The Real Estate Encyclopedia
The Simple Secret to Stunning Service
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Satisfied, or Stunned?

The first week of October marks the start of the annual "National Customer Service Week", a time when thousands of people from across the globe join together to highlight and recognize the crucial role played by Customer Service Professionals everywhere. It’s a time to reward those people you may have working the "front lines", talking to customers and representing your company everyday, but it’s also a time to reevaluate your existing customer service practices to determine if your service is truly stunning, or merely mildly satisfying your clients.

In real estate, regardless of whether you work within a team, the reality is that the homebuyer or seller’s perception of service begins and ends with you. In this age of commission slashing, discount brokers, and bundled services, agents and brokers are falling over each other trying to grab and hang on to their piece of the real estate pie. Where will you fit in?

Consider this scenario: Your potential buyer or seller is faced with a choice of agents: you, and your competition. You both provide the exact same services. You both charge the exact same commission. Why should your customer choose you over your competition? The answer is simple: service. When faced with a choice between two equally matched options, the customer will always go with the one that seems to provide "that little extra" for them.

An Easy Option

A good way to begin to evaluate your existing level of customer service is to ask your current customers exactly how well you are serving them. Send out an evaluation form to everyone you’re currently working with and ask them how you’re doing. This is an excellent way to identify potential problems, since people are generally reluctant to pick up the phone and call you to complain. By giving them a chance to express any concerns they might have in the early stages of the relationship, you are giving them the opportunity to tell you exactly how to turn them into raving fans of your business.

Once you’ve determined where you’re at, decide where you want to go. Imagine you are overhearing your customer talk to a friend about the recent transaction they completed with you.

How would you like that conversation to go? Would you want to hear, "Oh, he/she was okay. It all went pretty smoothly, I guess. Nothing out of the ordinary." Or would you rather hear, "He/she was fantastic! I was just blown away by his/her level of service. He/she was so responsive to my needs, and even anticipated things I didn’t know to think about! It was such an amazing experience, I highly recommend him/her. I’ll definitely use him/her again."

That WOW! Experience

If the "wow" experience is your goal, analyze your business and determine where you can make it happen. Could you enhance your pre-list package with more helpful documents or services? Could you provide more timely updates to your buyer or seller during the transaction process? Could you incorporate new technology tools to save time and effort, resulting in a much smoother transaction? Not every improvement has to cost money; sometimes it’s the simplest things you can do that communicate to a customer, "I recognize you are a unique individual, and I value your business. Let me show you."

Corporate and business author Dale Dauten once said, "If you want to be creative in your company, your career, your life, all it takes is one easy step… the extra one. When you encounter a familiar plan, you just ask one question: What ELSE could we do?"

Talented Enough to Serve

This week, be mindful of the level of customer service you provide your clients. Remember: you are the first person they meet in the pre-list or buyer presentation, and you are the last person they see when walking away from the closing table. What lies in between is the level of service they feel you’ve provided them. How do you want them to feel?

For innovative and creative ideas on how to step up your customer service, listen to the iSucceed Counseling Call “Creating a WOW Experience - Working by Referrals and Client Service” with Thousand Oaks, CA agent Terry Moerler, and “Superior Client Service” with Nelson Zide of Framingham, MA.


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