Real estate may be most famous for being all about location, but the reality is that you can’t overlook the importance of customer service.
Real estate investors tend to focus on the bottom line but ignoring customer service will literally cost them. Let’s discuss what really matters in real estate customer service. Furthermore, we’ll provide some suggestions on how to meet and exceed customer expectations with regard to service.
Start with Hospitality
Make those spending several hours in your office to discuss expensive deals comfortable. Be polite, supportive, and answer all their questions. Share information with clients, even when it is less than ideal. Respond quickly to calls and emails.
Furthermore, you should be providing a continuous stream of service during and after the sale. Done right, this will build trust and increase the odds of closing the deal. It will also increase their brand loyalty and positive impression of the real estate firm, even if they don’t buy from you. Now they’re likely to tell their friends about you or consider you next time.
Make Customer Service Part of Your Core Mission
You should make customer service part of your core mission. A good starting place is your mission statement. This makes customer service part of the mission and the company culture.
Too many real estate firms focus on closing the deal and earning money, though investing is 1 percent paperwork and 99 percent customer service. Teach your team to value customers and treat them right because it is essential to the business. Hire new team members who are experienced in customer service as well as the real estate industry.
Go the Extra Mile
You should also go the extra mile to address needs that buyers may have, even if they’re unexpressed. Some clients simply may not know what they need exactly. If you notice that they don’t, make sure that you ask them questions to see exactly what they want. Doing so will not only help you unearth unexpressed needs but help narrow down their search. This will also allow you to understand their preferences better, which will allow you to save time. In other cases, it might prevent some last-minute detail ruining a deal. The more you know about your client, the better.
Use Hard Data to Measure and Manage Customer Satisfaction
The next step is incorporating it into your key performance indicators or KPIs. Do customer surveys and have goals for customer satisfaction ratings. Then offer training to agents who aren’t connecting to their clients or coming across the wrong way. Track the percentage of sales that come from referrals since these are both a cheap source of leads and a measure of your brand’s reputation with current clients. Track metrics on customer retention. If you see customers fleeing, find out why so you can stem the tide.
Once you have good customer service metrics, start looking for ways to do better. Have a continuous improvement mentality with regard to customer service in addition to streamlining business processes.
Make Customer Service Part of the Business Process
Customer service should be part of every business process. Incorporate customer service into your customer relationship management, whether you’re sending them useful branded items like calendars and notepads or providing advice via newsletters where they buy from you.
This will add to the positive impression you have with customers, and it will keep them engaged with your brand. Don’t just personalize content and contacts. Connect with them and maintain the connection. Thank them for their business and follow up with them after the fact.
Customer service will also help you stand out from a landscape crowded with investing apps and generic websites. Highlight the quality of service and/or products you offer to customers in your marketing efforts. Promote positive reviews your customers have left you, especially when they talk about how well your real estate firm treated them. Testimonials remain powerful marketing content, as well.
You can’t guarantee returns on a given property, but you know that you can’t afford to alienate your customers. This is why real estate customer service is an under-valued but powerful and cost-effective way to improve your bottom line.