[ecis2016.org] We look at the precautions that real estate brokers or sellers should take, while meeting a prospective client for the first time though a virtual medium
Even after the Coronavirus pandemic subsides, people, including property seekers, may continue to avoid too many face-to-face interactions. Social distancing may continue to define personal and professional interactions. Consequently, real estate brokers, who have been relying on virtual tools to stay connected with their clients during the spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, will continue carrying out a large part of their business online in future, too. It is, hence, pertinent to look at the precautions that real estate brokers and sellers should take, while meeting a prospective client for the first time though a virtual medium.
Choose a good virtual platform
The medium that you use for the virtual meeting, will have a significant impact on the quality and outcome of the meeting. This makes it necessary to pick a platform that is stable. Platforms that are currently popular for virtual meetings are Google Meet, Zoom, GoToWebinar, OnBoard, Microsoft 365, Join.Me, etc. Pick one you are most familiar with and find easy to use. You may also have to go by the client’s preference, at times. So, it may be a good idea to familiarise yourself with several popular platforms.
[ecis2016.org] Online meeting etiquette to follow, for sellers and brokers
Check your video and audio settings before the meeting
You have the option to conduct the meeting without making a video appearance but we strictly advise against it. Ensure that your visual and audio devices are operating property, so that there are no disturbances and unpleasant silences during the meeting. If there are interruptions, the client may eventually lose interest in what you have to say.
Dress yourself in a presentable manner
For video chats, make sure you are dressed as suitably as you would, if you were present in a meeting room. Just because the meeting is being conducted from home, does not mean that you should turn up in your pyjamas. Dressing up suitably, is an integral part of keeping the meeting formal and business-like.
Do your homework about the client and his requirements
To be able to strike a conversation with the customers whom you are meeting for the first time, you will have to do your homework. Otherwise, the entire conversation will be peppered with long pauses and turn into an uncomfortable exchange. To avoid this, list out specific points around which the conversation will revolve.
Encourage the client to talk
Since the clients have not met you in person and they may have not come prepared for the meeting, it might be difficult for them to break the ice and feel confident enough. Expect the client to have some initial hesitation and prepare yourself in such a way that you are able to encourage them to open up more as the discussion progresses. One good way to do this, is to elaborate about you and your business, without being condescending or coming across as boastful. Stick to the facts and do not try to pepper the conversation by asking for details that might seem intrusive or too personal. This remains true in every sort of meeting, virtual or otherwise.
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Be a good listener
How efficiently you are able to serve a client, would depend on how careful you were, while listening to the details they shared with you. As you engage them in the conversation, gradually let them take over and talk to you. Ask them to explain their specific requirements, from the product they want to purchase, or the service they want to buy.
Also, even though taking mental notes of the conversation is fine, do not depend on your mind to recall everything for you at the later stage, especially since you might be conducting several such meetings in a week. Keep a notepad and pen handy, to take notes. Information thus received should ultimately find its way into your database.
[ecis2016.org] Tips for brokers to handle virtual property transactions
What are the best online meeting tools?
Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft 365, GoToWebinar, OnBoard and Join.Me, are some of the popular online meeting tools.
What equipment is needed to conduct a basic virtual meeting?
A participant will need an internet connection and a webcam and audio on his computer or a telephone, to conduct a virtual meeting.
How to impress a client during a video call?
Ensure that you have a good connection that is free of interruptions, dress presentably for the meeting, stick to the facts and listen to the client’s requirements.
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