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Charmaine Keegan: How do you build rapport quickly?

Transform 2018 Highlights: Charmaine Keegan of Smarter Selling gives her tips on building rapport with your buyers and sellers, and the two things agents need to be doing to be an expert in their field. With thanks to CoreLogic Australia, AREC 2018 and realestate.com.au Agent Advantage.

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In any type of sales or communication, rapport is the number one thing that’s gonna make you like you or not like you. At the end of the day, it’s interesting what Josh said about [how] they’re testing you, you know? I’ve been into an open home before and the real estate agent hasn’t even looked at me and I’ve thought, “I’m going to tell the owner,” and they’ve just written it off as a nosy person walking through, but you aren’t. That’s right.

You’ve got to be model of excellence. A hundred per cent of the time, not just ebbs and flows, not just when the vendor’s there or when the potential buyer is there, it has to be a hundred per cent of the time.

I want to share with you some things to do with rapport, how to get on with somebody. I’m going to add here there’s a whole level of integrity that needs to be at play. So, I think you need to genuinely like somebody and get on with them, OK? Because rapport is to do with them understanding you and liking you.

A few things. So, rapport is why would somebody get on with you? But there’s a key thing we’ll go to, which is the fundamentals of sales and that is actually why would someone not get on with you? Though I don’t normally talk about that, that’s the first thing I’m going to talk about.

Now usually, the reasons somebody gets turned off by somebody in sales is because that salesperson ends up wearing a salesman cap, and they start selling at them all the feature and benefits of that property. And they start telling them why they should like it, why it’s good for them, this school’s in a local area, it’s got these great shops, etc, etc. And they talk AT somebody, we call it the tell rather than the ask. What was interesting is Josh talked a lot about the questions you should ask, and we cannot emphasise this enough.

If you want to be absolutely an expert in your field, a model of excellence every day of the week, it is all down to two things: Turn up more often so you have face-to-face time which is following on from what Josh said. And also ask more questions. They’re the two things. It’s not brain surgery. If you were there more often face-to-face, you’re building a different depth of relationship. Way, way, way deeper than phone. Phone is way deeper than an email. An email is much deeper than a spray-and-pray email, which is just databases of what we’re selling.

But the very top level of that is the face-to-face contact. Why? Because that person, whoever they may be, a person off the street, it doesn’t matter who they are, they’re all potential sellers or buyers, right? They’re buying you. They’re buying to you. Is this person going to do what they say they’re going to do? Do I trust this person? What they’re telling me, is that the truth? Do they understand me and my situation and what I’m looking for? What I’m looking to sell for? What I’m looking to buy? And that’s the absolute key to somebody getting on with you. 

They’re buying to you before they’re buying to who you work for and your name and your listing. They’re buying you. You are everything, you’re the whole 360. And that’s the most important thing you have to remember. It’s not the house and how wonderful the house is. They have to buy into you first. You are the front face.

In this depth of relationship, the first thing you need to understand is this is not a – we call it spray-and-pray – which is when you stand in front of somebody and spray and pray all the reasons they should come to you. Or you spray and pray all the reasons they should buy into this particular property. And that gets you nowhere because immediately they think you don’t understand me. You don’t care about me. So then let’s talk about what you do need to do for fundamentals of sales.

You do need to have a burning desire to understand that customer. Totally burning desire. So we’ll tell you a little story. One of my colleagues the other week was making a phone call to somebody and she was very good at asking questions. Of course, we’re a sales training company, right? So, everyone’s good at asking questions. And she was getting lots of information, she was asking lots of questions about their business, and she’s got great questions, lots of different questions, the why, the how, the where, the when. Particularly the why, why would you be selling? Why do you like that particular area? What was the why?

They then expand their belief behind their decision. So the why is absolutely important. And she got a lot of information. And as we do in our office, we share that and we chat about a business that’s called in and why. And we pointed out 4 or 5 areas that we have delved deep enough. She called the guy back and she’s in a different room. 

And then she called him back, I heard her ask, “Oh, I’ve got a couple more questions to delve deeper, or to build on this particular thing that you’ve said,” and her voice and her tone was all about partnership. She was sitting like she was next to them, even though it’s on the phone. It was really from a place of “I want to understand you so I can help you.” That’s it.

You are there to understand them, so that you can help them. You want to question where they’re always going to say ‘yes’ or they can discuss something. So, have those questions, and obviously you can have hundreds of questions, you want to change them as the person answers the phone or answers the door or whatever situation you’re in. 

But you need to have always like an arsenal of questions. We’ve got over 700 in our office. And they’ll just come through at the right time because what you want to do is keep that person talking. The more they talk, the more you understand them and you are out to understand them.

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