One thing we have all learned from watching HGTV is that real estate is no simple matter. Each part of real estate, from purchasing to selling to renovating to building to administering, presents its own unique set of difficulties.
In particular, people who deal directly with customers and deliver services may find themselves in a challenging environment. They must act as objective guides and masters of the art of expectation management. They need to show customers what’s possible and pull them back in if they get carried away.
Since there is such a wide variety of jobs in the real estate industry, satisfying customers takes several forms. However, we have identified five problems that we believe nearly every real estate professional encounters.
We address these issues and present real estate customer service pointers to help you better assist your consumers.
Strategies for Outstanding Real Estate Customer Service
1. Consider the Feelings of Others
Empathy is a necessary skill for practically anyone in a support role. It’s a great way to get an understanding and a deeper appreciation for another person’s point of view by putting yourself in their shoes. Although no one intends to be uninterested, it is possible to become numb to the emotional demands of one’s work after years of doing the same thing.
If you work in real estate, for instance, the concept of buying and selling a home may seem mundane. Because of the frequency with which it occurs in your daily life, you may have lost some of the initial impacts it had on you as a buyer or seller.
To counter that, focus on satisfying the client’s sentiments as well as their rational emotions. Inquire as to their well-being, whether or not they feel secure in the situation, and pay close attention to their response. This will allow them to voice their opinions and provide you with insight into their worldview.
When answering their queries or addressing their worries, put yourself in their shoes. You may recall your first home purchase or remodeling project. Acknowledging their uncertainty and offering comfort can do wonders for your credibility.
2. Keep Your Communication Consistent
There are many variables involved in a typical real estate deal. Keeping track of everything can be challenging, and if something gets lost in translation or isn’t delivered promptly, it can add fuel to a client’s mistrust.
If you’re serious about preventing such problems from occurring, you’ll make an effort to keep in regular contact with your customers. Whatever the case may be, you should try to get the word out to them as soon as possible once you learn of any major developments, good or bad.
As another kind of proactive communication, scheduling weekly check-ins with clients while working on a project is a terrific idea. That way, they’ll always be in the loop on the major points and have a consistent avenue for raising any concerns they may have.
Keep in mind that even if you have a large clientele, you are likely still the only person they will ever have to deal with. Having you on their side in the property market is like having a lifeline. Simply by being reachable and open to communication, you may put their minds at ease and make their time with you more enjoyable.
3. Listen Actively
The difference between hearing and understanding is vast. Simply taking in the words spoken does not guarantee that you will fully understand their meaning. Maybe you’re daydreaming or trying to come up with a good point to make.
Being present in the moment is the essence of active listening and being completely focused on the person speaking to you. To put it bluntly, it’s simpler to say than to do.
You should first establish a setting that encourages attentive listening. Put your phone on silent and hide it from sight. Turn off your computer or step away from it so you won’t be tempted to respond to a message or look at your schedule while someone is chatting with you.
Your ability to address the needs of your client will suffer if you are unable to give them your undivided attention. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not an expert listener right away; practicing is what makes perfect.
4. Emphasize Transparency
Property is essentially a marketable good. Even while it’s natural to get attached to a place over time, especially when buying and selling real estate, some people could be reluctant to provide their “full story” to maintain bargaining power.
Even if it makes sense from a purely practical stance, it hinders the ability to provide outstanding service. So, how can you meet a need that you aren’t even aware of?
You can get beyond that barrier by being honest with your client. They may be more honest and forthright with you if you treat them with respect and candor.
According to studies, humans worry that being truthful would have a negative effect. However, the same research demonstrated that honesty is the best policy and might boost relationships over time.
Allowing customers to do their research is another method to increase openness. A blog or database of useful information is one such solution. Posts might be made that explain the various costs associated with hiring an agent or address frequently asked issues about financing.
Actively educating clients shows that you have nothing to conceal and only want to ensure they get complete and accurate information is a great way to build their trust.
5. Incorporate an Autoresponder
Rapid reactions are appreciated by the public. More than a third of customers want a response within an hour, and if they have to wait longer than six hours, they are likely to go elsewhere.
It can seem impossible to reply to everyone promptly when they contact you during the day. Even though every one of our clients has unique requirements, the questions they typically ask in their first emails tend to be very similar.
A good way to get in touch fast and efficiently is to use an autoresponder. With a tool like Help Scout, for instance, you may set up parameters based on the time of day an email is received or the length of time it has gone unanswered, and the software will respond automatically based on the text of the email’s subject line.
Autoresponders may not be able to answer complex inquiries, but they can help send out links to relevant knowledge base articles or simply set a client’s expectations about when they might anticipate a response.
6. Provide Emergency Support
Some problems can’t be put off any longer. Even if they don’t happen often, you should nonetheless prepare for the possibility. One popular practice is to set up a dedicated line that can only be used in cases of extreme urgency.
You might use an autoresponder like the one described above, but add the line “In case of emergency, please call X.”
It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s idea of an emergency is different, so it would be helpful to establish some ground rules for what constitutes an emergency for you and include a link to those rules in the same letter.
7. Build A Strong Network
It’s not practical or reasonable to expect you to learn everything there is to know about every aspect of the real estate industry. Neither the quantity nor the variety permits this.
Although you may not be an expert in every facet of a client’s success, offering excellent service still entails making sure they are well-positioned for growth. To accomplish this, it is necessary to collaborate with a wide range of specialists.
A good method to begin establishing these contacts is to attend networking events in your business. Another option is to seek advice from those who have more experience in the field than you have. Or, if you come across excellent work, you can find out who did it and begin networking with them.
Don’t take the easy way out by going with the last person standing. A bad recommendation will reflect poorly on both you and the person you recommended. Before adding someone to your inner circle, be sure you’ve given them a thorough screening.
8. Don’t Be Salesy, Provide Solutions
For too long, many people in sales have put the needs of their organization or themselves ahead of those of their clients. They’d say or do practically anything to make a sale, regardless of whether or not the prospect needed or wanted their product or service.
Of course, the benefits of a hard pitch are just temporary. Customers who aren’t satisfied won’t recommend your business to others and will likely stop using it altogether. Consultative methods are superior for achieving lasting results.
Consultation begins with an interview with the customer to ascertain their requirements and desired outcomes. As soon as you have those essential pieces of data, you can advise the customer on the best course of action and determine if you are a good fit for each other.
Maintaining contact with the client is another hallmark of consultative selling. The client will feel more at ease working with you because you are someone they already know. It demonstrates your interest in them and helps strengthen your relationship with them.
A consultant’s work is more demanding than that of an employee, which is why not everyone chooses to become one. The people who do so will benefit for a long time.
9. Convey Your Goals and Objectives Early On
Being successful in sales requires mastery of numerous skills. Though you may be well-versed in a wide range of topics, you just cannot help everyone. Everybody needs a helping hand once in a while.
The best course of action in those situations is to transfer the person to a specialist in the field. A customer may have a hard time accepting the fact that you may have to give them over to another person if you don’t prepare them for the possibility.
To avoid that, it’s important to set expectations early on and be specific about what you’ll be doing and when you’ll need help from others. Do a warm handoff so they don’t have to repeat themselves and explain the benefits of connecting them with another team.
Early expectation setting is beneficial to both you and your clients. You can make these decisions without worrying about how they’ll affect your relationship with them, and they won’t be caught off guard.
Many aspects of a person’s life can be impacted by real estate, and the same is true for the property itself. So, it stands to reason that a successful company in the real estate sector will prioritize providing excellent real estate customer service.
It can be a challenging field to work in, but the effects can be significant. By not giving up on your clients, you are laying the groundwork for their success both now and in the future, which is a worthwhile outcome.