With the rise of the discount real estate service companies, we have to be better than we were 5 years ago, even a year ago! We use the term "Full service", but do we provide it?
I keep hearing some real-estate agents complaining about discount brokers taking a bite out of the real-estate market and they are worried that Web companies like Redfin and Zillow will, for some buyers and sellers, eliminate the need for a full-service agent.
Full service real estate services are about more than a commission, it is about treating clients like a member of the family and not just a number. Our commitment must go beyondjust answering our phone, putting a sign in a yard and looking up houses on the MLS.
Successful agents fundamentally and ultimately understand that success is based on human relationships and personal connection that a discount firm or an on-line company cannot offer.
We can and need to be more personable, which is the most effective way of building a loyal customer base and growing our business rather than loose it to discount firms. As a business problem, the issue gets down to this: If our clients cannot get individualized service from you, they will go to a discount firm.
Our future depends on customized and professional service. A useful metaphor is clothing. Would you prefer an "off the rack," or a tailored suit? Some folks can buy clothing off the rack that fits fine, but most people look best with fitted clothing, even if the modifications are slight.
Off the rack is serviceable, but not desirable. It lacks style. It lacks elegance. It is comfortable only in a diffuse, unrestrained way. You'd wear one if you had to, but only if there were no alternative. But when it comes to that suit made to fit you exactly, it not only looks great, but it feels great. There's something comforting about a snug, custom fit. It doesn't have to be extreme to give you a sense of well-being.
Real Estate should work the same way. Every client wants you to "tailor" your service to fit them. You can't just trot out the same routine for every client!
Just some thoughts.
Brad Snyder - "The 45 Day REALTOR"
EDIT: Paul Silver made some great comments and insights on this post and in his own post (Discount Brokers, Full Service Brokers, Limited Service Brokers... what is all the fuss?) I would reccomend you also read his post. I would now change my use of the word "Discount" to "Limited Service".