On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your customer service? It is critical to take care of your clients, provide clear communication and show appreciation to your database. Sounds easy, but we all know how tough it can be in reality.
Scouting out solutions to improve the flow of your daily operations does not need to be complicated. Try out these easy “hacks” to remove a client-related stress from your workday.
Stress alert! — “I need to send out several different occasion cards, but I have a stack of ‘real’ work on my desk. I need to knock these out now!”
Hack: Instant personalized notes! One user-friendly and affordable option is Postable. This service is contract-free and easy to use. The card designs are fresh and fun! My favorite part of this service? Postable’s free mini database. This powerhouse offers premium features that many other platforms charge for. The game changer? It creates a “Postable link” that encourages new contacts to complete your data entry tasks for you! Genius!
Stress alert! — “My client texts or calls me all day (and all night) and is riddled with anxiety. How do I create healthy boundaries and maintain good communication without losing my client’s trust?”
Hack: Cut them off at the pass! Even the smoothest transactions can be stressful for clients. Education is key. Curate useful educational materials for your clients that explain the milestones ahead. Check in frequently. Make it a personal goal to call them before they call you. Calling first can help you regain control. If clients can depend on regular updates, their fears should ebb to reveal easy-to-recognize boundaries.
And before you get angry that someone is crossing boundaries, make sure that you have shared your boundaries in the first place.
Try using a voice-mail management tool like slydial when you are swamped with calls to return. Slydial sends your returned call straight to voice mail. You can deliver your update without encountering unnecessary or repetitive conversations when you’re crunched for time.
Stress alert! — “I have a hot new listing, and I’m overwhelmed with excited buyer agents asking for more information and to schedule showings — and my homeowner is stressed with the constant traffic.”
Double hack: Invest in a showing service. I have used ShowingTime with good results, but there are numerous options. Showings can be scheduled online or by phone. The phone is answered seven days a week, and operators have evening hours. Most showing services have the added benefit of an easy-to-use back office for collecting feedback. Bonus! Most of these services will send text and email confirmations to your clients, so they have a log of showings. This is stellar customer service. Before you sign up, make sure using a showing service is compliant with your MLS (multiple listing service) and your local and state showing laws.
Create a buyer agent package. What is in this package? Homeowners association contact information, a plat map, frequently asked questions (with answers) and any required disclosures. (Always review with your broker to ensure you are in compliance with your state disclosure laws.) Keep extra buyer agent packages at the property and your branch office, and upload a digital version for easy online sharing. If you are lucky, your MLS will have a document-sharing feature. Why have the paper backup? Not everyone is digital, and it just saves headaches in the long run. Buyer agents love this, and the time you save by planning ahead will mean less babysitting.
Remember, your clients do not breathe, eat and sleep real estate. Push yourself to make their experience one that they will remember and treasure. Provide excellent customer service for your fellow agents who are working hard to help sell your listings to their clients. These agents will remember how great it was to work with you in the future. The best business is referral business because you do not have to buy it back from a third party.
What separates a 10 from an 11? Everyone loves a 10, but they never forget an 11. Turn up your customer service and reap the rewards!
By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. By night, she’s tweeting for listingdepot.com.