11 Proven and Tested Customer-Service Tips for First-Time Real Estate Investors
Every real estate investor has encountered unique obstacles, whether buying, selling, remodeling, building, or managing a property.
It can be a particularly difficult environment to navigate for individuals who deal directly with clients and offer services. They must control expectations and serve as reliable counsel.
When clients’ expectations are too high, they must rein them in and assist them in realizing what might be possible. Everybody has a distinct idea of good service since real estate professions are diverse. There are four basic problems practically all real estate professionals encounter. We discuss these issues in this article and provide 11 real estate customer service tips to assist you in giving your clients excellent service.
Customer Service Tips for First-Time Real Estate Investors
Issue # 1: Building client trust
Whether a person is buying, renting, remodeling, or doing something else, real estate plays a significant role in their lives. For those lucky enough to have a secure place to call home, it symbolizes security and comfort, a place to make memories, and a literal and metaphorical haven in times of adversity.
Due to all of this, real estate is a game with rather high stakes. A client’s lack of trust can make everything else much more challenging. According to one research, only 11% of individuals feel they can entirely rely on a real estate agent.
Tip #1: Be proactive in your communication.
Many moving pieces are involved in real estate deals. It can be challenging to keep things straight, and if information slips through the cracks or needs to be delivered on time, it might increase a client’s trust. Become dedicated to proactive client communication to ensure that situations like that don’t occur. When you receive any important news, whether good or negative, you should let them know as soon as possible.
When working on a project, scheduling weekly check-ins with clients is another excellent proactive communication approach. In this way, you can rest assured that they will always be aware of the majority of the data and will frequently have the chance to ask any questions they may have.
Though you might have several clients, remember that you are likely their only point of contact. You are their only hope for real estate. You may reduce anxiety and produce a positive experience by being accessible and proactively connecting with them.
Tip # 2: Show empathy
Empathy is a crucial skill for practically anyone working in support. It enables you to put yourself in another person’s position so you may better comprehend and value their viewpoint. No one is consciously trying to avoid empathy, but when you work in a field for a while, it’s simple for some components of your job to become standard.
For instance, buying and selling a home becomes commonplace if you are selling real estate. Because you encounter it frequently and it’s a regular part of your life, you could start to lose some awareness of the seriousness that a buyer or seller may be experiencing.
Ensure you’re attending to your client’s emotional needs to counteract that. When you inquire about someone’s feelings or comfort level, could you pay close attention to their response? Giving kids a chance to express themselves in this way also gives you a glimpse into their point of view.
Once you’ve heard their queries or worries, address them from their perspective. You might go back to your first home purchase or remodeling project. Building a foundation of trust begins with demonstrating your understanding of their situation.
Issue # 2: Addressing Needs
You must fully comprehend a customer wants to provide an excellent customer experience. However, it would help if you devoted time and effort to service your clients to the best of your ability.
Tip # 3: Highlight transparency
Real estate is fundamentally a commodity. While it’s common to grow emotionally attached to a home over time, especially when purchasing and selling real estate, some people may be reluctant to share the “full story” to maintain control.
Despite how pragmatic it may be in some cases, it also makes offering excellent service more challenging. In essence, how can you satisfy a need that you are unaware of? Being honest with your client is one method to get through that obstacle. They might be more forthcoming with you if you’re honest with them.
According to research, we are concerned that being honest can be harmful. The same study, however, demonstrated that being honest was the best course of action and might enhance relationships over time.
Giving customers the freedom to do their research is another method to encourage openness. A fantastic approach to achieve that may be to start a blog or information base. You might write articles that break down agent commissions or address frequent financing queries.
Actively educating your clients sends the message that you aren’t attempting to hide anything and want to give them the best information available.
Tip # 4: Talk to your clients
Asking them is the best method to learn what they desire. Ask your client questions, pay close attention to what they say, and continually expand on the knowledge you’ve already offered. Start by determining if they are first-time homebuyers or if this is their third or fourth residence. Getting a sense of the situation at first can guide your subsequent inquiries.
With a first-time buyer, for instance, you should enquire further about their financial arrangements. Still, folks who have previously purchased properties are likely to be familiar with these kinds of data. It can also be beneficial to preserve that information for both present and future usage, as it’s likely that you’ll be dealing with numerous clients at once.
Make an effort to develop a well-crafted set of inquiries. Having various settings for various customers kinds can also be beneficial. Use a combination of open-ended and closed-ended questions; the former is useful for eliciting more details, while the latter can enhance understanding of a particular topic.
Record conversations with the client’s permission. A recording not only allows you to stay present during the conversation and maintain your focus on the customer, but it is also more complete than notes.
Tip # 5: Become a better active listener.
Understanding and hearing are two entirely separate processes. We sometimes need help understanding what someone is attempting to say just because we hear the message’s content. We can be preoccupied or consider a point we wish to make.
Being present is what active listening entails. You are focused on the speaker and tuned into what they are saying. It’s far easier said than done in many instances.
Create a setting that encourages active listening to start. Get your phone out of sight and put it on quiet. To avoid being tempted to check your email or calendar while someone is chatting, turn off the monitor if you’re in front of a computer or step away from it.
You may lose out on crucial information and be less equipped to meet your client’s needs if you can’t devote your whole focus. Active listening requires practice, just like any other talent, so be easy on yourself if you’re not great the first time.
Issue # 3: Taking into account client timetables
Many real estate deals involve large stakes, necessitating considerable consideration and patience. Even if someone could sneak away from work for an hour, it may not be enough time to examine a house or discuss restoration plans.
You may need to meet with the client outside the typical Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 window, to provide the finest service possible. Making it work while also being accountable to the staff and preventing burnout might be tricky, but it is doable.
Tip 6: Consider utilizing an autoresponder
People prefer prompt responses. In fact, according to studies, over a third of customers anticipate a response within an hour, and if they must wait longer than six hours, they’re likely to go elsewhere. Since individuals contact us at all hours of the day, it can seem impossible to reply to everyone right away. Even though each client has unique demands, the initial inquiries they submit are frequently the same.
An autoresponder might help you contact someone fast and efficiently. For instance, you may set up automatic responses using the subject line text in a support tool like Help Scout, or you can set up conditions based on the time of day a message is received or how long it has been unanswered.
Although an autoresponder won’t be able to solve complex problems, they can help send out related knowledge base articles or inform clients when employees will be available to answer inquiries.
Tip # 7: Set up an emergency line
Some things must wait, though. Even though they are typically infrequent, you should nonetheless have a plan in place to handle them. One typical method is setting up an emergency line, which can be used in a true emergency. As indicated above, you might wish to use an autoresponder, but add, “If it’s an emergency, we can be reached at X.”
Since the definition of an “emergency” is arbitrary, it could be a good idea to develop standards for what it means to you and link to those in the same message.
Tip # 8: Use revolving schedules
Numerous real estate transactions take place outside of regular business hours. For many people, working nights and weekends frequently isn’t ideal, so it’s wise to make sure no one is responsible for it alone.
The use of rotational schedules is one technique to control that demand. Teams frequently have team members work one Saturday or Sunday per month, for instance. You don’t need to have as many employees on duty on the weekends because the volume is typically a little lower.
Create multiple shifts to cover the various hours if you require workers to work later in the day, and rotate who works which shift on which days. Before assigning shifts, poll your staff to see if anyone prefers later shifts. This could help with scheduling and make things simpler.
Issue # 4: Acting as a middleman for other services.
Virtually no real estate transaction takes place in silence. If someone is buying a home, they most likely need financing. They require both a general contractor and subcontractors if they are renovating.
If you are the client’s main point of contact throughout the process, there is a good probability that they may consult you on those other matters. And if you’ve been in the industry for a while, you are likely familiar with most of the supporting services surrounding real estate.
However, even though you are more knowledgeable than most people does not imply that you are the ultimate authority on all things real estate. You still want to assist in any way you can. So how can you manage the function of the middleman to benefit all parties?
Tip # 9: Build a powerful network
You cannot become a subject matter expert in all the fields entailed in real estate, nor is it especially practical. Too many and a wide variety exist for that to be possible.
However, giving a client excellent service does entail putting them in a position for overall success, especially concerning subjects outside your area of expertise. It would help if you had a network of other professionals to fill in the gaps to do that.
Making those connections can be started by taking part in industry networking events. Another option is to seek the advice of those who have been in the business for longer than you. Or, if you come across good work, find out who did it and get in touch to begin creating those connections.
Don’t choose someone just because they are your only choice. A bad suggestion you make will probably reflect adversely on you as well. Make sure you thoroughly investigate everybody you add to your network.
Tip #10: Do your best to educate yourself, but err on caution.
Building a strong network might be beneficial for you in addition to your clients. It would help if you took advantage of the chance to learn from them that comes with having access to those people.
Plan a time to speak with them and learn more about the specifics of their position. To gain a deeper insight and a better concept of what the customer experience will be like for anyone you recommend, you may even spend a day working alongside them.
Another important skill is learning when to refer a client to a real expert. When a question is outside your expertise, be honest and direct the person asking the question to an expert or make contact on their behalf.
Although it might seem that a quicker response is always preferable, this is only true when the response is accurate. Remember that getting the best, most comprehensive information is the main objective. You’ll be on the correct track as long as it continues to be the dominant factor.
Tip #11: Align service and sales objectives.
Salespeople need to close deals at the end of the day. Excellent customer service can improve a customer’s sales experience and increase a person’s book of business, but it only sometimes goes hand in hand with selling.
Most salespeople receive some of their compensation through a commission or incentive structure. They must sell to maximize that, which can be challenging when a non-sales activity threatens to take away from their ability to pursue new business.
Sales leaders need to consider carefully whether there are methods to better align those two objectives to reduce some of that friction. Having a period where salespeople are additionally compensated on expansion income is a typical example in the software industry; this phase often lasts six months to a year.
As a result, businesses have a financial incentive to maintain contact with the customer throughout that time because there is potential for more revenue even after the first sale. Finding ways to align can be more challenging when there is only one transaction, but it is possible.
For instance, a bonus for lease renewals might exist. You might also give a bonus if a customer recommends you to a friend or returns for more business. The appearance will vary depending on the function and tasks, but it should be done to some extent.
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Real estate has various facets and can be used for various things. Furthermore, offering outstanding customer service is crucial for success in the real estate sector.
It might be a hard business sometimes, but it also has a big influence. It is well worth the effort to be persistent and perseverant because doing so will position your clients for success both now and in the future.