On any given day, a real estate agent has a thousand tasks on the go. Between your listing presentations, open houses, contract drafts and phone calls, it can be easy to lose focus on the kind of service you’re offering your clients.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – real estate is about relationships. You’re assisting people with one of the biggest decisions in their life. Clients may be anxious, overwhelmed, and full of questions. In order to have a positive experience that results in repeat business, you need to offer the best possible customer service as their REALTOR®.
Here are some of the common customer service mistakes real estate agents make that can result in fewer leads and less repeat business.
Mistake #1: Not responding on time.
Clients expect their phone call or email to be returned as soon as possible. So when you leave them hanging, it could cause them to turn to another, more responsive Realtor. Replying quickly reassures your client that you’re on top of the task. Even if you can’t resolve the issue immediately, let them know you received their message and are working on it.
Mistake #2: Using industry jargon.
You’ll likely receive a blank stare from your client if you ramble on about escrow analysis and third party origination. Remember that your customers don’t work in the industry. Try to use language that they understand without insulting them. Using too much jargon can confuse your client and make them feel uncomfortable.
Mistake #3: Ignoring technical communication preferences.
If you’re selling a home to a millennial first time buyer, they may find it convenient to text you when they have a question. However, if you’re listing the home of a senior couple, it might be best to pick up the phone and give them a call. Ask your client how they prefer to be contacted and adjust your style accordingly. This will help them feel more comfortable and save you from leaving unanswered voicemails or unopened emails. A good CRM will help you track the communication preferences of your clients by storing their details in their contact profile.
Mistake #4: Getting defensive.
Even seasoned Realtors make a mistake now and then. Providing good customer service doesn’t require that you’re perfect, it requires that you own up to your errors. If your client feels you made a mistake, exercise humility and grace. Apologize and validate their feelings without getting defensive and making excuses.
Mistake #5: Forgetting to listen.
Yes, you are the real estate expert and yes, some clients have wildly unrealistic expectations about the home buying and selling processes. But before you launch into a long-winded explanation about reasonable listing prices, let your client share their thoughts. You don’t always have to agree to get along with a real estate client, but you do have to listen. Make sure your customers feel heard and understood before you start talking.
Mistake #6: Ignoring visual cues.
Some of your real estate clients will be skilled at verbally expressing what they want and need, others will be less eloquent. Learn to pick up on body language and take hints from how your client is reacting in conversations. This will help you gauge how well the process is going and you’ll be able to anticipate future reactions. At the same time, be aware of what your own body language is communicating to your clients. A furrowed brow and crossed arms will give the impression that you’re disinterested. Remember to smile and maintain good posture to set your clients at ease.
Mistake #7: Breaking promises.
When you say you’re going to do something, do it. Breaking promises will give clients the impression that they aren’t your priority and they’ll be less likely to recommend you to their friends or family. Following through on your word is a cornerstone of good customer service so don’t make promises you can’t keep!
Mistake #8: Lacking empathy.
When you’ve helped many people buy and sell homes, you might forget what an overwhelming experience it can be for some people. There are sad instances where your clients may be moving due to a death, divorce, or other difficult circumstances. Expressing empathy is a key way to offer your clients support and ensure a good experience. Be patient and sensitive with clients who are navigating through challenging times. You may not always know exactly what to say, but sincerely expressing sympathy when necessary is important.
Mistake #9: Treating clients like transactions.
Your clients understand that real estate is your career, but they still want to be treated like human beings and not transactions. When clients mention a recent vacation, new family pet or favorite hobby, make note of it in your real estate CRM. Next time you see them you’ll be able to ask about it, which will help build rapport and relationship. Everyone likes to be remembered, so make use of your CRM to help you store details about your clients.
Offering your real estate clients an outstanding experience is important for generating more business. Happy clients become repeat clients; they recommend you to their network and become your word-of-mouth advertising. Go above and beyond by treating each client with respect and care and you’ll be rewarded with more leads!