I have for many years listened to the odd story about friends and family having ‘gripes’ regarding service in my beloved real estate industry. I have always vehemently defended the industry however sometimes have had to concede that their gripes may be founded. As with any industry, customer service can sometimes let the whole ‘team’ down.
With all the advent of technology, systems and processes of which I strongly support the industry must never forget the basics. The basics being that the Real Estate Industry is mainly a customer service industry with property being a close second. People are our business and whilst this statement is obvious to most, it is forgotten at times by some. It is also not ‘taught’ to new people entering the industry and reminders not often provided to the more experienced.
The phone calls, the emails and unannounced visits from clients and customers are not an interruption; they are a necessary part of the business. Whilst time management is a vital part of any agent’s day, there is a way to gracefully deal with the interruptions (as perceived) without letting the person feel like an intrusion and instead make them feel like they are the most important person in the world, if only for that minute.
My father has for many years struggled with agencies and had some terrible experiences regrettably. It was so refreshing to speak with him recently and he was raving about his new agent and property manager. What made him rave?
• The agency when they signed him up gave him a statement of ‘our commitment to you’
• They are delivering exactly what their commitment stated
• They are paying him his rental monies earlier than expected
• They are phoning him to advise if monies are delayed
• They phone him to survey him and asked ‘is there any way we can improve’?
The agency is sticking to the basics, and of course that is customer service. I believe there is no secret to growing a successful real estate business and rent roll. It is of course hard work (but nothing worthwhile is easy). Successful agencies with substantial growth have all the same things in common
• They have a culture of service
• They have a strong culture of training and improving services
• They have a strong culture of team work
• They have support in the background from the licensee and staff
• They have systems, procedures and policies clearly in place
• They meet regularly to review their practices and always strive to improve
• They all believe in the one goal – client satisfaction = staff satisfaction