“Sign here, initial there. Congratulations on your new home!” you say, as you reach out to shake Natalie and Trevor’s hand. For you, it means another deal is done and your clients are just ecstatic that you’ve been able to find them the home of their dreams.
While this moment sounds like every real estate agent’s raison d’etre, what unravels next isn’t as pretty.
That same night, as Natalie and Trevor finish celebrating and get ready for bed, it starts sinking in. “We have only 40 days till we close Trevor,” utters Natalie in a worrisome voice.
Like most professional couples, Natalie and Trevor lead busy lives, working over 60 hours a week in the finance industry, often traveling for business. They already have the sinking feeling that the next few weeks will be really hectic at work and are at a loss at how they will handle all the logistics that need to be done for their move in such a short period of time.
What ended on a high note the previous night is now quickly escalating into a very stressful situation. Over the next days, things tense even further as Natalie takes on the brunt of planning everything that needs to be done. She starts calling around to moving companies. She struggles through figuring out what stuff will fit in the new house and what should be sold or donated. She spends an hour on the phone, trying to figure out how to get internet service installed in the new home. The list of to-dos is only growing.
By the time Natalie and Trevor take possession of their new home and move in, they are completely spent and exhausted. What should have been a happy or exciting time in their lives was marred by many complications, delays and unforeseen problems that could perhaps be avoided, or at least made much simpler.
In real estate, where repeat business represents about 40% of an agent’s business, with referrals accounting for an additional 21% (according to the National Association of Realtors), an agent’s success is highly dependent on clients like Natalie and Trevor coming back in a few years and telling their friends and family how amazing you were.
Despite common misnomers that “getting top dollar” for your client’s property, or having great negotiating skills is your differentiator and what your clients are paying your commission for, your success in driving repeat business comes down to one main thing: Delivering an outstanding client experience.
So this begs the question: Where were you during the most stressful part of the home buying experience? Oh wait, you did send out that nifty little checklist right after the deal was signed. But was that enough to leave a strong and lasting impression with your clients?
As our economy shifts from products to everything-as-a-service, and technology gets widely adopted by consumers, many of your clients are choosing to buy experiences, over and above product or services.
Take Uber for example, which has taken the taxi industry by storm over the last few years, taking a considerable market share from traditional cabs and sparking protests and legal actions all over the world. The job that consumer’s are hiring Uber to do is very much the same as they would hire a taxi for. They want to get from point A to point B. What’s different, however, is that Uber is a much better experience. From a more efficient way to hail a car, right down to the payment and quality of the ride, consumers are choosing Uber, even when there are plenty of cabs around.
Ever wonder why every time Apple launches a product, there is a mob of people lining up for days outside the Apple store? While there are many, cheaper alternatives to Apple’s products, consumers are more than willing to pay Apple’s premium prices for their products because of one thing – their experience is superior.
So how are you planning to deliver an outstanding experience to your clients? What investments should you be making in 2017 that improve the value and service that you deliver to your clients?