Real estate agents are quick to talk about the importance of customer service. But how many agents deliver truly exceptional client care?
Notice how I changed from customer service to client care because that's what I think we should have as a goal. It's not just important to give great customer service, but you need to care about your client. It's the "caring" that will separate you for the other agents in your market.
So how exactly do you deliver exceptional client care?
The Five-Star Treatment
Think for a moment about a five-star hotel. When you stay at a five-star hotel you expect great service. In many cases the hotel not only meets your expectations, but they exceed them. What may surprise you is that this is not their goal.
The goal of a five-star hotel is to deliver expectations you didn't know you had. Their goal is to always be thinking one or two steps ahead of your needs.
This is something I think would work quite well in real estate. I know it will work well in real estate because before technology, real estate was a "high touch" industry. Imagine the client experience if we anticipated our clients' needs and reached out to them more frequently.
It wouldn't be difficult to accomplish. We know every aspect of the home buying and home selling process, so we should educate our clients and tell them what to expect throughout the process. This includes both the good and the bumps in the road.
Client Care From the Start
Client care begins at the very beginning of the relationship. At your first buyer meeting and your listing presentation, you want to let your client know what to expect.
- How much cash will they need for their down payment and closing costs?
- Will they be expected to pay a portion of the buyers' closing costs?
- What repairs need to be completed prior to putting the house on the market?
- What should they expect from the home inspection?
- The process can be scary and make them anxious
- Buyer's remorse is real
After that first meeting, send them a thank you note. It's amazing what an impact you can make with a handwritten note. I don't know a single person who doesn't appreciate one.
What are you doing from ratification to settlement? Are you calling just to check in to see how they're doing? Do you send a bottle of wine after all of the contingencies have passed? Or perhaps you take lunch over to their house as they're packing up to move.
Show You Care
All of the these acts show that you care. It's not about the transaction, it's about the experience. When your client has a wonderful real estate experience, they are more likely to refer you to their friends, family and colleagues.
But it doesn't end there. You need to have systems in place to follow up with them after closing. And I mean years after closing. Don't let all of your hard work go down the drain by not continuing your client care efforts.
Think Outside the Box
I know you're tired of being told to "think outside the box," but have fun with this and be creative with your follow ups. Pay attention to what they are posting on social media and follow them up by calling, sending a gift or a card. Pay attention to what is happening in their life. It's not enough for you to "Like" their post. Take it to the next level and stand out from the crowd.
In this age of technology, it's nice to incorporate the personal touch. Once you go down the path of client care, you'll find that you enjoy giving, more than they enjoy receiving. It just feels good and if you happen to get more business from it, all the better.
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