One of Chris’s five aspirations is to create the most referred real estate brand in the land. (We’ll discuss all five aspirations in detail in Part 3.) We strive to connect on a level that creates a client for life by breaking down and improving every detail of every brand interaction. This is an ambitious agenda that we will tackle one step at a time. It all starts with an awareness of client touch points.
A client touch point is simply any opportunity to make a connection with someone. Chris has divided the home purchase client touch points into four phases: pre-sale, home shopping, contract to closing, and post-closing. Each of these four phases are divided into three subcategories that track the arc of the home purchase process.
Pre-Sale begins with the inkling that “maybe a new house is a possibility”, reinforced by increased awareness of real estate related marketing and advertising cues that reinforce that notion and prompt some initial action. This is our opportunity to win the business as the prospective buyer consults family and friends in search of a Realtor.
After the referral, we move to Home Shopping – identifying and championing the needs of the client. Chris is fanatical about the initial one-on-one meeting. Chris literally won’t work with a buyer until they agree to meet with him in the office for a consultation. What’s the most important thing to them about this move? What kind of property do they have in mind, and how are we going to collaborate to reach those goals? We take them through the entire process step by step and end the meeting by logging onto the MLS together so they can see exactly what we see. The home shopping phase ends with identifying the perfect house and negotiating a contract.
This leads us to the Contract to Closing phase where our client service skills are on full display. Finding a home and getting it under contract is only half the battle, getting to the closing table is where the true professionals shine. The key here is keeping our promise to get our buyers into the house they were so excited about at our first meeting.
This phase also introduces other people and vendors into the process that we have no direct control over. We may have the opportunity to recommend lenders, title professionals, home inspectors, and other service providers we know and trust to our clients, but we still have no direct control over the outcome. So we manage our client’s expectations and let them know exactly what to anticipate. Communication is critical. We literally cannot communicate enough with our clients during this phase of the experience.
The Post Closing phase is where we cement the relationship we have worked so hard to cultivate and create a client and a referral partner for life. Be available to answer any questions or concerns that come up after the sale. The new home owners will want to make their new house their own and may need referrals to contractors and skilled trades people. They will be entered into our Client Appreciation Program and can expect an item of value in the mail each month and of course, the periodic pop-by gift and personal note.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the possible client touch points that make up the home purchase process? Nope. By now, you can already add a few of your own to the list. But our list goes a long way towards identifying the high-value touch points and those moments of truth where a situation can break against us.
Ok, that was great! Let’s do it again next week, on the topic of The Client Experience: Moments of Truth