A part of learning real estate is discovering how to conduct buyers’ counseling sessions. These sessions begin from the first meeting you have as a real estate agent with a buyer and can occur again with every meeting after that.

When working with real estate buyers, it’s important to remember that they count on you to advise them. They count on you to help them understand what they need to do next to achieve their goals.

While handling buyers’ counseling well usually takes some real-world experience, you can start preparing yourself now by studying the subject. Here’s what you need to know before you head into your first meeting with a buyer.

Know Your Goals

It would be best to think about the goals you will have before you enter any real estate counseling session. With buyers, several goals tend to come up over and over.

One of the most critical tasks of any meeting with buyers is establishing rapport. To become an expert in this aspect of counseling, you can work on developing higher intelligence in three main areas. These are Successful Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, and Practical Intelligence. You can find out more about this and get tips on doing it by taking the Roadmap to Success: Prospecting course.

During the counseling session, you should plan to accomplish the following things.

          Create an atmosphere in which the buyer feels comfortable answering and asking questions.

          Ask questions and listen to find out what the buyer needs and wants.

          Help them develop realistic expectations based on what you know about the real estate market.

          Show them who you are and how you can help them.

          Answer their questions (there will likely be many).

          Find out what concerns them about buying a home and address those issues.

          Share your expertise in the national and local real estate market.

          Fill them in on the home buying process so that they know what to expert and avoid disappointment.

          Build a strong relationship with them so that you can work together to fulfill their goals.

          Show and explain why you are the best real estate agent for them.

You can better guide the meeting to a successful outcome with your goals in mind. After all, if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, the discussion has no direction. Instead of accomplishing something, the meeting winds of being disorganized, chaotic, and unproductive.

Educating Buyers During the Counseling Session

First-time buyers usually have many questions and gaps in their knowledge. They may have accumulated a raft of wrong impressions about what it takes to buy a home. Or, they may have no idea what they’re getting into. It can be a bit frightening to move forward when they don’t know what to expect.

Yet, even people who have bought a home before may need additional information. If it has been years since they purchased a home, you will need to get them up to speed on changes in the real estate industry and their local real estate market.

What Buyers Need to Know

So, what exactly do buyers need to learn in your counseling sessions? Learning real estate facts and figures will help the buyer get a sense of what to expect. Give them statistics on both the national and local real estate market. Before the session, you should refresh your memory on facts like median search time, typical time on the market, median home price, and more.

Even more important, you need to give them the information to arrive at realistic expectations. Of course, the statistics will help with this, but don’t stop there. Give them a step-by-step explanation of how a typical home purchase works. Remember to include a timeline so that they see how long the process is likely to take.

This part of the counseling session does two great things. For one, it allows you to show the buyer your expertise. Also, buyers tend to be much easier to work with after they grasp how the process really works. By the time you enlighten them about real-world real estate processes, they likely will be much more patient and cooperative throughout the entire transaction.

Financial Counseling During Buyers’ Meetings

One more aspect of your meetings with buyers is to act as their financial counselor for the purchase. This part of the initial meeting is vital for first-time buyers but can help any buyer. You need to discuss several things with them to help prepare them for the financial aspects of the purchase. Here are a few topics to talk over with the buyer, from the initial meeting to the end of the transaction.

          Expected overall costs of homeownership

          Costs they might incur during the purchase

          Costs they might not have thought about, like insurance, taxes, maintenance, and HOA or condo fees

During the next phase of the initial buyers’ meeting, you will use your real estate agent training on finances differently. At that point, you will be ready to prequalify your buyers. In the Roadmap to Success: Buyers realtor course, you can learn why this is critical and how it works.

Counseling buyers takes understanding, intelligence, and empathy. Therefore, take the time to learn how to handle this when you are first learning real estate and through your continued education. The better you get at this skill, the more buyer clients you will have, and the easier it will be to work with them.