Exceeding expectations as a luxury real estate professional is important. As we all know, today’s consumers have high expectations when they hire a full-service real estate professional. Often, we focus our efforts on winning the listing or the sale and forget to focus on wowing the customers who will become raving fans and clients for life.
A database packed with past clients who are loyal and delighted to send referrals your way is a goldmine, and exceeding expectations helps keep your database growing. Here are some tips to create your own “WOW” experience checklist so that you’re constantly working towards exceeding expectations.
Exceeding Expectations When You’re Just Getting Started
Note their personality style so you know how best to work with them, and to provide the information that is appropriate to what they would need to make a decision. As you are booking your listing appointments, ask the potential seller: “What are your expectations of the real estate agent you will hire?” Listen carefully, take notes, and (if appropriate) ask any follow-up questions to dig deeper: “What’s important about that?” Their answers will allow you to determine their hot buttons which will then allow you to customize your approach and presentation.
Deliver to buyers and sellers a high-quality pre-appointment/pre-consult book. This should showcase your bio, your references, an overview of services, and the benefits you want them to review in advance. If you don’t have time to deliver prior to the appointment, send via FedEx and have a digital version just in case you need it. Remember, exceeding expectations is key here.
Understand their expectations by asking each client the preferences that would allow them to be wowed and delighted by their experience of working with you:
“How often would you like to hear from me?”
“What are the best times of day to contact you and what’s the best way to reach you?”
“Is there anything else that you will need to feel well informed?”
“Are there any other special needs or special requests that you might need assistance with?”
“Are there any other decision-makers that would need to be included in the communications?”
Share the reports, bulletins, and updates you will be providing. Note these preferences in their file to be certain you deliver, and check-in with them periodically to confirm the plan is working and to determine if any modifications need to be made.
Exceeding Expectations Once You’re Working Together
Once they agree to work with you, send a welcome packet that congratulates them and introduces them to the team/vendors they will be working with, and outlines what will happen in the first couple of weeks of working together. If any staff or team members will be assisting you in the process, have them call and introduce themselves as well.
Consider setting up a private email that is designated specifically for the transaction to ensure important communications do not get lost. You can also set up a private GoToMeeting or Zoom room just for them. This is where you can meet to provide them updates, negotiate offers, or have other important discussions with them. Let them know that, if they text you, you’ll quickly set a time to join them in the meeting room for a “face-to-face” conversation.
Consider providing them with an inexpensive tablet for use throughout the transaction. This will not only make it easier for them to review documents, but it will also provide them with another means of checking in with you in the private meeting room.
Review all brochures and marketing content with them before processing in order to allow for their input and approval. Provide a report of all social media analytics so they can see how many people have viewed the property, and be sure to provide a showing feedback report. You can also provide them with a monthly market update, and any recommendations you have for them based on current market conditions.
Finally, have a “VIP” stamp for any materials you send to them. You want to make sure that anything you send them not only looks professional and attractively put together, but you also want to make them feel special every time you communicate with them.
Exceeding Expectations Once the Transaction is Completed
Once the transaction has been completed, don’t stop there. Consider other thoughtful touches, such as a picnic basket with lunch delivered to them on moving day. After that, make sure you have added them to your ongoing marketing campaign for client touches. This includes mail, email, event invitations, and follow-up call reminders at least quarterly.
When gifting, try to be mindful of their hobbies and interests. Remember, gifts do not need to be elaborate or costly, and it’s often easier to spend less money when the gift is thoughtfully purchased with their individual preferences in mind. Also, make sure it’s beautifully packaged.
For your home buyers celebrating their one-year anniversary of the purchase, be sure to send a small gift in celebration. One popular option would be a floral arrangement or an attractive potted plant for their home or yard. When it comes to these milestone moments, feel free to send the same gifts for each client, and be sure to have a reminder system in place to make the process as seamless as possible. Handwritten notes on beautiful stationery should also be included to give the gift a more personal touch.
Some milestone moments you may want to consider gifts for are:
The launch of the listing for a seller
For a buyer, when they have an accepted offer on their purchase
Removal of contingencies
When they send a referral, even if it does not turn into a transaction, send a small “thank you” of some kind to acknowledge their efforts. Additionally, make it a point to pop by once a year to reconnect face to face, and to remind them of all the areas and price points you service, and how much you value and appreciate their referrals