In an increasingly competitive market, customer service can be the difference between success and failure. As industry experts like Chase Rubin can tell you, this is no less the case in real estate. In fact, great customer service is especially important for real estate agents because buyers and sellers have become empowered by technology and the internet to do many of the things that realtors have traditional done. This means that clients only go to agents when they really need to – when that moment comes, the client will have lots of choice, and customer service may be the thing that sets you apart from the rest.
Here are two customer service tips to consider that are relevant in this business in particular.
Whether your client is the seller of a single family home or a 20-story building, or a couple looking to rent an apartment or to buy a multimillion dollar home, you must remember that in addition to finding the right property you will also be representing your clients to other people. This means that the impression you make on other people can be critical – your clients will want to be confident that you are representing them and their interests in a professional manner. Similarly, whereas many customer service experiences are relatively brief and transactional, your engagement with your clients is likely to occur over an extended period of time and is far more personal than an exchange over a cash register. You will be working with the client in potentially stressful circumstances, will be in the client’s home and will have access to personal details about their lives and their finances. Clients must feel completely confident in your professionalism in every circumstance.
Real estate professionals know that their working day isn’t contained by a 9-5 schedule. Clients will often need to communicate with you outside of regular hours, and an agent who is not prepared to answer the phone will very likely lose clients to agents who are more responsive. It will of course not always be possible to answer every call that comes in, but you should make it a priority to respond to the client as quickly as possible – even if it only to quickly let the client know that you have received their message and will be able to respond in detail by a particular time. A client will understand that you may not have the answer to their question immediately, but will appreciate hearing from you that you are working to get it. If you know that you will be unavailable to take calls for more than a few hours, consider having your calls and messages forwarded to a colleague or service so that your clients are not left wondering when or if you have received their call.
Given the importance and complexity of the process of buying or selling property, the ongoing relationship between a real estate agent and his or her clients is crucial. At all times, clients must know that you will represent their concerns in a professional and responsive manner.