How the property industry can benefit from Customer Experience (CX)

Advances in technology have made it possible for potential buyers and renters to look for properties online, on a variety of websites, compare prices and features and even take virtual tours. Because these initial automated steps are now so accessible, customers have higher standards and more demanding expectations for the entire buying, selling & leasing process.

The industry is now feeling the pressures of increased competition, combined with higher customer service expectations. These pressures are putting strain on profit margins, and making growth difficult.

Within the highly competitive Property industry, it’s always a challenge to keep the balance between making profit while deliver excellent customer service. Because of this, the most successful companies are putting a high priority on Customer Experience (CX).

Prioritising the customer experience (CX) can be a key differentiator to success in the Property Sector. So what does that mean as a developer, home builder, property manager or real estate professional?

The Property industry is built on nurturing customer relationships, so providing a great customer experience is imperative to delivering customer satisfaction, maintain retention levels, managing your reputation and growing your business.

Delivering CX in the property industry

· Understand your customers journey and managing it

· Make it as easy as possible for people to become customer

· Provide a customisable service to customers

· Deliver an immersive online shopping experiences

· Answer your customers questions fast

· Demonstrate your industry leadership through delivering superior insights and valuable information to customers

· Give customers more self-service options for faster turn-around

· Share information internally more effectively, to be ultra-responsive to customers

· Empower everyone in your business to provide next level customer service.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these goals.

Understanding your customers journey and managing it

When a potential client approaches your business, they are likely preparing to engage what will be one of the largest financial transactions of their lives. Understanding how potential customers behave and react to information enables companies to predict over time which communications channels deliver the best customer experience.

You need to understand every possible interaction your customers do have or might have with your business. This should encompass all aspects of your contact points, as well as any service (or self service) options, any information, on-boarding packs or hand-outs you provide people at any point in their relationship with your business, and any adjacent services offered by your business.

It is vital for you understand and manage all of your customer interactions, whether via walk-in enquiries, online or on the phone. You need to be able to easily transition from a web enquiry to a personal call or face-to-face meeting, with full access to the customer’s history, via integrated CX technology such as the CRM system.

When done correctly, you can establish trust, thought leadership, and provide the potential client with assurance that you truly care about their concerns. This is the first step in creating an exceptional customer experience.

Make it as easy as possible for people to become a customer

The rules aren’t much different here than for any other industry. As always, providing relevant content that is focused on clients and potential clients in all phases of the buying and selling process is the most important thing.

Yes, posting listings is certainly a wise thing to do, but the lion’s share of your content should be focused on providing your audience with tips, professional advice, and other relevant resources.

Your website should contain information regarding the value that using your services will bring to your clients. The best way to create great CX on your website is to anticipate your clients’ needs.

These needs might include:

  • Finding your contact information

  • Locating your office

  • Searching for homes that meet their criteria

  • Learning more about your services

  • Determining whether or not you are trustworthy

  • Enjoying a personalised experience based on their needs

Provide a customisable service to customers

For some of the most common types of prospects, buying a property represents a new phase of their lives, which presents huge opportunities for marketers. As you develop your marketing and outreach approach, consider the mindset of your different buyers.

• Empty nesters, aged 55 years or older, are the most qualified to buy a home and often prioritise the needs of their children and grandchildren.

• Millennials, aged 23 to 38, are the most hesitant to buy a property and are more focused on spending their money on experiences over things. They seek out neighbourhoods that foster a sense of community and offer regularly scheduled activities.

• Digital Natives, aged 18 to 22, have most recently graduated from college and value ownership and savings. Home buying is on their minds, even if the act of procuring one may be further down the line.

Deliver an immersive online shopping experience

In today’s digital age, it’s imperative to have a robust online presence that not only clearly depicts your product, but reflects the values and differentiators of your company. Instead of telling prospects what a neighbourhood will look like 5 years from now, show them.

Virtual tours and interactive site maps are a sure-fire way to help customers fall in love with your product and visualise their future within your community. Builders and Developers will rely more and more on interior renderings, surface site plans, and custom photography (instead of stock) to create an emotional connection with online shoppers as they browse for a property.

Answer your customer’s questions fast

Throughout the process, your clients are going to have questions, concerns, suggestions, requests for updates, you name it. Because constant connectivity and immediate access to information are now the norm, agents must rise to meet that expectation.

A day’s delay in getting back to a client may not have been an issue a few years ago. Today it can feel like a complete lack of concern for the customer’s time and needs.

Ultimately, being responsive is a matter of empathy. For clients, this is a stressful time. What can seem like a small matter to a professional who’s been through the process multiple times, can be huge for a customer. Once that is understood, the choice between returning that call now or pushing it off becomes obvious.

Provide more value through information and data.

Knowledge is power. Putting your expert industry knowledge in the hands of your customers empowers them, and it provides extra value for money. Data can be a great way to demonstrate your value to potential clients. Besides communicating your expertise, showing customers how you can increase the value of their investment shows them in very real terms that you are doing a good job for them. Educating your customers with data provides them with value, and you with a more sophisticated customer.

In summary

There is a dramatic shift towards improving the customer experience in the property sector. It is an industry built on nurturing customer relationships, so providing a great customer experience is imperative to delivering customer satisfaction, maintaining retention levels, managing your reputation and growing your real estate business.

To learn more about CX here is an article to guide you through the CX stages

Want to find out how to best begin your CX journey, contact us for a free consultation

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