Real estate is full of technology solutions targeted at fixing the same problems—database intelligence, transaction management, lead acquisition and marketing to name a few. Many of these platforms offer similar tools and functionality, but what sets them apart, aside from price, is their differentiation in their obsession to the customer’s experience.
According to Forrester, customer-obsessed companies have the highest median three-year growth in sales. To be clear, customer obsession goes way beyond customer service. It’s a complete shift in how a company operates so that the customer is the focus at all times.
For real estate professionals, it’s almost impossible not to be customer centric. No two real estate transactions are the same, even if they involve the same customer. Each inter-action with a customer is about providing the best experience possible despite the challenges that come with managing the sale or purchase of an individual’s most valuable asset.
Where REAL Trends is seeing a shift towards a customer centric approach in real estate is with technology partners, most notably those providing online leads. Increasingly lead generation companies are focused on the experience of both their customers—those filling out the lead capture forms on their sites and those paying for the leads on the other end.
It’s no secret that improperly managed leads mean missed opportunities for brokerages and sales associates. What it really boils down to though is that unanswered leads create a poor experience for the customer.
In an effort to enhance the customer experience, online lead providers are taking it upon themselves to add services that increase the likelihood of a positive experience initially for the consumer and ultimately for real estate professionals who serve them. Here are three ways we see customer obsession manifesting itself in today’s top online lead providers.
A simplification of the platform setup across devices is paramount to making user engagement better. Many systems are reducing menu choices to five options or fewer over a streamlined mobile interface. Hand-in-hand with simplicity is the intuitive nature of the platform. This will continue to increase as companies implement greater artificial intelligence capabilities.
The importance of consistent and timely lead follow-up is nothing new, but is still something that is a work in progress for most brokerages. More online partners are taking this initial first step on behalf of their clients. Using personable, live people to make that first contact on behalf of the agent or brokerage can shift leads from cold to warm.
Who doesn’t love a good set of metrics to evaluate productivity? Successful business owners appreciate the value of data reviewed on a consistent basis. Teams and brokerages are finding more partners who are willing to put these data sets together for them and make the time to review performance issues from both sides.