Creating the White Glove Client Experience
Creating a VIP experience for your clientele is key in developing a loyal client base, attracting new clients and referrals, and in building your business and brand. Among real estate best practices, white glove service creates a lasting impression among your target market, and can create word-of mouth marketing that leads to new and repeat clients. But, how do you create a client experience that earns white glove status in a market where 43% of For Sale By Owner sellers sold their homes without an agent because they didn’t see the value in paying the commission?
Go Beyond Tech.
Smartphones can turn any real estate buyer into an expert on neighborhoods, home values, and even real estate trends. Even these buyers, though, want an expert’s knowledge and experience as they embark on their real estate search. Here, you can do what technology cannot – fill the gaps. Do you have the inside track on houses coming onto the market? Have you honed your knowledge of a neighborhood to the point that you know its schools, churches, local politics? Help your clients navigate the human aspect of neighborhoods and towns, where technology stops short.
- Make Your Network Their Network.
White glove service means making your client’s life easier. Do you know a home inspector? A good real estate attorney? Maybe you also know movers, painters, and decorators. Your clients will have needs pre-sale, post-sale, and during the sales process. Make their lives easier by connecting them with professionals who come pre-vetted in your network.
- Individualize Your Service.
Meet with clients one-on-one. Listen to their real estate needs. Assess their situation and design a strategy that can help them meet their needs today, tomorrow, and into the future. The key is to remove stress from the real estate equation. Give them real answers that will solve their problems, not canned responses. If you give your clients personalized service, instead of template-based responses out of a box, you’ll gain their respect and their referrals.
- Know Your Clients. And Celebrate Their Milestones.
Remember the important dates in the lives of your clients, and prospective clients. Keep a list of holidays, and even their birthdays. When those days roll around, send a card or an email, and remind them that you’re human too, and you’re not just in this business for a commission. You’re committed to creating meaningful connections and building a reliable business. You can also follow up on referrals or completed sales with thank-you messages.
- Be Polite. Return Their Calls as Quickly as Possible.
White Glove service goes beyond just listening and being friendly – although that’s important too. Answer calls, texts, and emails from your clients with lightning speed. Be there when they need you. Keep clients updated. Don’t make them chase you to find out what you’re doing.
- Understand Your Client’s Needs. Even Before They Do.
Clients ask questions about what they know they want to know. Use your experience, soft skills, and intuition to probe at the questions they don’t ask. Be patient. Anticipate that question that you know they’ll wish they had asked, tonight, tomorrow, in a year. Give them all the answers, even to questions they haven’t formed yet.
- Tell Clients What Sets You Apart.
Do you specialize in a particular neighborhood, a certain type of real estate, a certain type of client? Make it clear how you’re different from the large number of other agents in your market. You can’t be all things to all people, but you can be THAT thing to someone to whom that’s really important.
- Teach Your Passion.
Offer your knowledge to your clients and prospective clients. Financial literacy, how to stage a home, what improvements offer the best bang for the buck at resale? Offer classes, webinars, or blog posts showcasing your knowledge, and help empower your clients at the same time. You’ll build loyalty among your existing clients, lure in some new clients, and build your reputation and brand.
Most VIP experience tips boil down to humanizing your client’s real estate journey, and being an engaging, knowledgeable, and helpful companion as your client embarks on what will probably be the biggest purchase he or she has ever made. Offering white glove service builds loyalty in your clients, trust that leads to more referrals, and client equity that builds your brand, business, and reputation.