Helping people buy and sell their homes is all about building trust and great relationships.
In what can be a very stressful and uncertain time for two separate parties, a streamlined service that makes the process easier and provides clear information quickly can make all the difference.
It’s easy to think of customer service in an estate agency setting as simply a support service. But it can be much more than that and can actually be used effectively to help as a marketing tool to win more new business without the associated marketing and sales costs.
Here’s how estate agents can use customer service as their secret marketing weapon.
1. Standing out in crowded markets
Walk up most High Streets and you’ll see plenty of offices for estate and lettings agents. Many of them look the same. Gleaming glass windows displaying the latest listings.
As with most industries, estate and lettings agents work in a crowded market and when the final service (buying and selling houses) is much the same thing, how you operate and the buying or selling experience your customers get can make the difference between losing and winning business.
It could start as simple as being available to pick up the phone when someone calls about organising a valuation or booking a viewing for a property they’re interested in. Missing out on those first interactions can leave customers feeling you’re unreliable and result in lost opportunities.
2. Retaining business
Being an estate agent or letting agent is a challenging job (especially today with uncertainty over costs and mortgages).
So with sales taking longer it can be easier for buyers and sellers to move on to the next business to try and complete a deal with them. When you can’t change the external environment you’re operating in, the one thing you can control is your customer service, and being available to answer the phone or provide information quickly can keep customers on board.
A satisfied buyer or seller is also more likely to return to you for future transactions if they know they’ve had a good experience in the past. In what can be a stressful time, reassurance that the agents you choose will make everything simple and as easy as possible isn’t something customers take lightly.
Plus, giving one buyer or seller a good experience makes it more likely they’ll recommend you to friends and family when they come into the housing market.
3. Win online reviews and testimonials
We can do all the research we want as a consumer but when it comes to it we’re more than likely to be swayed by the reviews and testimonials of those who have used a similar service or product before us.
This is especially true when it comes to estate agents, when customers are more likely to choose you based on reputation and the referral of others. And more and more this includes looking at past customer reviews and testimonials online.
Customers today are more likely to leave reviews on search engines like Google or to complain on social media, so providing a great customer service is a great defence against negative reviews and increases the chances of your agency getting good reviews and testimonials that others can use when deciding which service to use.
4. Build brand trust through communication
Anyone who’s been through a purchase or sale of a house knows that it can be a complex transaction, with lots of moving parts, information to assemble and forms to complete.
It’s even worse if you’re going through it for the first time.
With so much happening, regular, clear communication from you to your client can make a huge difference in making the process less stressful for them. It’s often not knowing where things are up to that causes the most anxiety in home transactions, so being readily available to answer questions or provide information is crucial.
Providing this level of customer service essentially serves as a marketing function by building long-term trust between you and your client, making them more likely to use you again or recommend you to others in the future.
5. Win more referrals with word of mouth
One of the big problems with marketing is that it costs a lot of money to constantly produce material to bring new customers through the door. But by using better customer service to make your current clients happy, you can turn them into advocates for your agency and have them do marketing for you through word of mouth.
Estate and letting agents often rely on word of mouth, referrals and reputation for new business, so understanding the role customer service plays in building trust and making customers feel that they can recommend you to others in a big deal.
Building success for estate agents using exceptional customer service
Estate agents stand to gain significantly by viewing customer service as a key part of their overall marketing strategy. The benefits extend beyond resolving immediate concerns. They help agencies stand out in crowded, competitive markets, build client loyalty, and win more referral business.
By prioritising customer service and building it into the marketing tool kit, estate agents can create a sustainable and thriving pipe-line of new business.
12th February, 2024
Posted by Face For Business