In the competitive real estate arena, customer experience is key to an agent’s success, whether that agent is helping with a purchase, sale or both. Customers have high expectations regarding the level of support provided by their agents — as they should. Buying and selling homes are some of the most impactful transactions a person makes, and it’s up to agents to make that experience as smooth as possible.
Owners.com, a customer-focused real estate brokerage, revealed in a recent survey that the top reason 42 percent of participants chose their real estate agent was through a referral from friends or family, making this a crucial way to build and retain a client base. Here’s how your expertise, candor, and attentiveness can help you make the best impression on clients and increase referrals.
Be the best resource
With the many stages that accompany buying and selling homes, it’s easy for clients to get overwhelmed through the process. Positioning yourself as an invaluable resource can give clients a great first impression. Stay up-to-date with the latest real estate and mortgage news, and pass relevant information along in simple language they’ll understand. Also, have reliable preferred providers available to help support their journey, like mortgage brokers, title companies and insurance agencies. This will provide your customers with information and resources they didn’t know they needed and make you an essential asset.
The Owners.com survey also found that 46 percent of respondents desired accurate property and neighborhood data from their agent to help inform their decision. It’s important to show up to every tour understanding the details of that property and neighborhood.
Katrice Edwards, an Atlanta-based Owners.com agent provides this information upfront and also summarizes it in a recap after each tour. “I get to a showing early, take pictures, and read over my research of the property, so I can provide those details before they even ask,” she reveals. “Knowing the ins and outs of a property can help you anticipate questions or concerns a client will have and readily deliver sound solutions.”
Prioritize customer service over closing
Amazing customer service from an agent is held in the highest regard. Clients can often tell when their agent cares more about closing than meeting their needs. The initial stage is a good time to get to know your clients beyond their home needs. Casually asking about their interests, profession and family life shows that you’re invested and also gives you deeper intel on what type of home and neighborhood they may be interested in. If you knew ahead of time that your client is planning a family or loves dogs, you can show homes in the best school district or close to dog parks.
“Buying a home is more than just asking how many bedrooms a buyer wants,” says Edwards. “Agents should consider the client’s lifestyle, as well as the features they’ve always wanted in their dream home, and demonstrate this understanding in the properties they show. This can make a lasting impact on a client and compel them to refer the agent and even work with them again in the future.”
Maintain an open line of communication
Are your clients comfortable speaking openly with you? This is an important question for any agent to ask themselves, as communication can make or break a client-agent relationship. Keep in mind that some clients may not openly reveal their opinions without being prompted, so ask for feedback on how you’re doing.
“I ask my clients to let me know if I’m not getting it,” says Edwards. “It helps clients open up and let me know where I’m missing the mark.” It also gives the agent a chance to redeem themselves and shows the client that you truly care about their best interest.
Set yourself apart by breaking the common stereotypes about real estate agents being pushy, overly salesy and only caring about a commission. Demonstrating empathy, patience, and understanding throughout your interaction with clients can build memorable relationships and result in them recommending you to their network.
Owners.com is a customer-focused brokerage dedicated to delivering highly personalized services. At the forefront of the real estate revolution, Owners.com and its preferred providers offer a complete real estate solution that includes unique digital experiences, local real estate expertise, and financing and closing services that strive to anticipate and fulfill the dreams of home buyers and sellers.