Throughout my many years in the real estate service industry, I have learned that buyers and sellers have personal preferences for how they like to buy or sell, along with a variety of business or emotional reasons behind them. If, as a real estate professional, you learn how to identify which personas your prospective buyers and sellers favor, it will benefit the relationship you have with your clients, and you’ll be able to close on the sale quicker.
Here are a number of the client personas I have discovered over the years, and it’s likely that you will cross their paths in your career as well. By identifying each client’s persona, you can plan and deliver based on their style and criteria. You’ll be surprised at how many more sales you will win over and how many relationships you will gain.
Table of Contents:
1. Driver client
You will recognize this type of client within the first couple of hours you spend with them. They are results-driven, come across as a bit pushy, know what they want and demand that things to go their way. They are not afraid of conflict and are comfortable with being confrontational. This type of client will settle down when they see the willingness on your part to take on challenges (just like them) and strive for the desired results.
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2. Collaborative client
These clients are diplomatic, adaptable and sometimes blunt, but most often very respectful of those around them. What works for them is to feel informed. They like to hear your thoughts, comments and questions before deciding.
Sometimes, it can take a while for them to reach a decision since they operate like a committee, wanting everyone’s opinion and all the pertinent information. If they sense it’s not beneficial to those that matter to them, they are not likely to decide any time soon. When working with this client, make sure you include everyone in the transaction, and you will reach a faster result.
3. Relationship client
Here you will find a very positive, team player. They can be a creative problem solver, and it doesn’t take much to get them going. What they have to share is important so pay close attention, and shy away from technical details. They will not make a decision until they feel like they’ve established a relationship with you. They want to feel as though you’re a close friend who is helping them on their real estate needs, whether it’s buying or selling.
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4. Guardian client
Another type you might discover is the Guardian. Trust me when I tell you that they are skeptical of everything. They need to absorb the details and think everything over. Your patience, time and sincere effort will go a long way with them.
They don’t express a lot of emotions by email, phone or even in person. You should celebrate if you get feedback from them, and once they feel their needs are met, they will move forward. Until then, they will quietly remove themselves without you ever noticing.
5. Analytical client
These clients often label themselves as the thinkers. They like to read, research, dwell on rules, regulations, standards, logics, and look at past successes to determine future success. This client likes to seek out as much information as possible.
They make sure to look at the situation from every angle. If you provide adequate data to answer their questions, you’re in good shape. Otherwise, they will move on to those who can deliver the information, and they will choose that individual over you since you are not measuring up to their standards.
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6. Innovator client
These creative clients can be careless or indifferent about rules, regulations, procedures, or how things are typically done. They are charismatic, drawn to new ideas and solutions, and always looking for new ways to solve their problems.
They always have ideas and strategies, and they like to test the possibilities or limits to see what works best for them. You want to make sure to be all ears with this client. Listen to their ideas and help them come up with solutions that appeal to them. Then, you’ll win them over and get on to managing the multitude of details to get the job done.
7. Combination client
You may think that the types of clients listed above are well defined and clear cut. However, we can cross paths with a client who is a mixture of two personas or the partners who have two different personas. You will be pulling your hair out while trying to figure out how to best serve this client or couple. However, if you take a little time to assess the preferences and personalities, you’ll have a much better chance of winning them over.
These are only the dominant personas. You can do more research on each persona if you’d like to better understand each of these different types of clients. The goal is for you to appreciate your clients’ styles, so you can facilitate the most effective approach whether it’s for professional or personal gain.
Early in my real estate career, I lost out on a number of potential clients because I couldn’t recognize fast enough what type of clients they were. In those cases, I did not tailor my approach to their needs. I categorized my prospects into a general group and delivered the same information to all. No wonder I felt defeated at the time.
I even questioned whether I had chosen the right career path or not. Once I learned to recognize my mistake, I was able to quickly develop solid relationships that helped build a successful business.
I hope you can also recognize the different persona types early on and work on perfecting that skill. Having effective people skills is a vital part of the real estate service industry. To fine-tune these skills takes time and a few uncomfortable situations.
You will encounter mistakes and embarrassing moments when you’ll think, “Oh no, I wish I hadn’t said that—or done that” but that’s okay. These “uh-oh” moments will stick out and help you to become even better at what you do. Remember, practice makes perfect!