While there are many variables that impact the acquisition of new clients as a Realtor®, keeping the clients you currently have happy must be a priority. Doing so will heighten your chance that they return to you for their next real estate transaction and will help create a healthy client ecosystem as you continue to grow. This all comes down to having exceptional customer service. Serving your clients well will help to set you apart from the competition and may even earn you some referrals along the way.
According to a 2018 report from the National Association of Realtors®, 74% of buyers said they would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others, and 69% of sellers said they would definitely use the same agent again. This shows that good work is often rewarded with repeat business. To ensure that your customers aren’t among the 26-31% looking for a new agent the next time around, we have outlined five customer-service strategies to implement now to make your client’s experience with you extraordinary.
Listen and Prioritize
Not all clients are the same – especially when it comes to buyers. Take time to listen intently to what they are looking for in a new home and determine what are the “must-haves”, “nice-to-haves”, and “can’t haves” (if any). Not only will this will help you narrow down potential properties for your client, but the client will feel acknowledged when their voice is heard and put at the forefront of the search process.
That being said, you may also have clients that don’t have a clear vision of what they want. Asking more questions on their personal preferences, their lifestyle, and their values can help you provide customized recommendations and examples to your clients. This also reinforces the feeling that you are expressly there for them and their needs and are keeping their best interests in mind.
Own Your Expertise
Remember, you are the expert here. Your clients will come to you with a wide range of comfort levels and knowledge regarding the real estate business and how it works – but most of their information will be anecdotal. You are the engine that will bring your client’s vision to life and keep the process on a productive path.
You understand the market, its tendencies, and trends more than most, regardless of how much time a client spends browsing listings online. Your experience is an invaluable resource, and sharing your insight is customer service at its finest. Even if a client is fairly familiar with the area, they will need expert guidance on the logistical side of things like handling negotiations, navigating through the piles of contracts and paperwork, and avoiding any potential pitfalls that may present themselves. If you haven’t already, start building up your network of trusted resources who may be able to help your client, such as lenders, inspectors, contractors, cleaning services, painters, and more.
One of the best ways to deliver great customer service is through consistent and ongoing communication with your clients. In the thick of things you may be reaching out to them several times a day, so it is best to understand and respect both how (phone, text, email, etc.) and when they want to be contacted. How they want to be contacted may vary depending on the time of day as well, especially if they work full-time and aren’t always available to chat between specific hours.
Effective communication with clients can be a bit of a balancing act of ensuring that your client is informed but also has the right direction and guidance to act on whatever decisions need to be made at that time. When appropriate, you should provide recommendations based on your experience. If the ball is more in your court, communicate regularly on the work you are doing and the progress that is being made. Being proactive and providing customized attention to your clients demonstrates your willingness to go above and beyond.
Show That You Care
For our clients, most real estate transactions carry some emotional significance. Buying or selling a home is a milestone moment that you as a real estate agent have guided them through. Be sure to take a step back from the business side of things to embrace the celebration of being done with the process. A personal gesture to show gratitude for your client goes a long way and closes this phase of your relationship on a high note.
- Thank You Card: Wish them well with a handwritten card that thanks them for their business and congratulates them on their new home or sale.
- Closing Gift: Get them something to remember you by. This could be something they need for the house or simply a bottle of champagne.
- Housewarming Party: Offer to host a party for their close friends and family where you provide the drinks and snacks.
Staying in Touch
Since the real estate business is built on a foundation of solid relationships, the customer service shouldn’t end when the transaction is finished. Instead, you should find opportunities to stay top-of-mind with your former clients and be available to them as a resource should they ever want to sell their home or explore the market’s available inventory at any given time.
Consider birthdays or the anniversary of your client’s transaction as great times to get back in touch if it has been a while since you last talked.
Do your best to get a sense of how they are enjoying their new home, if there have been any major life changes for them (like getting married or having kids), and assess if their housing needs are changing in any way.
This personal connection is of the utmost importance for being a trusted source for their real-estate needs whenever they are ready to get started again.
A good real estate agent must be fully committed to serving their customers in ways that are uniquely beneficial to them. Getting to know your clients on a personal level, responding directly to their needs, and anticipating ways to make their life easier while working with you will always leave a lasting impression!