With a new year right around the corner, now is the time to put a plan in place so that you're ready to hit the ground running come January 1. If going above and beyond for your clients—and delivering an experience that's second to none—is at the top of your list, you're on the right track when it comes to giving clients exactly what they want as they make their way through the real estate process.
During RISMedia's latest webinar, "Deliver Amazon-Like Consumer Experiences," sponsored by Inside Real Estate, attendees learned the ins and outs of offering superior, unparalleled value, including automated processes and touchpoints, to create customers for life.
Moderated by Verl Workman, CEO and founder of Workman Success Systems, the webinar featured Wendi Iglesias, CIO of The Keyes Company and Mike Johnson, director of Business Development for Real People Realty.
Kicking off a lively discussion, Alissa Harper, EVP of Marketing & Enterprise Sales for Inside Real Estate explained that "consumers expect immediacy and a seamless experience, and going into 2020, it's super important for brokers to be thinking about how they can deliver on that."
But what does it mean to deliver an Amazon-like consumer experience?
While there's no one-size-fits-all solution, for Iglesias, it begins with removing barriers to make the process easier for both the real estate professional and the end user.
"It all boils down to powerful automation, relevant and timely content and making your customer a customer for life," said Iglesias, who explained that there's a lot that can be done with technology to make that happen.
At The Keyes Company, automation begins with the initial response.
"Since 40 percent of real estate inquiries never get a response, we're looking at what the consumer is inquiring about and using AI to carry on the conversation," explained Iglesias. "In the end, it's all about driving the relationship between the consumer and real estate professional, because that's where the business gets done."
By utilizing AI, the firm is able to bring the right customer to the surface and then use technology to make it easy for the associate to begin talking to the customer.
"If used properly, technology should enhance the relationships real estate professionals are building with their clients," said Johnson. "But if you let the technology do its own thing, it will hinder the relationship and not provide a good end result."
While Real People Realty was founded on the premise of providing good technology and customer service to each and every client, Johnson is committed to eliminating as many hoops as possible in order for clients to get the information they need.
"At the end of the day, it all comes down to ease of access, making sure customers can get the information they need right at their fingertips on their smartphones," explained Johnson. "That's where the Amazon experience came from, as we didn’t hear about it prior to the smartphone being invented."
For both Iglesias and Johnson, the more frustration you can take out of the process—and the more ease you can add—the better off you are.
"Taking the time to respond to the consumer will make the biggest impact," said Iglesias, who's a big proponent of ensuring that the response is as content-driven as possible. "Make sure the consumer knows that you heard them, that you're there for them, and that you want to help them.
"Make the client feel involved throughout the transaction by touching them as many times as possible," concluded Johnson. "The more you follow-up with them via phone, email or text, the more they'll enjoy the overall experience."
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