In this video, we tackle a critical question: “What is one pitfall that I should avoid when working with older adult clients?” Whether you’re a seasoned agent or just starting out, this is an aspect of real estate that’s often overlooked but incredibly vital—communication
Why Communication Matters
Effective communication is a cornerstone of success when working with older adult clients. It’s not just about what you say but how you convey information in writing. Here’s why it’s so important.
Overwhelming Scheduling Issues
Moving is a monumental task, especially for older adults. They’re not only dealing with the logistics of moving but also the emotional and mental stress that accompanies it. They might be suffering from decision fatigue, and it’s easy for information, dates, time, and specifics, to slip through the cracks when they’re overwhelmed.
The Forgotten Details
Let’s say you’ve informed your client about an upcoming inspection on Friday at 3 o’clock. You might have explained that the inspection will take several hours, and you’ll discuss the report later. It all sounds great during the conversation, but without something in writing, it’s easy for them to forget the specifics. They might end up scheduling something else for that time, leading to confusion and frustration.
Processes and More Processes
Your clients might not be familiar with the intricacies of the real estate process. For example, they might not realize that the inspection report won’t arrive until Monday or Tuesday. Without written confirmation, they’ll be in the dark and may bombard you with questions and concerns over the weekend.
Remember, it’s not just your client who is involved in the process. Their children might also be inquiring about the progress. If your client forgets the details, you can expect the kids to start calling you too. Empowering them with written information allows them to keep their trusted advisors in the loop.
The Solution: Put It in Writing
So, what’s the solution to these communication pitfalls? Put it in writing. Whether you provide a physical document or jot down the details during your conversation, a written record can be a lifesaver. Here’s how to do it:
Date and Time: Specify important dates and times. If there’s an inspection, closing, or any critical event, write it down clearly.
Process Explanation: Detail the steps involved. For example, if there’s an inspection, explain that it will take several hours, and they should expect the report on a certain day.
Responsibilities: Outline who will be responsible for what. This clarifies expectations and reduces confusion.
Contact Information: Share your contact details and encourage them to reach out if they have questions or concerns.
Consider a Photo: As an extra precaution, take a picture of the written information with your phone. This ensures you have a record of what you provided.
By putting things in writing, you not only ease your client’s anxiety by providing clarity but also make your own life easier by reducing the volume of inquiries. It’s a simple yet incredibly effective way to enhance your communication with older adult clients.
Remember, this isn’t solely about dealing with cognitive impairments; it’s about recognizing that we all experience information overload. So, take that extra step, put it in writing, and ensure a smoother real estate journey for both you and your clients.
Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned agent, making this small change in your communication approach can yield significant results. So, write it down, leave it with them, and make it a standard practice in your real estate transactions. Your clients will thank you, and your workload will be more manageable.
Are You Ready to learn?
Are you looking to learn more about communicating with mature clients? Check out our Downsizing Coach Skills Training program! Offered both live and on-demand, this program is designed to help agents deepen understanding of challenging issues and communicate more effectively.