What works and what doesn’t. The number one thing I can implore upon you is to ask questions, ask questions, and ask questions! The right questions will always get you the appropriate response. What I mean is that to help understand the special needs community is to understand that you must use PEOPLE first language. If you focus on the PERSON and not the issue, challenge, or disability you will always receive a great outcome. Here is an example…”What are your child’s challenges?” Or, “what housing challenges are you facing?” Instead of “what is wrong with him/her?” The first two question will receive a much better response than the last question.
One of my favorite questions to ask a family is, “Which of your children will have a more difficult time with your move?” This one simple question usually reveals something they don’t want to share (but makes the client comfortable to share). By asking I was able to have a family open up about their child’s challenges and turn them onto resources they so desperately needed, such as doctors, schools, hospitals, therapists, and support groups. When they first reached out to me to move to the area they had no idea I had Josh. I had no idea they had a child with some similar issues! It was just an internet lead that turned into a special needs situation because I kept asking questions. Once they felt comfortable and we were on the same page everything opened up and I found them the RIGHT home!!
If you think you have asked enough questions keep asking. Make your clients feel important, focus on the person and not the challenge or disability, by doing this we make the person feel whole. More importantly we as real estate professionals are recognizing we are not just selling a house but helping a family make a smooth transition to a home.
Overall what I learned is that to become the best real estate professional you can, you must keep asking questions! The more questions the better. Not the rapid fire kind but the conversational, curious, and inquisitive kind that makes your clients feel special and safe. The more you work on mastering this skill the better you will be at helping your clients facing a challenge or special need.