Are your customer service skills making you irrelevant?

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Full Circle Property Management

So I cancelled the newspaper yesterday. Not because I wanted to be huddled over my ipad to read the daily paper each day, or to save a few dollars, but because the paper couldn't be delivered to my house before I left for work making it irrelevant.

 

I don't go to the bank anymore. Not because I want to spend time figuring out how to take a picture of the deposit, sending it 3 times, and hoping they got it, but because my bank does not understand the concept of customers go to the bank on their lunch hour, the bank needs to take lunch at a different time than the customers.

 

I scan my own groceries now, not because I want to fight with the scanner, the produce codes, and bag my own stuff. Its because the market does not understand that there are a lot of people, in a hurry, that have 10 or 15 things and don't want to wait for that one register that is express that may or may not be open.

 

So what about you? Are you making yourself irrelevant? Do you answer your phone, return emails, follow up face to face? Do you do all your deals in a faceless manner with shared docs, email, e-sign, and bury your contact info deep in your websites? How long before the consumer can do the transaction without you with web, fill in forms, and automated electronic lockboxes to see homes without you?

 

Look into your practices and procedures and see if you are doing what you can to keep your customers, otherwise they will go on.

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Donna Foerster 10/02/2016 05:00 AM
  2. Gabe Sanders 09/25/2016 04:12 PM
  3. Winston Heverly 12/13/2016 09:39 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Best Practices
Groups:
Property Management
Tags:
customer service
property management ohio

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Rainmaker
432,552
Drick Ward
NEPTUNE REALTY - Virginia Beach, VA
"RealtorDrick" - Experienced Representation

Excellent post, thanks for sharing.  There are many snake oil salesmen peddling their wares to real estate agents as convenient and time saving.  Most agents don't even consider the fact that by utilizing some of these, they are working themselves right out of a job.  I personally believe we (agents) can not be replaced by a collection of databases, but that is the way the industry is being pushed.  For the time being, grocery stores have self and full service lines, but if you think that will last forever, consider when is the last time you pulled into a full service gas station and said, "fill er up"?  

Sep 14, 2016 06:27 AM #35
Rainer
192,443
Greg Mona
Platinum Living Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
YOUR Local Real Estate and Design Resource in AZ!

Intriguing post Dennis Swartz.  We are already "there" with many things, including those you mentioned.  That said, one thing many of us have most likely learned the hard way (I know I have!) is if you do not respond in a timely manner and/or otherwise make yourself available to prospects, people will just go to the next Realtor they can find.  While we like to think of ourselves as professionals who have a lot to offer our clients, unless and until these prospects are clients and get to know, understand and appreciate what we can and will do for them, we are simply a commodity.

Sep 14, 2016 08:30 AM #36
Rainmaker
452,260
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experience Agent in Kansas City Metro area

We are in the 'on demand' society now..especially those under 50!  Most people expect an immediate response; they want what they want when they want it. Same with real estate. Can be a challenge to juggle many pp at the same time.

Sep 14, 2016 08:59 AM #37
Rainer
28,640
Elizabeth Murphree
Elizabeth Murphree @ Ikon Realty of Ashburn 5 - Fairfax, VA
Helping Baby Boomers Boom in Northern Virginia!

This was an excellent point of view. As a professional, I believe we are always proving why we are different and relevant. Thank you.

Sep 14, 2016 10:38 AM #38
Rainmaker
671,082
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Phoenix - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

While, this I'm sure was not intended to be funny, I laughed.  It is so accurate, my feeling too.

Sep 15, 2016 02:54 PM #39
Ambassador
4,206,616
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Dennis Swartz, excellent point.

The technology is going to take care of most routine tasks. What we need is - face-2-face, belly-2-belly, voice-2-voice connection forever!

Sep 15, 2016 03:08 PM #40
Rainmaker
2,638,187
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

I see this all around me yet is it not indicative of how I serve my clients. It's all about them ... it is all about service. Congratulations on the Feature!

Sep 16, 2016 02:01 AM #41
Rainmaker
686,416
Mike Bjork
American Pacific Mortgage - Redondo Beach, CA

Good point, Dennis!  You're right!  I think with the Digital Age upon us, that we do end up burying ourselves into it (potentially losing customers in the process).  Personally, I try to combine both.  Many times, I may never meet my client face-to-face, so I try to compensate with speaking with them on the phone (vs just over text or email).  What's funny about your analogies, I do the same thing because I want the speed and convenience of it.  Thanks for writing this.  Something definitely, I need to keep more in mind while dealing with people, so I don't go overboard with the technology;)

Sep 16, 2016 02:34 AM #42
Rainmaker
1,556,251
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

HA!  I have a friend who just called me from the post office -- that closed during lunch hour.  How stupid.  But that's why they made those stamp vending machines!  

I try to make the real estate services I provide RELEVANT!  I'm not closed for lunch!

Good post!

Sep 16, 2016 05:58 AM #43
Rainmaker
193,525
Mark Neighbor
A O Home Solutions - Sell House Georgia - Buy House Georgia - McDonough, GA
Sell House Fast In Georgia

Good information and ideas. What about youtube? Do you make videos of "how to" for certain processes and let the customers view and use them rather than have to explain the same thing to everyone? Do you use video testimonials posted on the web so the clients will get to know you better without the face time. Here is one example Https://www.youtube.com/user/Askmarkfirst

There are lots of good ways to reduce time as well as documenting with your computer making it easier to find information later not in a paper file, like neat receipts. 

 

Sep 16, 2016 10:14 PM #44
Rainmaker
2,910,223
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists

I tried to schedule an appointment yesterday, but they take an hour for lunch and don't answer the phones. Not the best customer service when dealing with the public...

Sep 17, 2016 10:25 PM #45
Rainmaker
905,756
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post and "relvant" to what we do on a  daily basis.  I hear you.  I'd rather scan my stuff and move on. Our time flies by and we get so much done as quickly as possible, both in real estate and every day life!

Sep 18, 2016 06:30 AM #46
Rainmaker
4,421,341
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Love your post, Dennis.  And, I agree with you about making choices that are because it is convenient and easy.  So, I hope to always be the choice for those looking for real estate around here.

Sep 18, 2016 08:40 PM #47
Rainmaker
1,595,800
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Dennis - you are absolutely spit on.  wowing ou for customers and exceeding expectations is necessary or we will lose them 

Sep 21, 2016 11:08 PM #48
Rainmaker
1,114,861
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire

Dennis

A lot to think about. Fortunately, I agree with you about your first 3 points but have not fallen into your last way of life. I still hold the interest and goals of my clients in the highest regards and feel when this fails, off to that real estate heaven and xxx number of 70 year old virgins. All right, not PC but a tiny bit of too early Thursday morning humor for all you pirds out there. Give me a break. thanks and cheers cvc

Sep 22, 2016 02:10 AM #49
Rainmaker
31,538
Bill Baughman
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - La Quinta, CA
RE photographer, webmaster, transaction admin

1. Newspaper?  Only because it provides a local "heads-up" on what might be important.  The local paper website is now more of a media center.

2.  Bank?  Me, either.

3.  Groceries?  I scan whenever I can.

Great point of view, Dennis!  And some important things to think about.

Sep 23, 2016 04:26 PM #50
Rainmaker
206,632
Dennis Swartz
Full Circle Property Management - Columbus, OH
MBA, GRI...experience counts!

Thanks to all who commented....we really need to strive to stay relevant as the internet giants each day gain footholds.

Sep 24, 2016 10:10 PM #51
Rainmaker
1,448,250
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
Realty National - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

An excellent set of analogies for us all to keep in mind as we plod along through this Monday!

Sep 25, 2016 08:41 PM #52
Rainmaker
1,777,891
Patricia Feager
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Dennis Swartz - From reading your posts, it's clear to me you're relevant and current! You know how to run a business, what works, and what gets on people's nerves. Clearly, I'm a believer and a new follower of you!

Sep 26, 2016 01:40 AM #53
Rainmaker
1,044,250
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

Hi Dennia,
I missed this post but saw Donna Foerster 's reblog.  So many people don't understand customer service and it's killing local business!  I WANT too support local business but can't justify doing so if the customer service doesn't outweigh the advantages on the "dark side".   Thanks for the post!  I hope they take notice.

Oct 02, 2016 09:27 AM #54
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Rainmaker
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Dennis Swartz

MBA, GRI...experience counts!
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