How To Set Expectations With Clients

Managing your work/life balance as a REALTOR can be tricky. You want to be there for your clients. You don’t want to miss out on a deal. You need to keep filling your pipeline. But you also need to have a life. Setting expectations early and maintaining good communication with your clients throughout the process will make for happier clients and more referrals. And you’ll have more control over your day-to-day business, too.

How and when will you communicate? Find out how the client prefers to communicate. If they prefer phone calls or texts over email, or if they can’t talk during business hours, you’ll need to know the best way to reach them. On the flip side, they’ll also need to know when to best reach you. Just because you’re in a service industry doesn’t mean you have to answer the phone 24 hours a day. Have a clear message in your voice mail detailing what your hours are and when you will call back – and stick with it. As long as you are consistent, your customers will by and large respect your parameters. Do follow up phone conversations with an email to keep a paper trail for your records.

When will showings happen? If you’re keeping a block schedule, explain to your clients when you are available for showings. Of course, you will also have to make some accommodations for their work schedules from time to time. Do explain to clients that most homeowners want at least a few hours’ notice before a showing. If you’re listing the house, find out their restrictions first. Explain to your clients that you will respect their needs, and thatthey need to try to be flexible because sometimes buyers can’t reschedule or make a second trip to a neighborhood – especially those relocating from out of town.

What expectations does the client have? Whatever they are, exceed them. Give your clients a weekly report outlining the homes they have seen or the number of showings they have had. If they are under contract, give them updates with a timeline of all of the milestones and when they are achieved. If your buyer wants you to preview homes, offer to Facetime or Skype with them for a streaming walkthrough.

What expectations do you have? Now is the time to explain things like office safety protocols, the importance of getting documents together, how to handle credit through the process, and a general timeline for buying and selling. Explain the representation agreement and how you are compensated. It’s also a good time to reiterate your commitment to them and getting the transaction handled with proper care and attention.

Always be open to questions and concerns. Reiterate to your clients that they should always feel that there are no questions too small or insignificant to ask. You are here to guide them through the process and want to be their trusted, lifelong real estate advisor. Be welcoming and open and encourage them to be frank in their discussions.

For more information about setting client expectations, check out our representation designation classes: Seller Representative Specialist (SRS), Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), and Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS). Visit for a complete list of classes.