5 Must-Learn Customer Service Tips for Real Estate Agents
In business, customer service is a concept that’s well understood and recognized as highly valuable. In real estate, however, it’s a little bit different. Since the customer doesn’t directly pay for your services, it’s a little tricky to determine where the line is between service provider and customer.
Despite this slight disadvantage, the importance of great customer service is not diminished. It will set you apart while bad service will quickly put you out of business. Since you likely want the first option, here are some suggestions for extending great customer service.
1. Be Friendlier
There’s no pay scale that separates the good agents from the mediocre ones. That’s accomplished through sheer skill and positive personality traits. If you want to attract higher-income clients, then you’ll need to offer a higher level of service.
Friendliness is a great place to start. People want an agent they can trust – after all, they are making one of the biggest purchases of their lives. If you come across as friendly, you’ll send the message that you can be that trustworthy source.
2. Communicate More Clearly
If you have a paralyzing fear of picking up the phone, perhaps being a real estate agent isn’t for you. You must be able to communicate confidently, clearly, and frequently. Aside from phone skills, you should be proficient at sending professionally worded emails, checking in frequently, and connecting on social media.
Be sure you’re getting your point across in every message you send. Use clear, concise language that doesn’t beat around the bush, but tells the whole truth. Avoid wordiness, and leave room for questions at the end. There’s nothing more important than communication when closing deals in real estate – make sure you’re prepared.
3. Connect Where Your Customers Are
You’ll also need to establish an online presence. Of course, you’ll have posted your listings online, but you should also make a connection where your customers will be. This involves thoroughly understanding your target clients. Know their search habits and where they spend the most time on social media.
If your target audience is millennial renters, for example, you’ll need to post these listings on social sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Customers like to know they can connect with you without actually talking to you.
4. Build Strong Relationships
As mentioned previously, you’re a key player in some of the biggest moments of your clients’ lives. You have to prove that you’re trustworthy and reliable enough to do business with. You can be a trusted advisor and resource, but only if you take the time to build relationships.
This takes a commitment to what you do and to your customers. Show a passion for your chosen field. Ask customers non-prying questions about their personal lives and refer to their answers later. Reward long-term clients with gratitude and gift baskets. These are just a few ideas for solidifying relationships that can last for years.
5. Listen to Client Needs and Demands
Don’t do all the talking. Allow your clients plenty of time to share their concerns, needs, and demands during the entire home buying and selling process. Listening isn’t something you just do. It takes practice to be the kind of person that can anticipate a client’s need and drop what they’re doing to help.
Listening comes in a couple of different forms. To begin with, it means not interrupting when the client is talking. Let them finish what they’re saying before you jump in. Next, ask questions to prompt more feedback, and make it a priority to include that feedback in your process. Finally, listen to more than just words. Watch their body language in order to truly read their emotions.
From there, you can alter your process and take your customer service to the next level.
Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant from Olympia, WA. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, iMediaConnection.com and more, Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends. Follow her on Twitter and...