In part one of my series on real estate customer service tips, I discussed the different clientele real estate agents might find themselves working with more often than not. For the most part, I went into detail on identifying whether or not your customers were buyers or sellers, and how to use what you learn about them to benefit your marketing efforts. If for nothing else, understanding who you are working with will give you a huge advantage over the field. No other strategy, at least that I am aware of, will allow your real estate marketing efforts to be more efficient and productive than running a customer-centric campaign. Treating those you work with as your highest priority enables you to develop a working rapport on both a business level and a personal one. That said, it’s worth taking a look at the real estate customer service tips I outline below.
Your average homebuyer and seller aren’t the only customers you will tend to over the course of your real estate career. In fact, there is one core demographic that may be more valuable to a real estate investor than all the other customers combined: real estate investors. It is entirely possible that other real estate investors will be your most reliable source of income.
Whether you realize it or not, like-minded investors constitute a large portion of the customers you are trying to target. While their intentions regarding a subject property may not be the same as someone looking to move into the home, investors are nonetheless interested in buying what you have to offer.
The key, however, is to identify what each respective investor is looking for and then tailoring your marketing efforts to meet their individual needs. To do that, you must first identify what type of customer they might be. Here are a few of my favorite real estate customer service tips.
Real estate investors are as diverse as the exit strategies they practice on a daily basis. you could actually argue that the diversity of the industry is what has drawn so much attention in recent years. That said, investors are bound to come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and their intentions are no exception. While all investors have the same goal in mind, their means to an end may be completely different than their counterparts. In other words, the exit strategies they intend to use to get from point A to point B are constantly in flux. What one investor might try to do with a property is in no way representative of a subsequent investor’s strategy.
Understanding your customer’s intentions with a property, however, will make it a lot easier to market your asset. Let’s take a look at a few of the real estate investor customers you may encounter on your journey, and how you can maximize your marketing efficiency.
Wholesalers & Rehabbers
The concept of investing in real estate, though complex in and itself, can really be broken down into a simple narrative: acquire a property and proceed to sell it for more than the initial purchase price. The end goal should always be the same: make a profit that exceeds the original purchase price. It is important to note, however, that each investor will have a preferred exit strategy to do so, and it’s up to you to identify what it is they intend to do.
In order to see to it that your customers receive the best service possible, you must first identify the exit strategy they intend to use. Only then will you be able to provide world-class service and market your properties accordingly.
Real estate investors looking to rehab a property, or even wholesale it for that matter, are always going to be looking for a deal. Not surprisingly, the cheaper they can acquire a property for, the larger the spreads. Their business models rely upon cheap acquisition costs, and you must do your best to find a property within their wheelhouse. In order to market to other investors, you must do your homework. You can’t just purchase any property and hope another investor will want to buy it from you. The numbers need to add up.
You must first determine whether or not the property in question is a candidate to be flipped. Compare it to homes nearby and determine what the after repair value might be. If you can sell the property to another investor for a cheap enough price to still make a profit, you can very easily create a win-win scenario for every party.
Be sure to show your work. Investors will most likely run their own numbers, but one of the best real estate customer service tips I can think of is to do the work before hand. Give them a reason to get excited by showing them numbers that can pad their bottom line. With any luck, the home will market itself.
It’s worth noting that real estate investors don’t need to be an immediate customer, nor do they even need to do business with you to be valuable to your marketing efforts. In fact, you never even have to work on the same deal as another investor for them to contribute immensely to your business. At the very least, developing a relationship for the sole purpose of adding a new contact to your repertoire has value in and of itself. Remember, real estate is a people business, and as a people business, the relationships you foster are invaluable to the development of your small business systems. That said, how do you turn a new contact into a reliable asset? The answer is simple: use the real estate customer service tips I have discussed thus far in this series.
In trying to create a lasting relationship with a valuable contact, it is important that you market yourself, and not the company you represent. Only then will you be able to build a genuine working rapport built on trust and not ulterior motives. I maintain that the best relationships are the ones founded on genuine connections, and not those that are built for the good of a company.
Customer service, at least as it pertains to real estate, should never be relegated to maintaining clients. For what it’s worth, customer service should extend to every aspect of your company, including networking. The same principles that apply to providing world-class customer service translate effortlessly into networking. It is in your best interest to place the needs of those you are networking with above your own. Those investors that remain proactive in their efforts to create valuable contacts are more than aware of the power of good will.
If for nothing else, proving your value to another person will only make them want to work with you even more. Demonstrate that you are capable of being a valuable asset to others, and they are more likely to reciprocate their appreciation. Sometimes that appreciation comes in the form of a new deal and sometimes it will help you avoid a bad situation. Either way, it’s hard to place the value on a quality contact, as it only takes one person to elevate your business to a whole new level.
There are countless real estate customer service tips I could recommend to investors of every level, but none are as valuable as getting to know the people you connect with. Building genuine relationships in the real estate industry is as valuable a tool as you will see, and those who do it well will see their marketing become more efficient and effective.