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Delivering a top buyers experience: Real estate has to compete like any other service

As I have already suggested the buyer’s experience in the real estate market clearly involves a good measure of emotion and it is the main reason that developers, builders and marketing agents place so much emphasis on the value of their brand. In fact brand sensitivity really extends way beyond those directly marketing projects, it runs across a wider group that can also include architects, interior designers, landscape architects and major suppliers.

In an environment where real estate has to compete just like any other product or service, a great deal of time and money is spent to build brands, and of course we should not over look the role of individual project brands. We now see some major developers doing regular online surveys to measure how their customers view their buying experience and the feedback is being taken to heart. This highlights that it is the buyer’s experience where brands are tested and how the sales path is built around good communications that should all combine to support the buyer’s experience.

Against this high-stakes background I would now like to look at some of the assets available to us helping to create great buyer experiences.

However before doing that I would just like to reflect upon a recent comment reported in one of the main Sunday newspapers.

The report was headlining the somewhat understandable frustration of a young couple looking for a home in one of Sydney’s most competitive and popular suburbs. In the article was a quote that in part said that these buyers felt that some real estate transactions involved less information, less service and less attention than a consumer looking to buy a new car would receive.

And so reflecting these comments against how much we all value our individual and company brands the remarks were very disappointing. It has also been suggested that poor service given to home buyers has in part encouraged the rapid growth of buyer’s agents. I think these are comments we need to be sensitive to and not just brush aside as a reflection of the current market.

The tools we use

Moving on to look in more details at how we manage and enhance the buyer’s experience I think we need to consider how best to use the key parts of the sales journey that every buyer will normally be familiar with.

We are all conscious of the basic tools and systems we use including public relations, digital marketing, data mining, events, VIP and preferred client programs, moving in and residents guides, after sales support, loyalty programs, sales support, display and sales centres and a detailed understanding of buyer demographics. These are all key among the direct communications strategy we can employ and that developers fund.

However there are other essential factors that influence the buyer’s experience and here I feel that a high priority needs to be given to supporting and training the sales team. In this area I would include team sales training, sales manuals and importantly a diverse and structured role for sales mentoring and most importantly how best to recruit the sales team and of course its leaders. 


Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International.

 


Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International.

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