As the world seeks to find its footing after two supremely stressful and exhausting years, I’m trying to reconcile what I have always known with what I am learning now.
And after attending three recent industry conferences, the drumbeat I am hearing over and over (and over) again is the power of a great consumer experience — and how it matters now more than ever.
Stats from global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers indicate that:
People will pay 16% more for a good customer experience.
Automation won’t replace real human service. 82% of Americans say that as a customer, they’ll want to interact more with a real person as technology improves.
Remember all those rumors and threats that real estate agents will soon be as obsolete as travel agents? These stats seem to prove that smart, hard-working agents who center the client experience will continue to be undisruptable in the years and decades to come.
How reviews can create agent-to-agent referrals
A related trend I’ve noticed in my travels is that consumers aren’t the only ones eager to make deeper connections. Industry professionals are attending events in droves, and finding quiet corners to meet new friends or old acquaintances — and yes, people they only know from years of Facebook posts.
At RateMyAgent, we’ve recently hosted parties at industry conferences that have felt more like high school reunions than networking events. We have noticed that people are willing and excited to engage in rich discussions about their businesses, the trends they’re seeing, the processes and client offerings that seem to be making a difference.
Real estate is a notoriously competitive business, one in which it can be difficult to get agents to share their “secret sauce.”
These days, I’ve seen that true professionals aren’t trying to keep their business to themselves anymore. They’re sharing their knowledge and hoping to get ideas and insights from like-minded pros in other markets.
I’ve personally seen:
- Agents look up another agent’s RateMyAgent profile to check out client reviews before referring business.
- Agents refer business only to people who have received an Agent of the Year Award in their town or city
The result is a deeper sense of connection, one that will persist after the vendors tear down their booths and the conference floors are swept and mopped. It’s a connection that will last until an old friend comes to them and says, “Hey, we are moving to Charleston next year, do you know any agents there you’d trust to work with?”
If you’ve been on the fence about attending Inman Connect in April, I can’t stress enough how meaningful this event will be. Events like Connect have long been known as the best place for like-minded agents to “find their people” and this year, I can feel that the walls will come down, the connection points will run deep.
I hope you’ll join us at the Agent of the Year Party on April 19, from 7-9 PM at 48 Lounge in New York City, where hundreds of agents will meet to share their stories, make long-lasting connections and grow their referral businesses.