A good first experience can make a potential client a client for life. That’s why real estate professionals of all stripes go to great lengths to give their clients a first-rate experience, whether they’re buying or selling. The loyalty reaped from these experiences is paramount to their success.
To help real estate pros develop new approaches and maximize their clients’ experiences, the experts of Forbes Real Estate Council broke down their strategies to deliver top-notch service to their clients. Follow their advice to start all your client relationships off on the right foot.
1. Maintain An Archive Of Transactions
Maintain an archive of all your successful transactions with a focus on how you provided value. New clients want to trust that you will do what you say you will do. Nothing is better proof that you are working in their best interest than a stellar work history of success. – Trang Dunlap, Trang Dunlap Group
2. Invest In Personalization And Automation
Personalization is a necessity. The more automation you can have on the backend of your workflow, the more personalization you can provide on the front end. Sometimes the smallest details are what clients remember most. Position yourself so you have time to provide this level of service. It’s what will turn your client into your advocate, which is oftentimes worth more than the fee itself. – Maxwell Wu, Fulcrum Labs
3. Continue The Relationship Post-Sale
Don’t forget that your job doesn’t end after the transaction is over. You are the real estate expert and need to be a resource for them for everything related to their home. Customer service and support never end in our profession. – Brad Le, Compass
4. Listen To The Needs Of Your Client
Sometimes as the experts, we think we know what is best for our client. First, listen to the goals and needs of your client, then offer direction to accomplish those goals. When you focus on what will make your client happy, that is the key to success with your clients. If there is not a realistic expectation from your client, explain the other options that exist. – Galit Ventura-Rozen, Commercial Professionals, Inc
5. Maintain An Open Line Of Communication
Keeping a candid open line of communication is the most important thing a real estate professional should do to give their clients a first-rate experience. Informing and educating the client will give them confidence and not only create, but also maintain a trusting relationship between agent and client throughout the process. Your clients will appreciate and respect you for always being honest. – Nancy Kowalik, Nancy Kowalik Real Estate Group
6. Focus On The First Impression
Don’t lose sight of the importance of the first impression. Make the time to praise and train your team. If a prospect’s first experience in person or virtually is poor with a lack of acknowledgment or timely response to an online request, chances of them being a client are slim. A genuine and helpful experience wins every time even when there are labor shortages. – Debra Wyatte, Cecilian Partners
7. Coordinate With All Involved Parties Throughout The Process
The day the offer is submitted or accepted, get all parties on the line. The loan officer, processor and agents all need to be on the line to discuss the key dates, next step and so on. – Jammie Jelks, JelksMBA
8. Educate Clients On The Real Estate Process
This market is one of the hardest in history to buy a home in. Real estate clients need structure and an understanding of the process the whole way through. This includes the exact steps to take so they can be a competitive buyer, along with a support system to explain each step as it is happening. A realtor should put together a great team to make sure this is accomplished. – Ralph DiBugnara, Home Qualified
9. Ensure Clients Walk Away Knowing More Than When You Met Them
My answer is always education. Your clients hire you because you’re an expert, and part of that is providing clear and rational reasons for the guidance you give your clients. They should walk away knowing more than when they came in, and the things they’re taught should be substantive and specific to their issues. It’s always good business and it yields happy clients! Solve someone’s problem. – Charles Argianas, Argianas & Associates, Inc.
10. Manage Expectations
Expectation management is the single most important thing a real estate professional can do to improve the client experience. Set clear expectations up front, anticipate possible hurdles and proactively and frequently communicate with clients to reduce frustration and anxiety. This is the proven formula for delivering a superior customer experience. – Megan Micco, Compass
11. Create A Client Portal
Provide your clients with access to a client profile to automate repetitive workflows and documentation, ensuring that your clients are able to submit the same data on multiple occasions across multiple forms. This will also free up your time and make the entire experience less labor-intensive. – Saurabh Shah, InstaLend
12. Deliver Results
Real estate professionals are hired to get results. Accordingly, managing and delivering on client expectations is more important than ever. Good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster. Ratings and recommendations move at digital speed. If you don’t get their deal closed, it doesn’t matter how hard you worked or your technical capabilities. Remember your client hires you to close the deal. – Richard Lackey, City Commercial Real Estate, Inc.
13. Help Clients Make Informed Decisions
Convenience and information are the linchpins. Give clients the information they need to make informed decisions and allow them to access it and communicate about it easily and seamlessly. If you’re scanning and emailing or faxing information, you’re just adding friction to the experience for your customer. Digital, mobile-friendly and easy-to-use tools are increasingly becoming table stakes. – Prasan Kale, Rise Buildings
14. Provide As Much Relevant Data As You Can
Provide clients with as much relevant data to make the best investment they possibly can. I see our role as helping to sift through all of the information that is available today and focus the client’s attention on what is most relevant in making an educated decision. We need to advise them on the key factors that will directly influence the long-term value of their investment. – Sean Lyons, Jackson Dearborn Partners
15. Serve Clients
Serve, don’t sell. When you make the process about your clients, you listen better, you show up differently and you deliver service that directly aligns with what they need and want. Learn about their personality and behavior traits, their communication styles and their likes and dislikes. First-rate experiences happen from a personalized approach. – Michelle Risi, Royal LePage Connect Realty