How to Treat ALL Your Clients to Luxury Concierge Service

 

Photo of a miniature house on a silver tray with the words: Luxury Concierge Service below

Not every client may have a luxury property but treating them as if they do can provide you with a strong referral base and take your business to where you have always dreamed.

Think about the last time you were treated to concierge service and treated like a V.I.P. Was it at a restaurant? At an auto-detailing shop? Or perhaps at Nordstrom’s? What was it about that experience that made it noteworthy? Are you more likely to tell your friends and family about that establishment because of the way it made you feel? I know I would! This is the right way to get referrals, rather than just asking for them.

How do you go about providing this level of service? Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and break the transaction up into three segments: before, during, and after the transaction for both buyers and sellers. Consider what you already provide your clients in each segment and then think about services, activities, or materials you can add to create an even more memorable experience for your clients.

Here are just a few suggestions and I encourage you to have a brainstorming session to think of other creative items to include in your repertoire:

BUYERS & SELLERS BEFORE THE TRANSACTION

Ask them how they like to be communicated with: phone, email, live, text, etc. If you have a couple, you may get two different answers. Deliver your communication via their preferred communication method consistently. Some agents have even incorporated quick update videos which get emailed to the client. Buyers and sellers love this!

BUYERS: BEFORE THE TRANSACTION

Before a buyer is ready to go out looking at property and they need to meet with a lender, offer to provide the buyer with several lenders who may be a good match for their needs, especially if the needs are unique. For example, having a list of lenders who specialize in lending to the self-employed or offer specialty jumbo loans can show potential buyers that you have an understanding of their unique needs. Consider putting together a booklet with a profile sheet of each lender which includes their bio, photo, list of products they offer, and a testimonial from a client.

Instead of simply setting the buyer up on an auto-emailed home search before they are ready to go out and look at properties, at least once a month send your potential buyers a neighborhood report if they are focused on a few specific areas. Include a printout from the MLS of all active listings, pendings, and solds. Clearly mark on the printout the homes that are pending or sold that would have met their criteria and the homes available that meet their criteria. This will help your buyers start to get a realistic picture of the market and it helps you by creating urgency and getting them excited about moving forward.

Create a Pinterest board of different house styles to help buyers get on the same page with you, and possibly each other if you are working with a couple, regarding what they are really looking for.

Once your buyer is preapproved and ready to begin looking at properties, consider previewing. Not only will this help you get in tune with what is available on the market for all your clients, it can be a great way to save your buyers time by ruling out properties that may fit their criteria on paper but not in person.

Bring snacks (protein bars, apples, cheese) and water when showing homes.

BUYERS: DURING THE TRANSACTION

Provide your buyers with a pending-to-close calendar which clearly outlines dates and deadlines they need to be aware of such as an inspection or financial contingency deadline. Better still, provide a weekly report with a checklist of the steps of the transaction that they need to focus on. Each milestone accomplished would receive a checkmark so the progress is tracked.

Get a high resolution copy of the listing photos * and create a "before" book which has space to record changes and renovations the buyer makes in each room. This will also help you track additional value when it comes time to sell.

Some agents have a "moving kit" or labels they provide to their buyers to help keep track of which box goes to which room at the new house. You can even include elements of your visual brand on the labels!

BUYERS: AFTER THE TRANSACTION

Some agents provide a closing gift of some sort. My closing gift was usually pizza and pop on moving day. Food is usually the last thing on buyers’ minds when they are moving in, so I would either bring it in and pop it in the fridge ahead of time with a note or deliver it the day of, depending on the circumstances. Some agents provide hanging flower baskets in the spring or a wreath if the closing was around the holidays. There are so many options for closing gifts, but the key is to find something that resonates with the client.

Consider a home warranty. Appliances can be known to break the first year or so after a change in homeownership because the new homeowner uses the appliance differently than the previous homeowner. Therefore, a home warranty can make a great gift and can be a smart investment.

Complete an "Annual Client Review." This is an amazing way to keep yourself connected with your past client and their property. Sending them an annual review of their home in relation to the real estate market, without getting paid to do it, is referral-worthy service of a whole new level.

SELLERS: BEFORE THE TRANSACTION

Many agents will provide a list of suggested deferred maintenance and curb appeal fixes for their potential sellers. But what if you took it a step further and offered a booklet of different handyman resources they may call upon to have the work done for them? Including case studies and before and after shots is also a great way to get the seller feeling relieved that perhaps they don’t have to do it all themselves.

If a seller isn’t ready to go on the market yet, keep them up-to-date with what is happening with the real estate market in their neighborhood with a monthly report from your MLS of all the new listings, listings that are still on the market, pendings, and solds. Write in any specific details you would like them to note.

SELLERS: DURING THE LISTING AND TRANSACTION

Creating a photo book, a guided tour of their home through photography, can easily be created through Shutterfly or Costco. Although the book remains in the home for the duration of the listing, it can make a fantastic, meaningful gift to the seller once the house is sold.

During the listing, provide a robust visual weekly report summarizing number of showings, sign calls, agent calls, feedback, open house traffic and feedback, and web traffic along with changes in their competition. Not only will this report help you by having a system of scheduled communication with the seller, it also helps the seller clearly see where their home stands in relation to their market competition, possibly making a future price reduction a reality.

SELLERS: AFTER THE TRANSACTION

The last thing sellers want to do is clean the house once they move out. Consider having the house cleaned for them. Many house cleaning companies offer a "move out clean" service. Sellers also like pizza and pop!

BUYERS & SELLERS AFTER THE TRANSACTION

It is becoming commonplace to have the closing home documents put on a CD or flash drive for records. This is a great addition to providing printed records. I don’t know of a buyer or seller who doesn’t need a copy of their transaction records at some point in time, whether for taxes or finding the inspection report down the road.

In January of the year following the purchase or sale, sending a note with the HUD statement reminding them of different types of tax information that might be contained therein and conveyed to an accountant such as interest and points paid or net proceeds received, is a fantastic service and one that shows you are looking out for them and their investment.

Although I have outlined several ideas here (and I am sure there are more you and your colleagues can think of), the point is to start with just one or two services that will make you standout when it comes to customer service.

Earn your referrals and repeat-business by providing rave-worthy, memorable service and treating all your clients like luxury clients.

* Note: Listing photos may be the property of the listing agent, photographer, listing brokerage, or seller. We recommend following the rules and instructions on obtaining permission from your local MLS before using listing photos.




DeniseLoans

Denise Lones

The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the go-to for all things "real estate." Visit www.thelonesgroup.com for more information.

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