When it comes to customer service, there are 2 rules in business:
1. The customer is always right; and
2. If the customer is wrong, re-read rule number one.
Buyers and sellers of real estate are no different, except that when someone is buying or selling a home, they are likely signing the largest financial obligation of their lives. So it stands to reason that they are going to be stressed out during the process. Having acted for thousands of buyers and sellers closing real estate deals, I have learned what they appreciate from their lawyers and real estate agents.
Here are 5 things to remember, to make sure that your buyer and seller are satisfied with your services every time.
1. Keep it simple stupid (kiss)
Real estate contracts are complicated, with lots of fine print. I like to think that education is when you have to read the fine print. Experience is when you don’t. Real estate contracts are not that complicated, if you break them down to 5 key points of discussion:
a. Purchase Price
c. Closing date
d. Appliances to include (remember what rental contracts are being transferred)
e. Conditions – whether home inspection and/or financing
Make sure the buyer or seller understands each of these points, and you should not have complaints later.
2. Be a professional
If the client asks you to check something, listen, find out and get back to them. Return phone calls and emails in a timely manner. Get to know your clients and what they do for a living. You will create a relationship that should lead to repeat business and referrals.
3. The job doesn’t end until the deal closes
Stay active in the deal as the closing process is usually overwhelming to most buyers. Attend the home inspection with your buyer clients. Make sure that the buyers have given the mortgage broker everything that is needed to make sure that the loan is processed quickly, and not at the last minute. Try to get the buyer an idea as soon as possible, as to how much money they will need for closing, including legal fees, land transfer tax and the balance of the down payment required after they receive their mortgage loan. Make sure they contact their insurance agent to arrange the house policy and that they contact the utility companies to open accounts.
4. Why not hand-deliver the keys to your buyer at the home?
In many parts of Canada, the real estate agent picks up the key from the lawyer’s office and delivers it to the client at the property on closing. Yet in the GTA, the practice for the most part is that the buyer has to attend at the lawyer’s office after the deal closes to pick up the key, before going to their new home. This can be very inconvenient, especially if they are busy moving. Why not consider doing this for your buyer, and celebrate the closing with them as they enter their new home for the first time.
5. Follow up with a feedback survey
In order to know whether you have delivered excellent customer service, ask your clients after closing how you did. For example, ask them what you did best and what you could have done better. In this way, you will be able to not only gather testimonials from satisfied clients, you will also learn how to improve your services in the future.
There is no better feedback than from your own clients.
Follow these simple principles and watch your business grow in 2015.
If you have any stories to share about the GTA housing market or just need some advice, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.