“Courteous service will make a customer a walking advertisement” – J.C. Penny
The same is true in our industry! In real estate we need to constantly prospect for new business. But part of that prospecting should be calling on our past clients to recommend us to their friends and family. We want those who enjoyed working with us to be our “walking advertisement”.
So how do we make them happy customers? It’s more than just helping them make their next move. It’s how they are treated and represented from the beginning of the transaction until the end AND in the years to follow. Customer service doesn’t stop on the day of closing.
During the transaction representing our clients best interest is always number one. It’s important to make sure you are knowledgeable in the type of property and geographic location in which the client is buying or selling. You need to be the expert. Know where the schools are, know the doctors, lawyers and tradespeople who service the community. Know who the utility companies are, where they will get their mail and perhaps where the school bus will pick up their kids. Or be prepared to supply a list of home inspectors, mortgage brokers, lawyers and others who will help make the transaction appear seamless. Explaining the buying or selling process to your client or answering the “what do I need to do next” questions is very important. Help them be prepared for the next step before it happens. Being able to answer these questions whether you are the listing REALTOR® or selling REALTOR® will help your clients remember the quality of service you provided to them.
A study by the National Association of REALTORS® shows that 84% of recent home buyers and sellers would use their REALTOR® again or recommend them to someone else. The sad part is, if you ask these same people one year later, a large percentage cannot remember their REALTORS® name.
There’s only one way to make sure these satisfied clients become your “walking advertisement”…don’t forget about them. Keep in touch. Does in touch mean weekly, monthly, annually? Well in my business it means monthly and whenever else I can. Contact via my monthly newsletter, contact through a hand written note after I ran into one of them at a restaurant or grocery store just to tell them it was nice to see them, or sending a nice congratulations card when you learn they had a baby or got married. Of course there are many great opportunities throughout the year to just drop by and say hi and leave them a small gift. Pumpkins or apples are a huge hit this time of the year.
It seems like a lot of work and a lot of time. But if you can mark an “appointment” in your calendar either for half a day each week or a couple hours each day to ensure you keep in touch with your number one fans and maintain a high level of care and concern, they will remember you whenever it’s time to buy or sell or if a friend or family member is ready to do the same.
Focus on your customer service before, during and after the transaction. Don’t let your clients forget your name and don’t let that “closing gift” be a “farewell gift”.
Written by Ray Ferris, YPN guest blogger