Is a Little Real Estate Client Research “Stalking”?

Renae Virata | August 24, 2016 | Best Practices

Is a Little Real Estate Client Research "Stalking"? How often do you spend time with your real estate clients truly getting to know them? We’ve discussed how asking the right questions and enough of them to understand what your clients want is important. Sometimes a little client research can actually go a long way. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can do a little bit of reconnaissance work to make sure you know your real estate clients and can best cater to their needs.

Is Client Research “Stalking”?

Okay, it may sounds a little “stalk-y” to, for example, visit every social media channel that your client is on. What is presented in posts, descriptions and photos, however, is all public domain. Unless your client has set their settings to a specific privacy level, looking at their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Pinterest profiles can help you glean more information about them.

How to Use The Information You Find

So, let’s say you find your client’s LinkedIn profile. As far as you know, they work for a particular large company headquartered in your market, but you’re not quite sure what they do.

A quick look at their profile may reveal more than meets the eye. For example, a giant tech company employs everyone from a janitor to a CEO. Everything in between can include IT, sales, legal and marketing professionals. Seeing what your clients do and the experience they have can give you some insight into how they think and operate when it comes to selling or buying their homes.

Is your client a lawyer? Then he or she may be extremely detailed when it comes to contracts or specifics. An engineer? Then they will be focused on quality.

The particular social medium you view can give you other valuable insight. For example, Pinterest boards are commonly used to express a user’s particular style. Some user’s may even go so far as to post images of their dream homes right there for you to see. Take a look at the general style of your client through such visual media as Pinterest and even Instagram.

Facebook is fantastic as a showcase of lifestyle and life experiences. Among the many things you can find on a client’s Facebook page: family and friends, adventures that they have taken and general ideas about how they live their life day to day. Use this information and “big picture” to your advantage!

Don’t Get Too Muddled in the Details

When you visit clients’ social media accounts, don’t feel like you have to document everything you find (who has time for that?!). You simply want to get a bird’s-eye view of your client to understand them a little better.

In addition, anything you learn can be used to encourage clients’ to share more if their personality is a little more mild-mannered. In other words, use prompts that you can glean from their profiles to help you facilitate a better conversation.

One word of caution, however: Be sure to not overshare what you know. They may remember, for example, that they had never discussed their work with you. So your mentioning anything related to what they do may raise some eyebrows. Don’t feel bad, though, that you know a little bit more about your client they they think you know. If it’s all in the name of better customer service, then you are totally in the right!

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Renae Virata