Customer Service: It’s making a comeback
Is it smart business for an agent or brokerage to say these words? “I’m sorry. We can’t help you with that. Your best bet would be to call one of our competitors.” The obvious answer is no! However, as surreal as it may seem, I know of agents that act in this manner on a regular basis and in many cases their managing brokers aren’t even aware. The stark reality is that many agents think that “rentals” are beneath them and the owners/managers that supervise them need to accept their share of the blame for fostering an environment where this attitude is acceptable. This is a breakdown in customer service.
The objective of all real estate agents should be to develop “clients for life”. An accomplished real estate professional should assist all their people whether they wish to buy, rent, sell or find a great tenant for their property. A properly run residential brokerage operation needs to provide their agents with the tools, training and support to service the needs of all their contacts.
Focus on Customer (Service) Life-cycle
As an agent if you sell someone a house and they later need to move and rent it out for a period of time, shouldn’t you feel some obligation to help them out? If you happen to sell an investor a four family house, don’t you think it would be prudent to solidify their investment by finding them good tenants? I believe that a true real estate professional is a full service agent working in a full service brokerage. This IS customer service. To me, ownership and management have a professional responsibility to create and cultivate an environment where agents can satisfy all the consumer’s needs.
A large part of my career has been spent teaching rental agents and rental brokerages how to add sales to their skill set. The argument and logic for adding sales to the rental agent or brokerage is basically the same. Why pass up the opportunity to fill the needs of your customers? In my experience, “attitude” has a lot to do with success or failure of brokerages to become full service in both sales and rentals. Once the tools and support have been provided the only missing piece is the “attitude” – and that’s where the customer service mindset comes into play. Agents must believe that they can do it and that it is in their best interest to do it.
About Greg Young
Greg Young is the owner and President of Broker Heaven NY, a real estate training and consulting firm located in Manhattan devoted to helping agents and companies reach their full potential. Greg has trained thousands of agents over his 30 year career and has created numerous rental and sales training programs.