In a 1998 Harvard Business Review article, James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine wrote that we have entered “The Experience Economy.” In this way of doing business, memorable events and flawless customer service must underpin every interaction that real estate agents have with their clients and prospective clients. If you can deliver stand-out service per Experience Economy standards, you can quickly build a book of referrals.
From Rental Beast, here’s five ways to deliver stand-out service:
Be an educational resource.
Over-educate your clients, even. Facts that seem obvious to you might not be for a client, so make sure that they aren’t lost or confused. Be transparent and communicative; educate your client on how the market is impacting your advice, what legal documents are saying and what steps should be taken next. Your position as a real estate specialist is especially crucial if you are working with a younger client or a first-time homebuyer. Renting is an increasingly popular way to live—nearly 50 percent of the U.S. adult population rents—however, rental clients might be suited to buying. If you are working with a renter client, dispel myths about a 20 percent down payment, and let your clients know that homeownership might be achievable. Whatever client you’re working with, the more ready they are to ask you questions, the better the experience they’ll have.
Add a personal, human touch to your lead-generation plans.
As an agent, it’s essential to diversify the channels you use to get in front of potential clients. Use every means that you have at your disposal—social media, in-person networking, and even handwritten cards. Send out handwritten cards to leads in your network to remind them that you’re ready to help. If you can, try to remember a couple of details about each client that you can write a few sentences about. Getting a handwritten card is a unique way to strike an immediate emotional chord with your potential client and stand out from the crowd.
Congratulate them on their new purchase or rental.
Don’t leave after your client has signed on the dotted line and received their new keys, and you’ve been paid your commission. Make sure that your client knows that you’re happy they’re moving in by sending a little housewarming gift. Maybe think about sending something homemade and personal—a plate of freshly baked cookies or a cake. If homemade food feels unlikely to keep or like it would take too much time, think about sending them something that will get them started in their new neighborhood—a gift card to a nearby cafe or store.
Don’t disappear—keep in touch on Facebook.
In a highly connected, digitized world, social media interaction is meaningful. Friend your clients on Facebook, make sure to like their profile pictures and, every once in a while, drop a comment. Another benefit of friending a client on Facebook is that you’ll be one of the first to know when they are readying to make a big life decision, or when they’ve had a major life change that will require a move. For example, renter clients are highly mobile—they move, on average, every two to three years. Facebook allows you to both be ready to jump on an opportunity and continue to maintain a friendly and approachable image.
Show your knowledge of the area in a unique way.
Make it clear and visible how valuable your knowledge of the surrounding area is by organizing a unique way to show your neighborhood. If you are going to a showing, ask if your clients are planning to stick around before or after for a meal, and offer them restaurant recommendations. (Maybe even compliment a specific dish!) As you drive your clients from one showing to the next, treat the ride as a tour of the whole neighborhood. Point out amenities around your listings that you think your clients will enjoy—movie theaters for families, malls for grown children, things which might relate to your clients’ particular interests and desires.