Take Flight – Make Setting Expectations a Priority

On this 209th episode of my Monday Morning Pep Talk, I will wrap up Section 4 of Take Flight V4.0 by discussing the importance of setting proper expectations up front with your clients to ensure successful transactions within your business. The goal of Section 4: Deliver and Leverage is to create a remarkable experience so that all of that hard work turns into client loyalty and additional opportunities. By settings proper expectations up front, it increases your likelihood of success.

If the seller has the "2021 mindset" and thinks that they will get multiple offers within a week of listing their property in a transitioning market and it doesn't happen, they will be disappointed. Giving an updated range on pricing and average market time with proper and detailed expectations established up front during the listing presentation will pay dividends during the transaction. This is an opportunity for you to "promote" everything that you do for your client pre-launch and from contract to close. Even if your clients have done business with you multiple times and just want to hand you the "keys,” take the time to go through your presentation and set the expectation of what they can anticipate during the current market. Again, this gives you the opportunity to promote your listing processes. If you've not listened to MMPT Episode #207: Take Flight - Your Business Below the Surface, please do. It discusses the stages of the listing process that you need to create a process. Let them know the number of stages and steps you are going to take throughout. Take the time up front to quantify your value. Once you've started the process and you're on your heels, it's too late.  If you wait, setting expectations as a response will sound like making excuses. 

Make setting expectations with your sellers a priority.

If there is one area that requires special attention over the coming year, it is the need to describe and promote the value we provide to our buyer clients. The initial consultation process will be a vital part of the buyer process as the market shifts and industry changes and expectations expand. The initial consultation gives you the opportunity to cover the contract used, the disclosures that will need to be reviewed, how you manage the search process, the current activity in the market, how much time they will have to act once they find "the one,” what happens during due diligence time frames and how contingencies are managed. Again, take the time to quantify your value up front. How many stages and steps do you take them through from initial consultation and the search process? How many steps do you complete during contract to close? It's a difficult process and right up front is your opportunity to set expectations and promote your value. Again, I cover this in more detail in MMPT Episode #207: Take Flight - Your Business Below the Surface. Once you've started the search process and you're on your heels, it’s too late. If you wait, setting expectations will sound like making excuses.

Make setting expectations with your buyers a priority.

Pro Tip #1:  Embrace the word "memorialize.” This is the process of following up in writing what you've discussed so there are no misunderstandings on what was agreed upon.  This could be done via email or even written as part of the listing agreement or buyer's agency agreement.  Look at it as risk management. If you see a downside to a conversation, make sure you put your thoughts in writing because you may need to come back to it at a later time.

Pro Tip #2:  Make sure your transaction processes involve weekly feedback and communication.  When you set expectations, you need to deliver on those promises.

Pro Tip #3: Be prepared to walk away. 20% of your clients steal 80% of your joy. If they are not on board with how you operate, do them and yourself a favor to just agree that the agency relationship described is not a good fit for all involved. Setting expectations does not always include a "yes.” Be willing to walk away. Everything you say yes to means that you need to say no to something else that is a better fit.

It's not just your clients that you need to set expectations with. Here are some other areas that could use fruitful conversations:

  1. Do your family, life partners, children and friends know the seasonality your business? There will be different times of the year that will be more hectic than others. They don't instinctively understand the peaks and valleys of our business, so have those conversations. It will improve your personal life.
  2. Have you set expectations with yourself? Honestly, this is a what a proper planning process does for you. When you set daily goals, weekly goals, quarterly initiatives, annual themes and 3-year visions, you are setting expectations for yourself.  Studies have shown that those that do not have a plan for their life and business are the most stressed.
  3. If you have people that directly support your business, have you set expectations with them? Do they know your goals for the business or do they have to react to you day by day? Do they understand the importance of proper execution of your processes and the long-term benefits to them, you and the business?

Make setting expectations with the people in your life a priority.

In Section 4 of Take Flight V4.0, I've given you concepts around how to "Deliver and Leverage" during the transaction. Essentially, that means that if you deliver a remarkable experience during the transaction, you can leverage the good will created and branding exposure to turn that 1 transaction into 2 additional opportunities. As you look at your current pipeline and what you have coming up next year, imagine if you were to multiply your income by 2x or 3x by delivering a phenomenal experience, keeping your head up looking for those additional clients and executing on this new strategy. I had a top broker in another market call me after MMPT Episode #206: Take Flight - Turn 1 Client Transaction into 3 and he said this concept is exactly what he is going to track in 2024.  His business is built and he needed a metric to track. He is planning to take every transaction and track to those 2 additional pieces of business where he can turn 2.5%-3% into 7.5% -9%. As you can see, this section will be a really important area of focus for you. If this resonates with you, get to work on these processes.

I'm traveling next week so two weeks from now I'll start the final section of Take Flight V4.0. In section 5, we'll discuss lead generation. I call this area your "3 Rocks of Marketing.” It will act as the top section of the sales funnel that we will stack on top of "Deliver and Leverage (Section 4)" and "Relationship and Database Management (Section 3).” In the coming weeks, I will show you how you'll be able to use this sales funnel to create massive momentum in your business.

Until then, I highly recommend that you take today's call as a reminder to make setting expectations a priority during your listing presentations and buyer initial consultations. Oh, and while you’re at it, look around… do you need to set expectations with others in your life? Do not assume that your clients, your team, family and friends truly understand what to expect unless you tell them.