closing onto one platform that is simple and straightforward, you will create a seamless closing, one that your clients will share with everyone they know.