Real estate has—and always will be—a customer-first industry. Customer service is the backbone of real estate; it could be the difference between landing future referrals and losing out on repeat clients.
With people more connected to industry information, including the state of the economy, interest rates, supply chain’s effects on pricing, inventory availability and more, knowing how to serve those clients is more important than ever.
Here, we cover some ways agents can personalize their approach to customer service and potentially open the door to more referrals, 5-star reviews online and continued lead generation heading into the rest of the year.
Be Upfront and Transparent
It goes without saying that in today’s real estate climate, with houses flying off the market faster than ever–and above asking price—it’s important to be as honest and upfront with your clients as possible so you set fair expectations.
One important way agents can create trust with clients is to assure each side of the transaction’s needs is attended to. Be sure to familiarize buyers with the current inventory, average home price, activity and the overall process they’re about to experience. With sellers, work with them on presentation and marketing for their property and give them a realistic picture of their home’s value. These are the essentials of creating confidence with your clients, a vital part of being a transparent realtor.
Stay in Tune with Client Needs
Exceptional real estate agents don’t just sit and wait for their clients to reach out with a question. They need to be proactive and anticipate client needs, especially in a time like this with limited inventory and a competitive marketplace.
Agents need to ask questions to truly understand where their client is coming from. Are they looking to purchase a new home because they need additional living space for an elderly parent? Are they looking to sell because they are going through a divorce? Going above and beyond to understand your client boosts trust between buyer/seller and agent and adding a personal touch to the process can potentially help you gain more leads through valuable word-of-mouth referrals.
Follow Up Early and Often
In 2016, the average time it took to buy a house was about 60 days. Now, that timeframe has been slashed down to just 15 days, on average, and it’s no shock if homes sell in less time than that. You must follow up on leads fast in this tight marketplace and stay in contact with clients and potential clients as much as possible.
To stay on top of communications, consider using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to help keep track of your leads, contact history and need-to-know information about everyone in your client base.
A tool like HomeSmart’s RealSmart Agent streamlines your day-to-day operations, allowing you to manage your business tasks and stay on top of your transactions while also creating marketing assets for listings. CRM tools enable you to respond quickly to inquiries without searching through emails or spreadsheets and manage your sales pipeline and follow-up procedure. In the end, it saves you time, stress and confusion that comes with juggling multiple clients.
Real estate is a layered industry and requires agents to play many different parts. Providing great customer service makes a great impact on your clients and therefore can improve your reputation and boost your name recognition in the marketplace.
When you stay in contact with your clients, anticipate their needs and address their concerns in a timely manner, you set yourself up for success in an industry that hinges on impactful ongoing relationships.
Nishika Green is the broker for the HomeSmart brokerages headquartered in Maine and in the DMV (Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia) regions. She was named to the National Association of REALTORS® 30 Under 30 list in 2002, and in the years to follow, has gained hands-on experience in the industry doing everything from training agents to supporting top producers to being a broker/owner of her own business.