It's About the Consumer not Economy Stupid!

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with Steinborn Inc. REALTORS

This is my first Blog posting and I it felt only fitting to write about what is most important in Real Estate - our customers!   At my company, Steinborn GMAC Real Estate, we have implemented a Premier Service Philosophy.  Everyone of our team members is required to complete and commit to the Premier Service Training.  Here is who we are and what we believe:

Premier Service® is the Steinborn GMAC Real Estate service delivery process designed to create a consistent, reliable, measurable and marketable service experience. The program provides  our Associate Brokers with tools to help explain their role and demonstrate their commitment to providing the best customer service available from any real estate company in the industry, let alone our local community.

To understand just how powerful Premier Service can be, one must look at the compelling statistics from industry research. Despite the fact that industry averages indicate 79% of buyers were very satisfied, only 4% used an agent they worked with previously. Even with first-time homebuyers factored into that percentage, that's a staggeringly low amount of repeat transactions. As for sellers, 69% claimed to be satisfied by the services they received, yet only 21% used an agent they had used before. Clearly, buyers and sellers fail to see any difference in real estate companies or agents.

Why is this? Customers do not understand what we do to earn our commissions, feel powerless during the transaction and do not trust us to be on their side. Research tells us that what customers really want from a real estate transaction--value and control. They want value when measured against the commission they pay; and they want the feeling of control that comes from being informed about and involved in all aspects of the home-buying and selling process.  Wearing a red hat, holding a pet or sitting on a harley in your ad is not the way to differientiate yourself!  Service is the only thing that matters and lasts.

Our Premier Service Program addresses all these issues. The process starts with listening to the customer and continues by establishing mutually agreed upon expectations. Our commitment to service is then put in writing. We perform our service as agreed upon and then allow our clients to grade us afterwards through an independent third party research company.

Premier Service is supported with our four-part Premier Service program:

  1. The Premier Service Guarantee: A certificate which Steinborn GMAC Real Estate Assoicate Brokers sign and give to customers to explain our pledge of service and describes the agent's roles of Trusted Advisor, Skilled Negotiator, and Expert Facilitator. With this document, our Associate Brokers explain what they do, the value they create from their service, and clearly put the customers needs first! By signing their name to the guarantee, Steinborn GMAC Real Estate sales professionals make a powerful and personal statement to customers.

     

  2. Collateral Materials: Our Buyer Presentation and Seller Listing Presentation materials are first-class and help differentiate and position our Associate Brokers and the Steinborn GMAC Real Estate brand as the service leader. These materials help further explain and support the roles a Premier Service Associate Broker plays as Trusted Advisor, Skilled Negotiator, and Expert Facilitator.

  3.  

  4. Value-Added Customer Programs: Through Steinborn GMAC Real Estate's expansive and still-growing roster of HomeRewards® partnerships with home-related service companies that offer our clients special offers and discounts, Sales-Partners can further demonstrate the value they offer their customers - and in the process, help relieve the stress that so many customers experience before, during and after a sale.

     

  5. Customer Satisfaction Survey: Through the Premier Service program, every Steinborn GMAC Real Estate customer is asked to complete a survey, mailed to them by "an independent third party company",  evaluating the service they received. The simple act of asking them to do so sends an unmistakable message--that their opinion is important and their input is valued. In addition, the surveys allow our team of Associate Brokers and our compnay to document and track a record of superior service that no other company can match. The results are web based and readily available for our team of Associate Brokers to access and use in their professional development.

So how how are we doing as company at Steinborn:  Compared to the industry average of 65% of customers being very satisfied (selling process), our score to date (as of February 26th, 2007) is 90% Very Satisfied for both Buyers and Sellers. Premier Service and our industry leading 95.3% satisfaction level is incorporated in our adverting and extensive marketing materials and is woven into all our training beginning with the initial introduction and certification class and continuing through skills training. With Premier Service, our Associate Brokers and support staff can package-up the service they provide, prove the service they provide, and stand out from the crowd of undifferentiated companies and agents. Additionally, our Associate Brokers are better able to explain their role, define the value they bring and consequently defend their commissions. Premier Service is the way Steinborn GMAC Real Estate will come to stand for a level of customer service unparalleled in our market. 

Afterall, it is "all about" the customer and continuously striving to improve our overall level of customer service. We are not satisfied with our scores.  We know we can do better.  Of the 95.3% Overall Satisfaction, 85% are Very Satisfied (top box) and 10% are Satisfied.  Our focus is to convert the 10% Satisfied into Very Satisfied.  Our work is never done.  At Steinborn GMAC, we are doing our small part to improve the overall level of service and reputation of the real estate profession in our country. 

I am willing to share more details on our program.  Just email or call! 

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Comments 3 New Comment

Rainer
6,697
Andy George
Century21 Drue Self Real Estate

John you guys definitely have a reputation as being good service providers.

Welcome to ActiveRain!

February 27, 2007 11:34 PM
Rainer
49,500
Portland Oregon Real Estate | Alecia Barnes - Broker
Congratulations on the featured post! It has to make you feel good about your reputation, it shows that your company is doing something right!
November 13, 2007 12:54 PM
Rainer
50,132
Elizabeth Ruvo
BA, CDPE, CRB
Real Living ALL FLORIDA REALTY

Great post, John.  My company just became a GMAC strategic partner as of 1/1/08 and I'm in charge of getting everyone certified as a Premier Service Professional.   We have 6 offices around Florida so it's a big undertaking but it's great seeing the "light" come on when they understand what "consumer centric" means.

 

February 07, 2008 06:52 PM
Rainer
29,261

John Hummer

Owner & Broker
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