A real estate broker stands no chance of finding success if he doesn’t place a heavy emphasis on customer service. And with today’s technologically-driven industry, customer service isn’t just making sure that client gets the property he or she wants. Real estate brokers have the responsibility to shape a memorable customer experience from initial meeting to closing – and everything in between. It involves journeying with the client, going the extra mile in anticipating their needs, and providing actionable solutions to any issues.
The term customer experience is a commonly used phrase in service industries. It has no clear cut definition; instead, it’s a personal responsibility that a professional takes upon himself to offer unparalleled customer service for his clients. The end goal of customer experience is to simplify things for clients and to ensure that they won’t encounter any hiccups that could delay the transaction.
Customer experience begins with understanding the client
Customer experience begins when a broker devotes time to get to know their client, understand his motivations for searching for a property, and from there, deliver a personalized experience. It’s natural for clients to want brokers to listen to them and understand their needs. But taking this extra step is equally beneficial for a broker to identify how best to help his client and do so efficiently and effectively.
The best real estate agents are willing and able to put themselves in the shoes of their clients. It’s never right to force-fit a brokers’ wants into the needs of their clients. Empathy should always play a role in decision-making. Even if the client is wrong, brokers need to view the situation from the perspective of their buyer or seller and come up with a solution that doesn’t completely disregard their feelings.
It’s always a great idea to be professional, but interactions with a client should never turn into an “act.” Neither should it be done almost robotic. It shouldn’t be necessary to squeeze out authenticity from a person. Instead, it should flow out effortlessly, helping make the client feel secure working with their agent.
Customer perceptions can change after just one interaction. It’s not enough to be excellent; it matters just as much to be consistent. Clients remember the simplest things: if their broker arrives on time to meetings, if they’re greeted with enthusiasm each time, and if they communicate using formal language.
Meet clients where they are
With real estate increasingly going digital with the proliferation of online brokerages and listing platforms, it’s important to solidify a presence online and make a connection with clients there. This requires a thorough understanding of the target client’s habits, especially with social media. Technology has made ways for customer experience to be elevated, and communication is much easier. It’s simply up to the broker to leverage these online tools to reach more potential clients.
It’s important, however, not to forget that there will always be customers who are not as technologically adept as others. The principle, however, stays the same: meet them where they are. Set up a meeting over lunch or coffee near where they live if it’s the easiest way to connect. What matters is that clients feel that their broker is making an effort to reach out.
Retaining the client should be the ultimate end goal
Excellent customer experience has the ability to produce lifetime clients and multiply business referrals. It’s why factors like authenticity and consistency matters. Staying in touch consistently and being available for consultations are just some of the ways to provide customer experience even after the transaction.
One of the greatest rewards of being able to shape a memorable customer experience is holding a competitive edge in the industry. It is crucial to one’s career to develop a personal brand of customer experience that will reinforce his reputation and create opportunities for more business.