The Rule of Three


We wall want more referrals, and referrals start when you provide a great customer experience. And the foundation of great customer experience is great communication.

Have you been violating one of the most fundamental rules of client communication? It’s simple and it’s critical to great customer experience: The Rule of Three.

Understanding the Rule of Three

The Rule of Three in real estate communication is simple yet profound. Stated simply, it involves three steps: 1) telling your client what you’re going to do; 2) doing it; and 3) then following up to tell them that it’s been done and what to expect next. This might seem straightforward, but as a group, Realtors rarely get it right. But when we do get it right, its impact on our clients’ experience is profound.

1: Set Expectations: Tell The Client What You’re Going to Do

The first step is about setting clear expectations. When you communicate what you’re going to do and set an expectation, you’re not just informing your client; you’re setting yourself up to earn deeper trust. Later on, when you deliver on that expectation, you not only met the expectations, which fosters a better customer experience; you also built greater trust. And trust is the currency of referrals.

2: Do It: Action Speaks Louder

Then comes the action part: do what you said you would do. This is where action combines with your skills and expertise, solving problems and moving the transaction forward. This step is where you demonstrate your competence and primary value.

3: Tell Them What You Did: Close The Loop

The final step, and often the one most overlooked, is the follow-up. The first two steps have little impact on earning future referrals if you don’t complete this step. Simply said, it’s about closing the loop. You inform your client that the task is completed and outline what happens next. This step is crucial because it ensures that your client is never left wondering about the status of their transaction.

So take a few minutes to close the loop with your clients. Update them on what happened and what happens next. It reinforces their confidence in your abilities to deliver and in your process. And that confidence and trust is the foundation of earning their future referrals. And frankly, it’s the right thing to do, anyway!

Why the Rule of Three Matters

In real estate, where emotions and investments are significant, leaving your clients in the dark, even inadvertently, can erode trust and confidence. All too often as Realtors, we tell our clients what we’re going to do, do it, and then get distracted by a new lead or a separate issue for another client … and we forget to close the loop.

Meanwhile, our client – in a peak stressful moment in their lives (moving and whatever caused the move to happen which is usually just as stressful) – are wondering what’s happening with little to no control over the situation. It leaves clients frustrated and angry. By applying the Rule of Three, you make sure that your clients are continuously in the loop. This consistent communication is the bedrock of a positive client experience, reducing anxiety and building a foundation of trust and positivity.

Beyond Transactions: Building Referral Foundations

Remember, a great client experience transcends the transaction. When clients feel emotionally connected to the service you provide, they become your advocates. They are more likely to refer you to friends and family, expanding your business through the most powerful marketing tool available – word of mouth.