Prime Resi Journal – This Business is Personal: What buying agents can learn from dating

17 Mar

Earlier this month Rachel provided her expert opinion to Prime Resi on matchmaking misconceptions and how the psychology of dating can cross over to other industries.

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With deeply personal – and often unrealistic – search criteria, finding a client a new home is very much like finding them love, says matchmaking guru Rachel MacLynn of the Vida Consultancy; doing it successfully is a real art and a rare skill.

Assumption is a dangerous word when applied to client relationships. Emotional intelligence in the corporate world and in your personal life is the most valuable tool you can apply to attain success. This is especially the case when psychologically profiling your clients when you have been engaged to fulfil a very personal service like finding someone their dream home or their life partner. In both instances you are engaging on a deeply personal, emotive and private level, so your ability to ask the right questions and gain their confidence and trust is a real art, and a rare skill. Any decisions being made by your client will have a phenomenal impact on their life and future.

The reality is that I have just a few hours of conversation to profile a client and only minutes to begin building their confidence.

My personal career and business success has been achieved through a combination of my expertise as a Psychologist and eight years of experience in the world of exclusive matchmaking. The reality is that I have just a few hours of conversation to profile a client and only minutes to begin building their confidence. It’s worth remembering that in choosing you as their personal consultant in the quest to find a life partner, a dream home or property investment, they will be asking themselves fundamental questions like:

  • Is this the best possible matchmaker/property expert?
  • Does this matchmaker/property expert have access to the right quality of people/properties?
  • How quickly can I tell if they are really able to understand what I am looking for?
  • Ultimately will I actually achieve what I have set out to accomplish with this matchmaker/property expert quickly?

Clients often come with a wish list of what they would like in a life partner based on physical attributes and life experiences. Last year a client, who had recently experienced an acrimonious divorce with a French lady, insisted that he not meet any French women. Of course I was sensitive to his feeling, but the reality was that their longterm aspirations as a couple were just not aligned. Some clients seek a physical replica of an ex-partner and can even become obsessed about details. “They must have a symmetrical face and I only want someone with blue eyes so I can see into their soul.” It has even stretched to someone requesting a specific personality type as measured by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. This is a psychometric tool usually reserved for use in recruitment and team building.

It takes an investment of time to reach the truthful essence of what a client needs, and not just what they think they need.

People looking for the dream home usually have a wish list too. These are the rudimentary elements of the client profile. It takes an investment of time on the part of you with your client to really get beyond the surface to reach the truthful essence of what they need, and not just what they think they need. I spend up to 2.5 hours conducting an in-depth profiling session in order to gain trust and assess potential partner compatibility, as well as using this opportunity to position myself as the expert. I need to understand their values, attitudes and beliefs as well as their aspirations. It isn’t possible to make wild card suggestions without first establishing complete trust. I had a client who was adamant that she did not want to meet anyone with children. Her ultimate dream was children of her own with the right partner. Interestingly, when I found what I believed was the ideal match, he already had a child. My instinct told me that they were a great match, and because of that implicit trust that had been established between us, she decided to trust my judgement and meet him. They now live together and she adores his daughter. Making assumptions about your client based on their wealth or cultural background is where you can potentially go wrong; nobody wants to feel like they are being stereotyped.

Knowing what has or has not worked in previous relationships requires a level of personal intimacy, so you have to work carefully with your client to establish confidential trust. When you apply the same principles to a property search it will help to really focus the search accurately. People love to talk about themselves, especially if they really feel comfortable with their exclusive matchmaker or property expert and can talk privately with you in the right environment.

My goal each time is for my client to meet the match I have proposed and feel that instant recognition of this is exactly what I was looking for

A very thorough profiling of my client efficiently narrows the field of potential partners I feel confident to introduce. Investing the time and energy on building an accurate profile ultimately results in success. My goal each time is for my client to meet the match I have proposed and feel that instant recognition of this is exactly what I was looking for. As an expert in real estate you want the same experience for your clients when they walk into a property for the first time. The time and energy you put into profiling your client at the start of your relationship will result in showing them property that really matches their dream, as well as cementing their trust in your expertise.

Rachel MacLynn BSc (Hons), MSc, CPsychol 

Founder & Managing Director, Vida

The views of contributors are not necessarily those of PrimeResi or its Publishers.


by Rachel Vida MacLynn

Founder & CEO

Rachel Vida MacLynn is reputed as being a world-leading matchmaking and dating expert. Registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Rachel advocates a professional matchmaking approach based on psychological principles and professional consultation.More by this author

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