Remember those service stations of the 1950’s and ’60’s? Teams of coverall-clad men would dash out to put gas in your car, wash your windows and check your oil? Many of today’s “service” stations offer only one attendant behind a glass window who will insist you pay before you pumped your own gas, washed your own windows and checked your own oil! What has happened to our service industry?
According to the Wall Street Journal, the average American company will lose 50-55% of its customers in the coming years. Most of them will leave because they are dissatisfied with the quality of the company’s service. Whether for economic reasons, as some experts believe, or because of computerization, personal service has become a rare commodity in today’s market place. Times are changing though. Good consumers know service when they see it and want it back.
Real estate, however, has continued to be highly service-oriented. Buying a home is one of the biggest investments (and emotional decisions) most of us will make in a lifetime. Good reliable service makes this decision much easier. As other industries get back into the service business, we are already there and moving forward.
Recent research by the National Association of REALTORS® lists 14 attributes that buyers and sellers look for in a real estate agent. Of these 14, 10 are service-oriented, including the top 3. Most important to homebuyers and home sellers is that the agents keep their customer’s best interest in mind. For some this may mean being advised of all financing options. For others it means being kept up-to-date on the status of their transaction. Each client’s needs will vary, but careful listening during an interview will enable a good agent to determine what those needs are and how best to respond. Personalized service, time and information are the key elements in meeting these needs and satisfying clients…AND satisfied clients come back for more!
Good service is important. The mere existence of FSBOs confirms that not all buyers or sellers are aware of the benefits of using a REALTOR® in property transactions. Remember, you are not selling property; you are selling service—freeing the client from details, assisting in the choice of financing, providing information about the neighborhood, matching interested buyers with sellers—all important attributes according to the home buyers and home sellers surveyed.
Let service be the key to your firm’s enhanced image and financial success. Strengthen and market personal services to your prospects, and your prospects will become clients—and stay clients!
GSCBOR Board President