Real estate is a competitive business.
More than 2 million Americans have active real estate licenses and there are over 86,000 different brokerage firms operating in the U.S. at any given moment.
And while a great marketing or ad campaign can certainly give you a leg up on those competitors, it’s likely not enough to ensure long-term success in today’s industry.
To really out-best those other brokers and keep buyers and sellers coming in? You need stellar service.
How to Go Above and Beyond
Selling your client’s home or finding the right property for a buyer is just one part of the equation. For them to recommend you to others, rate you highly on Yelp or Google, or refer you to others in their network, you need to go above and beyond — beyond what other real estate agents are offering, beyond what the client’s been told to expect, and beyond their wildest dreams, whenever possible.
Not sure how to do that?
Here are five ways to give a little extra to your next buyer or seller:
Deliver real-time communication
Not everything has to be finalized or in formal contract form for you to update your clients.
In fact, today’s buyers and sellers — largely tech-savvy millennials used to instant, digital gratification — expect the complete opposite of that.
They want to be in the loop at all times, with constant updates on their offers, upcoming showings, potential properties, and more.
The best part?
Most of them are OK with those updates in quick text or email form. All it takes is a few strokes of the keyboard, and you’ve got a happy customer on your hands.
Offer staging help
You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg getting new furniture and décor for the home, but give your sellers some hands-on help in arranging what they already have.
What could they do to make the home more marketable?
Declutter the walls?
Change the paint color?
Add in some fresh-cut flowers or push the couch against the wall?
Have a pow-wow, and help them stage their home as best they can with what they’ve got.
For buyers, you can download apps like Curate that let you “virtually stage” homes as you tour them. This makes it easier for clients to envision a property with their own style and belongings in the space. (It’s free, too!)
Send them to lunch
Have a showing or photo shoot going on at a seller’s house? Send them out to a nice lunch to bide their time.
Just toured a few properties with your newlywed buyers? Send them to dinner to discuss their experience in private. Let them talk over the details and hone in on what they liked, didn’t like, and where they want to go from here. Empower them, and make the buying and selling process a little bit less stressful with a nice meal and a few quiet moments together.
Use a pro cleaning or lawn team
One of the hardest parts of selling a home is keeping the property neat and orderly while it’s on the market — especially if they’ve got kids, pets, and other people to take care of.
Consider calling in a professional cleaning and lawn service to come in once a week and handle the dirty work. This helps you (and your sale) by ensuring the property’s always ready for a last-minute showing. It helps the seller by easing their burden and putting one less task on their shoulders.
Bring them refreshments.
Driving around from showing to showing in the hot summer weather? Pack a cooler with ice-cold water bottles and Gatorades.
Meeting at a property bright and early? Pick up a latte and a muffin on the way over.
Heading to the title company for closing? Pack a small bottle of prosecco to cheers your clients on getting their keys.
These little touches can go a long way in making a customer feel cared for — and you can bet they’ll share those details with others in need of agent services.
Take Those Extra Steps
Another great way to go above and beyond for your client is to do their research for them. Have an arsenal of pre-vetted title companies, home inspectors, loan officers, and lenders that you trust to care for and guide your clients.
Buyers and sellers are already strapped for time, so taking the research off their shoulders and putting them in the hands of trusted, experienced vendors can be a great way to win their favor even more.