I can tell you from experience in owning a national pet services company that, if you can win over the pet, you stand a great chance to win over a new human client.
That’s because people love their pets. And, they often trust their pet’s intuition.
How does this apply to real estate? Well, how often do you go to make a listing presentation at a potential client’s home and are greeted at the door by a furry four-legged friend? With roughly 66% of American households having a pet, there’s a good chance that there’s a dog or a cat waiting for you in that house.
In my pet business, we do client consultations at the client’s home and our normal practice is to make a HUGE deal out of meeting the dog or cat when we first walk in the home. We basically pay more attention to the pet than the person for the first 30 seconds in the house.
That’s because we want to let the client know that we care greatly about their pet. Of course, we also want the pet to feel comfortable around us so they like us.
And, when the pet likes us, then the clients normally do, too.
So, again, back to real estate, why is this important?
It’s because pet owners are usually pretty enthusiastic about their cat or dog or other pet. They typically have an affinity to the type of animal, the breed, the size, the personality, and more. If you can identify with this and bond to it, there’s an immediate connection between you and this potential new client.
I’ve literally had people not hire me (for the pet business) because they flat out said that their dog didn’t like me. Now, that’s a little extreme and a home seller may not take fluffy’s opinion into too much consideration when listing their house. But, none-the-less, people trust their pets. If Rover is normally a well-behaved dog but is growling and barking at you incessantly, it may set off a small alarm in their heads. On the other hand, a normally shy pet that comes to sit on your lap for no reason will probably elicit a positive response from the home owner.
I understand that a pet dog or cat isn’t your main concern when visiting a home. But, keep it in mind that bonding with a pet is often a huge and easy step towards connecting with this new home seller or buyer.
If you get to a home and they have a dog or cat that you’re not a fan of, don’t do things to give the impression that you don’t like them. Many pet owners will be conscious of making sure you’re not uncomfortable but, if you clearly don’t like the pet, just fake it until you leave.
Pet/Client Bonding Suggestions
When you have the opportunity to meet with someone at their home and they do have a pet, make a point to ask things such as:
- the pet’s name
- male or female
- their personality
- if there are other pets in the house
- any tricks they can do
- and basically anything else that gets them to start talking about their pet
Also, try and pet the dog or cat. Make it apparent that you like the client’s pet and that you’re not afraid of it.
And, before you leave, make sure to say “bye” to the pet as well as the pet owners. It will make them feel more confident in the fact that they just signed with you. Because, who doesn’t hire a pet-loving real estate agent when the clients are pet lovers themselves?