Residential developers often have to sell a significant part of a project before construction can even begin to obtain financing from the bank. Selling something that isn’t built yet, isn’t easy. That’s why the sales team has to pull out all the stops, making the customer journey as perfect as can be. However, the true customer relationship begins when the prospect signs the deal. That’s when the hard part starts too because the construction process can be a long wait for the homebuyer and they often have no idea what’s going on. It’s up to the developer (or contractor) to reassure them and offer a good customer experience. No time for that? We have three reasons to convince you otherwise.
What do Netflix, Amazon and Apple have in common? Sure, they’re all offering a streaming service — but to us, their Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the most interesting. Amazon (e-commerce) has an NPS of 69, Apple (retail) scores 72 and Netflix (video on demand) has a score of 68. All high numbers (knowing that in Real Estate most companies numbers are below 0)!
How do these companies manage to have a high number of customers who’d recommend them to their family or friends? Well, they have succeeded in an area where most competitors fail: excellence in customer relations at every stage of the journey (from pre-sales to after-sales service).
Netflix and co may be ahead of the game, but the awareness for a more meaningful customer journey is not new. Forrester’s research since 2010 has shown time and time again that this part of doing business is becoming more important in all sectors, with the recent pandemic putting even more emphasis on this journey. It would be naive to think that real estate developers would not be affected by this wave of great customer journeys.
In a market as competitive as real estate, you know you have to find different ways to stand out from the crowd. That’s why more and more property developers invest heavily in customer experience and the digital customer journey. In an increasingly important “experience economy”, the uniqueness of real estate developers will be in their customer service management at each stage of the purchase cycle.
Being transparent and reassuring prospects before their purchase is an important part of this cycle. Bouygues Immobilier, for example, goes quite far in their transparency, showing their customer satisfaction rate on the homepage of their website.
But if the salesperson has hidden an element of the contract from a homebuyer, if there are months of delays or if the property does not meet their expectations, they won’t recommend you as a property developer to family or friends. And if the homebuyer is really pissed off, they’ll probably use social media or consumer forums to vent their frustrations. In this day and age, social media and review websites are incredibly important tools — they can make or break your reputation. In other words: your brand image depends on your client’s experience.
Sure, your traditional billboard on the construction site of your project, a dedicated website and flyers are still good promotional tools. But a positive word of mouth is without a doubt an important way to get new customers. Remember: a satisfied customer tells 3 friends, an angry customer tells 3000! And consumers will take the word of another consumer more seriously than your flyer… So it’s safe to say that customer relationship management plays the lead part in the movie of your project. It influences the success of your future real estate plans in a very significant way.
A satisfied customer will help you quickly fill your real estate portfolio with new customers who, in turn, will bring on new clients. In other words: great customer service will create brand ambassadors. And these ambassadors? They’re priceless. So don’t hesitate to put all your efforts towards your customers and use their satisfaction to your advantage with a smart referral program.
The competition between real estate developers to deliver the best customer experience has only just begun!
"No two days are ever the same!" Ever wondered what the job of a business developer is like? Well, wonder no more! Morgane will tell you all about it.
Sales! Everyone can paint a picture of what such a job would entail... however, there are endless possibilities, job titles and things to do. Loeke explains what he does as a Sales Associate at Ziggu.