Many people think that the real estate business is all about buying and selling property, but the agents who have been the most successful will be the first to tell you that it is first and foremost a business that revolves around dealing with people.
As much as we like to focus on the nuts and bolts in real estate, being able to handle the more personal aspects of the business is how the very best agents set themselves apart from their competition.
Whether you are just starting your career in real estate or have been at it for years, it never hurts to brush up on your people skills. In order to provide the ultimate customer service experience for your clients, here are 10 best practices that we recommend.
While it is obviously easier said than done, establishing a level of trust with your clients is one of the best things that you can do to start out your relationship on the right foot. One of the easiest ways to lay the groundwork for that trust is to do exactly what you say you are going to do right from day one.
Empathize With Clients
Another important aspect of establishing a great relationship with your clients is to take some time to listen to them. This will allow you to put yourself in their shoes and truly understand what forces are motivating them in their decisions to buy or sell. When a client sees that you actually understand their motivations, they are sure to have an excellent experience working with you.
Always Be Available…
It might seem like a simple thing, but actually being available and answering the phone when a client calls can go a long way towards developing a very productive relationship. This also applies to emails, text messages, and any other forms of communication that a client might utilize. Getting back to them as quickly as possible will always improve their experience.
…Except When You’re With Clients
While you want to be as available as possible for your clients, the one exception is when you are with other clients. Anytime you are meeting with a client, your full attention should be with that client, so be sure to put your phone on silent before the meeting and keep it in your pocket so that you aren’t tempted by possible distractions.
Stay Positive When Things Get Tough
Almost every real estate deal is going to have its rough patches. When those difficult times come, it is important to stay positive in each and every interaction with a client. They might be freaking out about an appraisal or inspection, but it is your job to calm them down and focus on the positives.
Dress the Part
Another simple thing that every real estate agent should do to ensure customer satisfaction is to make sure that you look how your customers expect a real estate agent to look. That means taking the time to put on dress clothes each and every day. It might be easier to run to a showing in your gym clothes, but clients will definitely take notice and their experience will suffer.
Don’t Kiss and Tell
As a real estate agent, you are going to have access to all kinds of personal information about your clients. If you ever make the mistake of mentioning that information to anyone else, you can kiss that relationship goodbye, so make sure that you keep any and all personal details to yourself no matter how juicy they might be.
Go the Extra Mile
If you implement some of the best practices that we have already discussed like establishing trust and empathizing with clients, you will probably have a few ideas about how you could go above and beyond to make the experience of working with you memorable.
It could be as simple as bringing their favorite beverages to closing or having a certain decorative item that they mentioned waiting in the new house for them after closing. These simple touches will go a long way towards creating customers for life.
Expect Repeat Business
Speaking of customers for life, you should treat each and every customer you work with as if you will be working with that customer over and over again in the years to come. While most people only buy or sell a house a few times in the course of their lifetime, treating them as if they are valuable repeat customers will improve their experience with you and likely lead to dozens of referrals.
Send Thank You Notes
There has been an awful lot published about how powerful a hand-written thank you note can be, so make sure that you are sending one to each and every client that you work with immediately after closing. Simply thanking a customer for choosing you to handle their real estate needs will almost always improve their customer service experience.
No matter how great your sales numbers have been, everyone has room to improve when it comes to customer service, and those improvements in customer service almost always translate directly into more listings, more sales, and more commissions. So get to work implementing these best practices and watch the money start rolling in as your customer service improves!