How to build customer loyalty in real estate in 2022?
What if you had the golden opportunity to turn a customer into a loyal ambassador for your brand without spending any money?
Well, you can’t abracadabra your way around it. But the good news is it is possible – even for an agent without the backing of a brand. But the question remains: How to build customer loyalty in real estate in 2022?
Think about buying a pair of sneakers online. You browse a few websites and luckily come across a website selling your dream sneakers. You check the price and proceed to checkout.
But that doesn't always apply to the real estate market. Someone could be showing interest in buying a house by browsing, or making enquiries but will only be able to buy in 2 years’ time. What you have to understand is buying a house isn't as easy as buying shoes. For most, buying or selling a house is a lifetime event.
But if you sideline the client's enquiries and call them back after 2 years when they're ready to buy, chances are they’ve already bought a house. So it's very important to build customer loyalty step by step and from the initial point of contact, helping clients get all the information they need. Finally, when they're ready to buy, they'll remember you and trust you to sell or buy their property.
As a real estate agent, you were maybe busy with various tasks and didn't want to dedicate time to a client who wasn't ready to buy. A valid reason – but one that unfortunately means you're not only losing that particular client but any other business the client could have potentially brought in.
What is customer loyalty?
Customer loyalty is the result of the customer service you give. When you make a customer smile and leave a lasting impression, they subconsciously pledge a degree of loyalty to your business.
It’s for this exact reason that businesses spend millions of dollars to create a strong brand presence. They want to be on the top of their customers’ minds. But this doesn’t mean you have go broke. The best way to achieve this is by gaining customer trust and creating a loyal customer database.
And who doesn’t want to earn the trust of their clients? With a little help from these easy-to-follow guidelines, this is how to build customer loyalty in real estate in 2022.
01. Make it easy for customers to connect with you
When owners are looking to buy or sell property, they want to be able to easily connect with and trust their agent. Unlike most other businesses, customer loyalty in real estate starts at the point of booking an appointment and ideally lasts throughout the relationship.
When the customer life cycle is long, communication channels need to be readily available for customers. They should have access to the latest in the process when they want it.
The fundamental step in getting clients for real estate (and basically any industry) is simply great communication and fostering relationships. But, building a solid and devoted customer base requires time and effort. The success or failure of a real estate agent can be greatly influenced by the development of a customer loyalty database.
Make your website user-friendly and conversational using chatbots, engagement bots, or a conversational landing page. Help users find information about available properties, see promotional materials, or share contract paperwork. Assist your users in storing and sharing their documents – from floorplans to proof of due diligence – by offering secure communication channels.
You must address both consumer requirements as well as their needs. But be patient with your prospective clients. Sometimes even they don’t know what they want!
In cases where clients don’t know what they want, make an effort to assist them by asking leading questions. Send them emails or text messages – however, they normally communicate.
Customers actually prefer to communicate with businesses on channels they already use; being Whatsapp, Instagram or anything in between, make sure you ask consent before contacting them this way. Communication in this way is a great way to build bridges between customers and brands.
Also, make sure you send valuable content to your clients. Inform them you’ll be sharing your expertise with them, and do so consistently.
You can include updates on the local housing market, the best time to buy or sell a house, arrange notifications for when a house becomes available and so on.
02. Omnichannel communication for optimal productivity
Omnichannel marketing increases exposure dramatically, helping sellers quickly scale their businesses and all while on one platform.
Studies show businesses that opted for omnichannel communication saw an enormous 91% increase in customer retention rates. The reason was that omnichannel communication makes it easy for realtors to keep track of and maintain conversations with their clients regardless of the channel of communication.
Depending on where they are in their customer journey, customers are always in different stages. And it can be overwhelming for businesses to offer dynamic funnel content that allows for a cohesive brand identity.
That’s why Serviceform’s Social inbox makes it easy for you to know who’s interacting with your leads, syncing this information with your CRM, and then managing all these communications using just one account.
03. Treat customers like humans, not numbers
Put yourself in the client’s shoes: Wouldn't you want your seller to treat you like they care about your significant property investments?
Send articles and suggestions that are relevant to your clients' needs. It's crucial to pay attention to client needs, any household circumstances, and their deadlines.
Although good listeners are hard to come by, listening skills may as well be required to become a real estate agent. Listening to a client and learning about their needs and goals, helps to tailor your efforts, which will set you apart from other real estate agents who don’t bother to do the same.
04. Be reliable and responsive
You’ve heard the adage: The customer is king. But if the customer is king, you can’t serve him a peasant’s meal! ;).
While you don't have to be available 24/7, you should let them know how quickly you’ll answer. Tell them, for instance, that if they leave a message, you’ll respond no later than an hour, and that they can rely on that.
In a world that expects instant services, why not send your client automated instant messages? It shows the client you value their time, making it more likely they’ll wait to hear back instead of jumping to a competitor.
It’s all about letting them know you’ll be there for them when they need you. Home buyers and sellers are anxious because of the stressful period that buying and/or selling a home is.
This means there’s real value in having someone by their side to guide them through the difficult journey – and they know that.
05. Leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing
Humans are social creatures. We love to tell everyone about the restaurant that had delicious food, the gym that made us fit, or the shop where we bought trendy clothes. The unprecedented growth and popularity of social media prove this.
And this is particularly true in the real estate industry as well where close to 30% of brokerage business comes in from referrals and repeat business.
Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing. It's easy to overlook the importance of word-of-mouth recommendations when so much time, energy, and resources are devoted to leveraging social media and other marketing channels to discover buyers and sellers.
Word-of-mouth recommendations, however, remain a significant source of income for agents.
Marketing by word of mouth is virtually free. It's a reward for the effort you put in to please the customers you serve. Customers are more likely to recommend you to their friends and family when you provide excellent customer service and meet or exceed their expectations.
What you should bear in mind
These are just a handful of the many ways to leverage client loyalty strategies in real estate. Customer loyalty needs to be established and continually nurtured. Think of it like a tree – where you can't expect it to bear fruit overnight! You need to continually water it, shape it, and add fertilisers for it to grow. :)
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