Gratification is the reward beyond income
earned by a real estate agent for providing consumers quality service. I believe gratification to be an intangible, internal feeling of accomplishment for helping someone beyond fiduciary duties. More times than not, the consumer don’t even realize the magnitude of service you have provided because it wasn’t openly discussed. For example, people I have represented in the sale of their property that were financially distressed. They were head over heels in debt, couldn’t make their monthly payments, and were exponentially getting deeper in debt with the passing of every day. Helping them get released from their financial obligations and get into a position to reestablish their credit rating was gratifying to me. Another example is assisting someone buy a home that will quickly appreciate in value. This client didn’t realize the quality of service I had provided until they were ready to sell their home; only to realize how much it had appreciated.
Real estate agents have a fiduciary responsibility to
their clients to protect the client’s best financial interest. This is one reason that gratification should be an agent’s driving motive for practicing real estate, rather than money. Proper representation begins when first meeting a potential customer.
Upon initial contact with a prospective buyer
there needs to be a consultation for both parties to get to know each other. I’m talking about a real meaningful conversation that will pave the way for a relationship to begin. This is the best time to find out everything you can about the people you are hoping to work with. It is a time for the consumer to learn things about you, about your character, your family, and your business qualifications. After sharing personal information with each other it is time to start talking real estate.
Alabama state law requires all licensee’s to
explain the brokerage or agency relationships that are available to them. It is during this RECAD period the consumer should choose the type relationship that best suits their needs. Once they select the type agency they need, the agent should explain fully and completely the ramifications involved in that particular relationship.
Explain to the consumer that buying and selling real estate in Alabama
is very different than almost all other states. Alabama is a Caveat Emptor state; more specifically it is a modified Caveat Emptor state because new homes are exempt from the Caveat Emptor law because the home is warranted by the builder, if they are the first people to inhabit the home. All used or existing homes fall under the Caveat Emptor law which places total responsibility on the buyer to thoroughly examine a home prior to closing the sale. The agent is responsible to inform their clients of all inspections that need to be performed prior to closing to protect the buyer’s best interest. If a buyer fails to heed the agents advice, and should some serious issue with the home arise after closing, the buyer has no legal recourse in the judicial system.
During the consultation the agent needs to determine
exactly what the customer needs, why they are looking to buy, what their dream home might be, and what they can really afford to pay for a home. Needless to say I think you can see why I call this consultation a very meaningful conversation. I believe it to be the most important step in the entire buying process and it happens to be the step that many agents bypass. Many agents and prospective buyers never have a mutual understanding so they never are on the same page. I’ll never understand why people omit this step?
People buy from people they have a relationship with….
From people they respect and trust. How can these characteristics exist if they never have a real meaningful conversation with each other? The reason for not having this consultation is partially fear and the lack of communication skills. I think it’s very important to understand that people are just people, whether they are agents or consumers. Nobody is going to kill you for simple talking to them or even asking them personal questions. The worst thing that can happen is a personality clash in which case they won’t do business with you; but they probably won’t do business with you anyway unless you find out their true needs in advance. Give it a try and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Gratification becomes possible only through developing a quality relationship.
Relationships begin and are enhanced throughcommunication. Trust and respect comes with the passing of time and seeing results that stem through conversation. A sincere interest in the consumer’s best financial interest will soon develop. You will find yourself focusing on the consumer’s desires and the amount of income you receive will be secondary.
Compliments aren’t gratification so don’t confuse the two.
It always feels good when someone compliments you on a service you have provided. Just remember that gratification comes quietly. It is a feeling deep within your soul that can’t be taken away from you. Nobody else will ever know it, but you will feel a sense of pride that you’ve never felt before. Be careful because it is contagious.
Should you have specific questions concerning various issues, please let me know and I’ll research the answer for you. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to our “News & Updates” weekly report so you can stay abreast of issues that might affect you when buying or selling real estate. If you haven’t visited my website, please go to www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and view previous articles.