The key to success in every endeavour is excellent service to your customers and it is not different as a Real Estate Agent.
A Real Estate Agent has many categories of customers, but arguably, the two main groups are your sellers (those who are selling their property through your service) and your buyers (your prospects who are searching to purchase a home or make an investment in a property).
The quality of service you render to these two groups determines the trajectory of your success. Very often, sales persons adopt the mistaken belief that focusing on closing is the key strategy to growing your sales. While closing is very important, this cannot be your key focus, since it may lead you to do whatever it takes to close and some of these things could be harmful to your customers and in the long term, harmful to your business.
Take for instance, an unhealthy focus on closing, can lead you to sell a property to a prospect that is not in her best interest and later she will come to regret the purchase and tarnish your reputation. It may also lead you to not seek out the best deal for a buyer, selling their property for a lower than market value and later, when the seller realizes that she received less than the market value, she would be quick to spread the negative word.
An ideal transaction is one in which the customer comes to value there service more and more as time rolls on. This way you have a lifelong promoter of your services without having to pay for advertising.
If you have come to believe that rendering outstanding service is the key to your long term success, the question then arises, “How can I give excellent service?”.
In this article and in subsequent articles, we would explore some of the elements of excellent customer service. We start with service to the ‘Seller’.
Excellent customer service falls under two main categories, A) The elements of the service, and B) The manner in which this service is rendered.
A) The Elements of the Service These consist of a number of expectations that the customer harbors, either explicitly or silently, hopes that you would preform. The include:
- Need Analysis
- Help the seller clarify in her mind the key motivation and objectives in selling the property and the timeline for selling.
- Help the seller determine the best selling price, considering the location and current market conditions.
- Property Preparation
- Help in property preparation by advising on repairs and improvements and offering suggestions on how best to present the property to potential buyers.
- Marketing Strategy
- Help develop a clear Marketing Plan including activities, costs and timelines.
- Advise and help the seller evaluate the various offers.
- Negotiating the Sale
- Help the seller and potential buyers negotiate offers and counter offers and finalize terms and conditions of sale.
- Help the seller and selected buyer finalize any pre-conditions for sale, such as conditional repairs and seller services.
- Document Availability
- Help with the coordination and supervision of document preparation and availability to facilitate the legal process
- Ensure all closing documents are made available to the seller, resolve any last minute issues and ensure the completion of the sale transaction.
- Help with any post-closing issues such as hand over of keys or exiting and taking possession of the property.
B) The Manner in Which the Service is Rendered This relates to the willingness and pleasant manner in which the service is rendered, the receiving of telephone calls, the patience, the encouragement, keeping the seller updated on a timely basis, the courtesy and good manners and at times, counseling.
If these service elements are offered in the spirit suggested above, you will engender lifelong, loyal customers, that would create a virtuous cycle of good testimonials and recommendations, that would build your business while you sleep.
In a subsequent article, we will deal with service elements that a reputable Real Estate Agent should offer the buyer.