Why real estate companies must prioritize CX
Advances in technology have made it so that a potential home buyer can do a lot of the preliminary steps themselves. They can look for homes on a variety of websites, compare prices and features, even take virtual tours. Because these initial steps are now so automated and easy, customers have higher standards for the entire process. This means that real estate agents must now deliver an even higher level of service. Because of this, the most successful realtors are putting a high priority on CX. And here are some strategies that are bringing tangible results.
Focus on Honest in Person Engagement to Start Off on The Right Foot
When a client approaches a real estate agent, they are likely preparing to engage what will be one of the largest financial transactions of their lives. Expecting them to simply trust you to dive right into the buying or selling process is a bit like meeting a surgeon for the first time, and then getting wheeled into the operating room ten minutes later.
By simply holding a consultation, and in the case of a seller a thorough walk-thru, agents can accomplish several things. First, they can identify the goals and concerns of the real estate client. They can also educate clients on the process as well as what the agent will be able to do for them. Finally, the realtor can inform the client of the initials steps they will take and begin to formulate a plan of action.
When done correctly, the realtor can establish trust, thought leadership, and provide the client with assurance that they truly care about their concerns. This is the first step in creating an exceptional customer experience.
Remember That Customers Are Conditioned to Getting Answers Fast
Throughout the process, your clients are going to have questions, concerns, suggestions, requests for updates, you name it. Because constant connectivity and immediate access to information are now the norm, agents must rise to meet that expectation. A day’s delay in getting back to a client may not have been an issue a few years ago. Today it can feel like a complete lack of concern for the customer’s time and needs.
Trixy Castro, CEO of Hudson and Marshall has this to say about communicating with clients, “Ultimately, being responsive is a matter of empathy. For clients, whether they are buys or sellers, this is a stressful time. What can seem like a small matter to a professional who’s been through the process multiple times, can be huge for a customer. Once that is understood, the choice between returning that call now or pushing it off becomes obvious.”
Internet Presence Isn’t The Most Important Factor But it is Key
While real estate is a personal business, and the agent themselves are the key representative of their brand, having an engaging and relevant online presence is key. This includes a website as well as social media accounts.
So, what should your social media pages look like in order to improve customer experience? The rules aren’t much different here than for any other industry. As always, providing relevant content that is focused on clients and potential clients in all phases of the buying and selling process is the most important thing. Yes, posting listings is certainly a wise thing to do, but the lion’s share of your content should be focused on providing your audience with tips, professional advice, and other relevant resources.
Your website should contain information regarding the value that using your services will bring to your clients. The best way to create great CX on your website is to anticipate your clients’ needs. These needs might include:
- Finding your contact information
- Locating your office
- Searching for homes that meet their criteria
- Learning more about your commission structure and services
- Determining whether or not you are trustworthy
- Enjoying a personalized experience based on their needs
To meet these needs you could do the following:
- Place contact information in a conspicuous place
- Provide a brief contact form
- Use Google Maps or other technology to direct clients to your office
- Link to a tool to search your current listings
- Link or embed tools such as mortgage and down payment calculators
- Add a graphic that clearly explains the services clients can expect if they hire you
- Use customer testimonials and reviews, and add relevant trust badges to establish credibility
- Personalize the customer’s experience based on previous behaviors, data you’ve collected, and stated preferences
There are so many factors causing disruption in the real estate industry. One example of this is Facebook’s purchase of Oculus Rift. Some speculate that this move was to specifically use the technology to help to create a viable marketplace for person to person real estate sales. Because of this, real estate professionals must place a high priority on delivering an amazing customer experience.