The best customer service draws from the golden rule we are all taught as children: treat others as you would like to be treated. Many businesses in customer-centric positions, like real estate, are successful and smart to follow this creed.
Perhaps the best way to provide customer service is to act like one of your own clients. Since buying home is not only the largest purchase most people make in their lives, it is also an emotional one, real estate agents need to master the art of delivering professional yet empathetic service. The easiest way to do this is to put yourself in your client’s shoes and provide them with what you would want in that exact position.
When clients hire real estate agents, they are looking for help to solve an issue: Buyers need to purchase a home and sellers need to sell one. This may seem obvious, but it is key to delivering supreme customer service. By first understanding why the client needs you, you can then learn more about them to help them find the solution they are seeking. From there, follow these guidelines to really knock it out of the park and not only meet their needs, but secure future referrals as well.
Empathy is having the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand what that person is feeling. Real estate transactions are personal in every circumstance from the client to the property.
Empathy helps agents relate to their clients, aids communication, expedites problem solving and makes the client feel understood.
Communication is key. Clients expect, and deserve, responsive communication. They know that in real estate there aren’t typical "business hours." Agents get calls during all times of the day, weekends and holidays. This doesn’t mean you have to be available at those times, however. Create a communication system that lets your clients know they have been acknowledged and offer a time frame for which you will respond. Make it a priority to follow through when you say you will.
Let your clients know you that you are paying attention to them and are engaged. This can be as simple as providing additional information that was not requested. Remember, they are counting on you to handle the details, especially first-time home buyers.
The little things add up! Keller Williams associate Catherine Richardson, author of Real Estate Etiquette: A Realtor's Guide gives some great ideas:
- Have refreshments in the car when showing homes.
- Give clients personal closing gifts.
- Send your clients lunch on moving day.
How do you go above and beyond for your clients? We want to hear your ideas! Post them in the comments section below.