Thank you, Mr. Tim Stundel, for your comment regarding my most recent blog. I agree absolutely. A referral-based business is by no means the exclusive territory of the real estate industry. The same principles apply in any organization where the customer and customer service feeds your bottom line.
Ours is an office where education and exposure to new systems and information are integral in helping agents expand their businesses. Tomorrow, I begin an intensive, three day seminar (twelve hours per day) at Matthew Ferry’s Mental Journey to Millions event being held at our downtown Seattle Westin Hotel. Yesterday, I attended a clock hours class, Ninja Selling, taught by an industry icon, Walt Frey, who is president and founder of the Council of Residential Specialists which grants the CRS designation. Although I had already taken this class not too many months ago, I believe in being exposed repeatedly to good information. After all, real estate is an industry, not a profession. Unlike doctors and lawyers who are typically compensated regardless the outcome of their efforts (i.e., if the patient passes away on the operating table), we get paid when our transactions close. With the competition being so great, keeping one’s skills honed is crucial to continued development and differentiation, both for the individual and his business.
I’m intrigued for tomorrow’s seminar. I’ve seen Matthew Ferry before (his father, Mike Ferry, is a real estate coaching institution) and will share my thoughts on the event when I blog next week. As for yesterday’s class, the familiar content struck me in new ways. The course is built on the successes of a specific brokerage in Fort Collins, Colorado, The Group, whose agents consistently perform at the top of the industry, not just their market, year after year. It delves into the systems and corporate philosophy of the company, its founder and team members. In general, there was really nothing new, though presented in a fresh light perhaps. Once again, building one’s business by referral in a disciplined fashion was the core theme. However, some data shared with us was particularly notable. For instance, following are the results for a survey conducted by a national real estate brokerage which posed fifty thousand people nationwide the question, “How do customers feel about the quality of our service?”
· 76% were satisfied
· 74% would use that Realtor® again
· 9% actually used that Realtor® again (the disparity between “would” and “did” stood out)
· 2 % said they chose the Realtor® based on fee
Furthermore, some key customer wants and desires included that their Realtor® has care and concern for their needs, is honest and knowledgeable, stays in touch, solves problems, delivers on promises, and so on.
The bottom line is the customer is no different than you or me. I know I expect these things from service providers I use, so why should my clients’ demands of me be any different? I believe strongly we are in an age where deep personal attention and service are not only expected but required by our customers. The paradigm in our industry has shifted from agents being the gatekeepers of inventory data to being expert client advocates in negotiation/execution of the contract and throughout the process. Clients want us to reduce and/or transfer their risk while delivering a predictable, dependable and consistent service experience at all times; rules which apply to any business, small or large.