EPMEPM: Customer Service

How to achieve a 100 per cent customer retention rate: Danelle Hunter

Keeping customers content is one of the biggest challenges of the real estate industry. While property continues to be Australia’s preferred method of investment, owners seek assurance that their agent is managing their asset with utmost care and many won’t settle for anything less. Danelle Hunter has five simple steps to keep your customers smiling and secure the future of your sustained success.

It’s true what they say – it is far more difficult to acquire new customers than to retain current ones. While the vast majority of property professionals roll out the red carpet for new customers, few continue the same level of service once a contract has been signed. This change in pace can leave clients feeling forgotten and can often lead them to look for service elsewhere.

In many agencies, the importance of a strong customer retention rate is sorely overlooked. Many agents feel as though they have an endless list of responsibilities to meet, and adding more to their workload can seem like an impossible task. However, the effects of a poor retention rate can be far more daunting and the implications can be severe.

If you talk the talk but fail to walk the walk, you may quickly lose the customers you fought so hard to win in the first place. Effectively, this leaves you back at square one and spending countless hours prospecting for new business.

Throughout my own career, I have witnessed how retention rates can heavily affect the bottom line of a business. I have seen firsthand the importance of not only giving your clients reason to choose you, but also reason to keep choosing you. With a great deal of hard work and persistence, I recently managed to achieve a 100 per cent customer retention rate and have since seen the success of my business grow exponentially.

I believe we can all benefit from working smarter, not harder. With my five easy steps, you can start increasing your customer retention rate and get back to growing your business.

1. PROVIDE REGULAR FEEDBACK

One of the most common concerns I hear from property owners is that they have not been provided with enough feedback and communication from their past agent.

More than anything, I believe owners want to know what is happening with their property.

While most good agents will act professionally and be prompt in making contact when an issue arises, even the most diligent among us can overlook the importance of regular, routine updates. Don’t underestimate the importance of this – even when it is simply to let the customers know that everything with their property is as it should be.

2. MAKE YOURSELF AVAILABLE

Real estate agents have a reputation for responding to enquiries at a glacial pace, and to customers there is nothing more frustrating than chasing an agent who always appears to be dodging their calls. While it isn’t always possible to take every enquiry the moment it comes in, I suggest you make it a priority to reply to all calls and emails on the same day. If you really want to go above and beyond, after-hours replies show that you are always available to help, which is something that’s guaranteed to get you in your customers’ good books.

3. PROACTIVE MAINTENANCE

Ongoing property maintenance should be one of your top priorities. Thorough maintenance and timely repairs can reduce the risk of emergency maintenance callouts, which ultimately end up costing your customer far more, and developing an effective and proactive maintenance schedule is an absolute must. By keeping on top of all maintenance requirements and ensuring the property is kept in pristine condition, you highlight your commitment and dedication to your customer, while giving them a sense of assurance that their asset is being well cared for. 

4. OFFER ASSISTANCE WITH PAYMENTS

In order to provide a five-star service that surpasses competitors, I always offer assistance with the various costs that your customers are responsible for, such as landlord insurance, council rates, body corporate fees and bills for maintenance and utilities. Keeping up with these monthly costs can be an added hassle for the owner, but making these payments on their behalf in an efficient and timely manner demonstrates your reliability and professionalism, while simultaneously saving your customers a major headache.

5. WRITE THOROUGH CONDITION REPORTS

Condition reports are incredibly important and can mean the difference between property owners receiving compensation for damages to their investment or not. While it can be a time-consuming task, it is crucial to thoroughly document the condition of the premises. One of the main reasons that customers seek our service is for the peace of mind of knowing that their legal rights are being protected. Writing regular, detailed
condition and routine reports show your customers that they have made the right decision in choosing you to maintain their investment. 

In my view, client retention rates can be considered the truest measure of our achievement. By dedicating a few extra minutes a day to maintaining a positive relationship with our customers, we can all save ourselves weeks of work further down the track – time that could be far better spent.

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Danelle Hunter

Danelle Hunter is the Managing Director of Biggin & Scott Knox, an Award winning Property Manager and Real Estate Entrepreneur.
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