Most real estate agents are great at delivering high-quality customer service. That being said, there’s a massive difference between customer service, and truly delivering the Ultimate Home Buyer Experience.
Disney understands the difference between customer service and the customer experience. You need to understand the difference between customer service and customer experience as well.
It starts with the initial lead call. The second that call comes in, you literally have 30 seconds or less to respond to their call. That will impress them. That will WOW them. Your goal is to have their phone ring while they are still on your site.
You then need to immediately give them what they want. Instead of trying to force them to jump through your hoops, make sure you are answering their questions. Make sure you are delivering value and coming from contribution. Create a conversation and develop a rapport with them right off the bat.
We call this: Building Relationships on Trust. When you Build Relationships on Trust, people will begin to know, like, and trust you. When they do that, they’ll do business with you.
On that initial call, the number one goal, the only goal you have on that call, is not to get them pre-approved, but to get the appointment.
You need to get face-to-face with these folks. Once you get face-to-face with them, you can begin establishing a relationship based on trust. Once you’ve set the appointment on that call, then and only then have you earned the opportunity and the right to finally say something like, “Hey Mr. and Mrs. Buyer. If they could save you a couple of hundred dollars a month on your mortgage payment, would you be interested in chatting with one of our lenders?”
When they say yes, which almost all of them will, now you’ve earned the opportunity to have them chat with one of your lenders. They can get pre-approved, and you now are going to go out and meet with them.
Regardless of whether or not they get pre-approved prior to your appointment, go on the appointment. Meet with these people face-to-face and begin to develop the relationship. Worst case scenario, even if they don’t do business with you, you are developing a new lead source – a referral partner who may refer you to more people, and more business than you can imagine!
Now, let’s get really over the top. When you’re out showing homes, one of the things you want to do is have your stuff together!
What does that mean?
Don’t be late. Early means 5-minutes ahead of time, every time.
Make sure you show up with a clean car. The last thing you want to do is be carting people around in a dirty car. Uber exists because people were sick and tired of being in a dirty cab!
This is very important. What are we talking about? Guys.. put a tie on!!! Coach Michael Hellickson hears people from all over the country saying they live in a warm climate so they wear an aloha shirt and a pair of Bermuda shorts. WELL GOOD FOR YOU! You know what! The guy down the street, he wears a suit and he makes 10 times as much money as you do! Show people that you have respect for yourself, and they will respect you more. If you want them to trust you, look like someone they can trust.
PUT A SUIT ON! Guys, PUT A TIE ON! Unless your name is Tristan Ahumada, and you can get away with a t-shirt and a jacket, then great. But you know what, Tristan is crushing it with over $2 million in annual GCI! When you’re operating at his level, you can crush it in jeans and a t-shirt too.
Have neighborhood listings with you.
Always have four or five other listings in the neighborhood that you can show them. So no matter what they decide with a particular house, you can say, “Hey, you know what, I have a couple other ones right around the corner you may want to take a look at as well. Why don’t we go take a look right now.”
Get them out there right now. Don’t set a time for next week, get them out there now.
Discuss things like tax rates, mello-roos (if you’re in California), school districts and test scores, crime rate, etc.
You want to have these conversations with them and about how they impact their buying power in different areas, how it affects their kids’ experience in different areas, and so on.
You really want to go deep with them on what they are looking for and why. Understanding “the why” is very important.
Discuss off market properties and foreclosures.
This is very, very important. When you have off-market properties that you can talk with them about, that is a WOW FACTOR.
That’s something that goes above and beyond and it’s something that will really endear them to you as opposed to other agents, because they think you have what other people cannot provide them with.
Offer your “Love It or Leave It” Guarantee”.
One of the guarantees or USP (unique selling propositions) we love, is the “Love It or Leave It” Guarantee. Essentially, when they buy from you, if they don’t ABSOLUTELY love it within the first 18-months, you will sell it for free! When you offer them a guarantee like that, it reverses the risk. It takes the risk away from the home buyer, and guess what! They appreciate that.
It’s something nobody else is doing, and it shows them that you are the kind of agent they want to work with. Another WOW FACTOR. (Check out our blog, “Guaranteed Sale and other U.S.P.’s” for more insights on how to create AND use your Unique Selling Propositions.)
Show up in a limo.
If you ‘re showing high-end buyers homes or if you’re showing homes in high-end neighborhoods, maybe you could show up in a limo or grab a helicopter!
Coach Michael has heard of agents who show up in a helicopter and tour people around the city, showing them all the different neighborhoods and areas and then bringing them back to planet Earth, throwing them in the car, and then showing them properties. What an AWESOME way to differentiate yourself from other agents.
When you are out showing properties, record videos of the showings.
So literally as they are looking through the house, grab a video camera, or use your smartphone and take a little video of the property as you’re walking through it.
Take video of their comments in the house and then send it to them after the showing so they can review all the properties you showed them. It will help them remember things about those properties and they will be able to see their comments right there on the video.
It’s another great way to differentiate yourself. And again… it’s a WOW FACTOR.
Have a VIP home buyer kit ready. These are very important.
What does an Ultimate Home Buyer Kit look like?
Have a VIP home buyer kit ready. These are very important. What is an Ultimate Home Buyer Kit look like?
Have water bottles in your car. Make sure they are able to get something cool to drink while they’re out running around looking at houses with you. The last thing you want is for them to be worn out. Besides, dehydration causes fatigue!
Have snacks in the car. These could be granola bars or even pre-packaged nuts. It doesn’t really matter, but make sure you have enough in there to give people a variety and to keep them sustained so they have the energy to continue looking at houses with you.
You have to have your buyer agency agreement with you. If you expect them to sign a buyer agency agreement, it’s a lot easier to get them to do that if it’s in your car with you, all ready to go. Don’t forget the pens! Make sure you always have four blue ink, broad tipped pens. That leaves one for you, one for Mrs. Buyer/Seller, one for Mr. Buyer/Seller, and one spare in case one of them runs out of ink.
A clipboard so they can walk around and take notes while they’re viewing the property. One of our top coaches at Club Wealth likes to give them each listing sheet and have them rate each listing on a scale of 1-10. That way when you get done with those listings you can say, “Ok, here’s the ones you rated 8, 9 or 10. Which of those would you like to make offers on?” Great stuff to WOW a buyer. Again, be organized. Even a little organized is far better than any other agent they’ve looked at homes with.
Have a flashlight. Ideally, you should have flashlights for everybody. When Coach Michael’s Buyers Agents were showing homes, they would carry four flashlights in their cars just in case. You should carry even more if you know you are showing homes to families that have multiple kids. That way everybody gets a flashlight in case the lights are off at the properties. Sometimes when you’re showing REO (bank owned properties) homes, a lot of time those lights aren’t even turned on yet. And besides, kids love flashlights… Who doesn’t??!
Carry a tape measure. Ideally, also carry one of those electronic measuring devices that allow you to stick it on a wall and it does a laser measurement across the room so they can get the room dimensions. That way they can mentally place their furniture. Once they start mentally placing their furniture by the way, that’s a buying cue. This is huge. Watch out for this when showing houses.
Umbrellas. As Club Wealth™ is based in Sumner, Washington, along with umbrellas, we also like to carry rubber galoshes. Sometimes you roll up to vacant land or maybe you’re at a property where the walkway up to the house is a mess or maybe your client just wants to walk around the back yard. Having umbrellas and galoshes will make it really easy for them to take a full and complete look at each and every property regardless of the weather conditions. Depending on your area, you may also want to carry rain ponchos in your car. You may not use them very often so you can keep them in their packages, and that one time you need them, you are going to be glad you have them in your ultimate home buyer kit. Wool socks are also a great thing to carry. Who knows, maybe Mrs. Buyer shows up to look at a home in high heels and if you show up to a property that has mud grass in the backyard, she may want to go see the back ninety. She’s not going to jump into a pair of galoshes with no socks on. A nice, good, new pair of wool socks still in their package so they know they are brand new will always make a WORLD CLASS impression.
Ultimate Home Buyer Kits for Kids. Yes, you want them for the kids, too! This is very important because you want to involve the kids in the process. Understand that the kid’s package needs to have snacks such as fruit snacks and Cheerios, as well as coloring books. Ideally, if you could find coloring books with houses in them, that’s even better! Maybe even bring a DVD player or tablet so the kids can watch a video while you’re showing the house. Anything else you can think of to help get those kids involved in the process will be helpful. One of the things you might want to consider doing – if you know they are going to be bringing the kids with them and their kids are around seven years and older, getting them a separate set of copies of the listings you’re going to look at and ask THEM to rate each property. GET THEM INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS! Just like Mom and Dad! Get them excited about the process! When you get the kids on your side, game over! Mom and Dad are now in your corner. Why?! Because once Mom is in your corner, Dad just follows along. So make sure you’ve got kids in your corner, for sure. For a complete list of items that you can include in your Home Buyer Kit and Home Buyer Kit for Kids, make sure you check out the download on this page. Keep in mind, Mom and Dad’s attention span is only as long as the kids… keep the kids happy, win the sale!
After the showing, you will want to write a handwritten note. Put them on your newsletter list, and your Client Appreciation Program. On the handwritten note, there are two ways you can do it. You can use Send Out Cards (Sendoutcards.com), which is a great product. Our staff at Club Wealth® use them from time to time and they are a fantastic alternative if you simply can’t make time to write handwritten personal notes. Especially if you have an assistant who can do them for you. That being said, nothing trumps a handwritten note. Use blue ink, broad tip pen, write 3-5 lines, use a unique close and don’t forget the date, time and location of where you were when you wrote it in the top right hand corner. Believe Coach Michael, if you follow that model for how to write personal notes, you’ll be surprised at the results.
When they move into the home, Coach Michael also likes to give a moving day pizza. Depending on the number of people you know who are moving in or helping with the move, you may want to send more than one pizza.
Housewarming parties once they’ve actually moved in. Throw a housewarming party for them. The big key here is now you’re inviting their friends, and their new neighbors to welcome them into the neighborhood. You’ll look like the hero and you’ll get the opportunity to meet a whole bunch of people who otherwise you would have never had the chance to meet.
New address return labels. Coach Michael suggests you get the white address labels and put their name and new address on them so when they are sending things out, they can stick the label on there. They could even use it for their change of address form for the post office.
There are lots of things you can do shortly after the sale to ensure you are delivering the Ultimate Home Buyer Experience, but make sure you are taking advantage of a bare minimum of 10 WOW items for each and every homebuyer experience. If you really want to knock it out of the park, and you want to ensure that no matter what they are going to send you referrals, take your WOW items number up to 30! Right now, we’ll be excited if we can get you to implement at least three things into your system right away.
Next, follow the Ultimate Client Checklist. This includes things like client events, personal notes, pop bys (or stop bys) with swag. (Note: While we do suggest best practices for Pop-Bys, they are optional and only to be used in the absence of more productive activities.) The Ultimate Client Checklist includes all kinds of ways you can provide the WOW’s. Things like putting a big bow on the door when they close so when they walk up to their new front door, it’s the first thing they see. Maybe you even include the welcome home starter kit at closing.
Welcome Home Starter Kit
Instead of giving them a welcome basket with alcohol or something not particularly useful, why not give them something they’re really going to use when they first move in? Stuff they may have forgotten. Throw in some toilet paper, cleaning supplies, milk, cereal, light bulbs, paper or plastic bowls and utensils. All this stuff will help them to get by the first few days in their new home while they find an opportunity to go shopping.
Just lay those things out nicely in a big array on the counter top. It’s going to cost you way less money than if you did a typical closing gift and you’re going to get way more attraction out of it because people are going to say, “WOW! You really thought about what our needs are going to be when we move in, and you thought ahead about this type of thing versus just giving us a cliché closing gift like a lot of agents would do.”
You are going to want to make sure you make a phone call to that client. Did you move in and have any surprises when you got there? Would you like us to send you a handyman for a half day to help you fix anything from when you moved in and found it was not in the kind of condition you would have expected? Also, you will want to give them area information at this point. You may have given it to them throughout the buying process, but after they move in, you should give it to them again.
Information such as daycare, activities they can do in the area, and Homeowners Association (President and other member contact information). Within all of this, you are going to want to emphasize THEM as the Rockstar, not YOU! If you make them the Rockstar in every single thing you do, guess what’s going to happen. They’re going to think you are the Rockstar because you made THEM the ROCKSTAR. It really does work that way.
Click on the download to get all the checklists and WOW items Coach Michael Hellickson wasn’t able to get through on the video.