Our industry as a whole and nearly every real estate coaching company in the market place has “missed the boat” when it comes to what I am going to share with you today. I want to talk about the most powerful and most overlooked principle when it comes to generating a referral based business in real estate
First, I want you to think about something: Imagine you just signed up for a 2 day real estate seminar and the title of that seminar was…“How to Generate a Steady Stream of Referrals in Your Business”. Now I would like to ask you this question: What would you imagine most of the teaching during these 2 days would be focused on? If you have been in real estate for any length of time you have probably taken classes focused on this subject. What was the content of the class?
Here is the answer: 99% of the class will focus on one thing: POST SALE MARKETING!
These classes focus on what you should be doing ‘after closing” to stay in contact with your clients on a consistent basis. They discuss drip email campaigns, phone calls, postcard programs, staying in contact through social networking, etc… I want to tell you today that they have got it wrong! They have “missed the boat” on this subject. I am not saying that those things aren’t important. They are very important. But they are not the foundation of generating a steady stream of referrals. Those things represent the “icing on the cake”. I want to talk about the “cake”! So…what is the cake?
The foundation of building a referral based business is providing absolutely astounding, unparalleled, and innovative CUSTOMER SERVICE to the client! Why is customer service not discussed at these conferences? Because the topic isn’t fancy enough! It doesn’t attract enough people! We want to talk about the latest and greatest technologies, social networking applications, and internet marketing strategies. No one wants to sign up for a conference on customer service. Frankly, that sounds boring to most agents. If I would have titled this blog “Why You Should Provide Great Customer Service”, you probably wouldn’t have even clicked on it. So before you get bored, ponder something with me…
I’d like you to think about a customer service experience you have had that absolutely blew you away and ask yourself these two questions…
- If that company never marketed to you again….Would you forget them?
- If you never received an email or postcard from them…Would you refer them to others?
Now, think of a company that provided mediocre service to you. You should have plenty of these to choose from. You finished doing business with them and you were simply a “satisfied customer”. This company mails you postcards every month and you get emails from them almost weekly. You even happen to be a “fan” on their Facebook page. Now ask yourself these two questions…
- Are you 100% loyal to them?
- When you are in the market again for their services or product, will you shop the competition or go right back to them? — Before you answer, don’t forget…You have received 34 postcards over the last 3 years, 49 emails, and even cards on your birthday. Doesn’t that matter? NO! They have been successful at making sure you don’t forget about them, but you are not a loyal customer!
One of the best books I have ever read on this subject is “Raving Fans” by Ken Blanchard. The premise of the entire book is this…Creating Satisfied Customers is Simply Not Enough! We have to create Raving Fans! What is a raving fan? A raving fan is someone who is so blown away by their experience with you that they go out of their way to tell everyone they know about you. They go online and write an unbelievable review about you. They get on Facebook and post something great about you to all their friends. They would never even consider using the other realtor who happens to be a fellow mom on their kids’ soccer team. They are loyal to you for life. …..even if you don’t call them 4 times a year, mail to them 12 times a year, and email them 20 times a year!
Once again, I am NOT saying that post sale marketing isn’t important. It is! I am saying that post sale marketing will never ignite a flame of referrals, it will only fan a flame that already exists! The question you should be asking is this….
What absolutely unique and exciting things could I implement into my business that would truly SERVE the customer in ways that my competition is not?
I’m not talking about returning phone calls promptly and getting their home sold in a reasonable amount of time. Those things are expected. Those things create satisfied customers. I’m talking about what you can do to WOW them.
For example….last year we hired a full time Client Concierge. One of the many services she provides to our clients is the delivery of boxes and moving supplies. We bought a large amount of boxes in bulk and had them branded with our logo and information. Our clients simply call our Concierge and tell her how many they want and what moving supplies they need and she will have them waiting in their garage when they get home from work that day. Our clients love it. And yes, we are selling them the boxes. However, we sell them approximately 20% below what they can go buy them for at the major retailers. Then, when they are done moving and unpacking, they can simply call the concierge and she will go pick the boxes up for them. Those used boxes are then given away for free to our clients on a first come-first serve basis. That is a unique service!
I truly believe that if Jesus Himself were a real estate agent, service is what He would be known for. I believe His entire business model would be focused on becoming an unbelievable SERVANT to his clients. Isn’t that what He did on earth? He humbled himself and served men—and they followed Him in return. I believe the same thing will happen for us!!
What are your thoughts on this? Why has service been so overlooked as the key to generating referrals?
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