Your online reputation is everything. Or, at least, it is for potential clients who haven’t worked with or been referred to you personally. Gathering testimonials and reviews through customer satisfaction surveys is critical to your real estate success.
A great majority of your clients are spending more money on a home, business or investment property than they have, or will ever spend on anything else. The service that you provide, as a real estate agent, is very important, and it is very personal. This is why trust factors enormously into an agent-client relationship, as does being attentive to a client’s budget, goals – and dreams.
The way you handle feedback and suggestions from customers reflects the value they place on those relationships. As a real estate agent, what you learn from them is invaluable. Feedback about your customers’ experiences is one of the most useful resources you have to improve your level of service, enhance your reputation, and almost guarantee a steady flow of clients.
If you are currently in search of a great real estate specific customer satisfaction tool, I’ve reviewed the available systems (of which there are many) and provided a list of your options below.
Automate your client survey collection process to generate more survey responses and reviews of your real estate business, and then organise and maximise this information to benefit your customers and your brand . . . and lead more client referrals to you.
When should you survey clients?
Right away, when the job is complete. Clients should be surveyed when their experience with you is fresh. Let them know how important their feedback is and how much you appreciate their time in providing it. Though some may advise surveying at various points in the sales process, too many requests for filling out surveys can become tiresome. Ask once and right away, after business is closed.
It is; however, good practice to always remain communicative with clients and to ask for oral feedback that may help to guide and improve your working relationship along the way. If you’re going to ask, though, make sure you’re also going to listen.
Can’t I just send the survey and hope they fill it out?
Nope. Whereas it’s true that people have opinions and that they like to be heard, it is also true that people are busy – especially people who’ve just closed on a new house or commercial property. Their inboxes and to-do lists may very well be inundated. You do have to ask.
Ask politely but ask directly. Let them know at closing that you’ll be sending a brief email survey to them. Thank them in advance for taking the time to complete it. Follow up with a gentle reminder, if needed. Perhaps those who respond to your survey will be given a gift card to a popular florist or restaurant in their neighbourhood.
If you provide surveys that are short but meaningful and to the point, you should see valuable results.
How should you field these survey results?
When a customer isn’t satisfied
When executed and acknowledged in a responsive, action-oriented manner, customer surveys can not only help you to grow and improve your business, but they can often help to diffuse and address negative feedback before it goes viral.
Keep in mind that asking for and following up on confidential customer feedback means that you’re concerned with providing customers with the best experience possible. Many customers will appreciate this.
The key to effective complaints management is to keep an open mind. Surveys must be employed as a tool for professional development. They’ll provide you with data you can use to evaluate customers’ experiences with you, individually and over time. They may, on occasion, allow you to correct an oversight or perceived wrong as well.
When a customer is satisfied
Don’t hesitate to post positive reviews online right away. Depending on the social media venues and surveying program you use, some of this process can be automated. Some of it will have to be done manually – but get them up there.
Customer accolades are worth their syllables in gold. When you get them – think like a promoter. Make the most of the exceptional feedback, testimonials and reviews. Respond personally to them and kindly ask these clients to refer you to their business contacts, friends and family – and find a way to thank or reward them for their referrals.
If you receive an oral complement, in person or over the phone, ask if you may quote it on your testimonials board. These postings will help to boost social proof of your reputation and, at the same time, they’ll be working to build your brand’s online visibility through SEO.
Tips to help you get the most from your customer surveying process
1 – Surveys should include an NPS (Net Promoter Score) section. This asks clients, on a scale of 1 to 10, how likely they are to recommend you to other clients. Your collective NPS speaks volumes to potential clients and also helps indicate, for you, your growth and success
2 – Auto-responders should be in place that will reply appropriately to a variety of survey responses.
3 – Set up automatic routeing features for your surveys:
– Poor service reviews should be diverted into a well-attended follow-up queue.
– Great service reviews should be diverted into a queue for a different kind of follow-up – these are the customers you’ll want to ask for references and recommendations – as well as those all-important testimonials.
– Don’t ignore any reviews. And do thank all customers who take the time to fill them out.
– Don’t be afraid to post a less than a 5-star review. No real estate agent or real estate broker is perfect, just as no person is. Almost no business, no matter how esteemed by its clients, receives all 5 stars. Being authentic and trustworthy is part of what builds your real estate reputation.
4 – Include a testimonial page on your website is the perfect place to collect and collate your survey results and reviews, and to keep customers updated on your Net Promoter Score.
Be the first to know and respond.
Our top technology picks for automating client satisfaction survey feedback
Most of the services listed below include instant routeing and social media sharing options, as well as customisation, organisation and analytical tools. All are worth exploring. Click on each for details, and pick the one that is best for you.
REAL ESTATE SPECIFIC
Ranks #1 in real estate customer satisfaction feedback tools in the USA (gaining ground in Australia and they have aspirations to come to New Zealand, too).
Offers both free and paid subscription options. Paid subscription pricing starts at $9.95 per agent and is capped at $50 per office.
This is the leading survey tool from across all industries. They recognise that real estate is a key industry where customer surveys are of value and have pre-built Real Estate Evaluation Survey Templates that you can leverage.
The Basic option is free and would suit a real estate agent with no need to upgrade to a paid plan. Visit the SurveyMonkey pricing page for more details.
They also own Wufoo, a service that will help design branded forms for your business. Again the free version should be fine for any individual real estate agent. And it includes the Real Estate Evaluation Survey Template, as mentioned above.
Social Survey is another popular choice that also focusses on the real estate industry.
It offers paid subscriptions only (with a 30-day trial).
For details, go to www.socialsurvey.com/pricing.
NOT REAL ESTATE SPECIFIC
These are highly recommended online business review tools, all feature-rich and customisable. Many include survey templates specific to real estate professionals. These aren’t listed in any particular order, other than free plans available vs. paid plans only:
Offering free basic plans as well as paid plans:
Still have a thirst for exploring more client survey tools?
Check out the list of survey companies featured under Survey Tools on Zapier, a solution that makes it easy to integrate your different systems and online tools together.