As a licensed real estate agent, you’ll get to help a wide range of buyers and sellers navigate your local market. Every buyer and seller is unique, but classifying potential clients by type can help you quickly identify needs and provide top-quality service.
Here are five types of clients you’ll come across as an agent — and how to work with each of them effectively!
1. First-Time Buyers
Many agents love working with first-time buyers because it's so satisfying to help someone get on the property ladder! And, when you provide exceptional service to a first-time buyer, you can become their agent for life. They’ll come to you to sell their starter home and buy their family home. They’ll come to you when they want to buy an investment property or a vacation property. And they’ll refer friends and family to you as well!
There are lots of ways you can support first-time buyers. Working with first-time buyers is about being patient and taking the time to educate them. The entire process is new for this client type, so they need more hand-holding and more detailed explanations than other clients.
Setting expectations is critical. Take the home inspection, for example. Most first-time buyers panic when they see all the “issues” listed on their home inspection. Make sure they know that the home inspector will document every potential issue and that many of the items on the report won’t actually need to be addressed.
Upgraders are homeowners who are selling their existing property to purchase a higher-value home. This is great for agents because you can earn a commission both on the sale of the current home and the purchase of the new home!
This client type has at least one purchase under their belt, but the selling process might be new for them. So you should expect to invest some time in explaining selling basics like pricing strategy, staging, and disclosures.
Downsizers are homeowners selling their current home to move into a smaller or more manageable one. Downsizers can take a few different forms. You might have a couple who is getting divorced and needs to sell their shared home (and potentially purchase smaller homes for each individual). Or you might have empty-nesters who are ready to sell the family home and move into a condo. You might even have a widow who is selling to move in with her family.
Downsizers are typically closing a big chapter of their lives and moving into a new, potentially uncertain, chapter. This type of client might require more emotional support than other clients as they navigate this major life change. If you are a good listener, and an empathetic agent, this might be a good niche for you.
Investors can be exceptional clients because they often represent repeat business. Many investors are highly analytical, so one of the best ways to serve investor clients is to be prepared with facts and figures. And be ready to crunch lots of numbers as investors compare the ROI potential of multiple properties!
As a real estate agent, you bring exceptional value to investor clients by alerting them to new investment opportunities. If you can leverage your connections to find off-market deals for investors, you can build your entire career in this lucrative niche.
As a real estate agent, most of your clients will probably be buyers and sellers. But any agent in the industry long enough will come across renters as well. Your renter client could be a friend who’s new in town and looking for a temporary residence. Or you might help your nephew find his first apartment. Or maybe you have a buyer who needs to rent a home while they wait for construction to be completed on their new home.
Whatever the case, renters are typically lower maintenance than buyers or sellers because there is less at stake. To serve renters, you can use your industry connections to find a suitable rental, then look over the rental agreement to make sure the terms are reasonable. Other than that, you simply need to stay in touch with your renters until they’re ready to buy their next place.
Whichever client types you’re currently working with, honesty, responsiveness, and respect always go a long way toward providing an exceptional experience for all of your real estate clients!