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Op/Ed

68% of buyers are not satisfied with their agent

With the majority of home buyers feeling dissatisfied with their agent, what can be done to immediately correct this problem?

unhappy angry

According to the National Association of Expert Advisors® (NAEA), 68% of buyers are not satisfied with their real estate agent’s homebuyer process. Basically, this means that approximately seven out of ten buyers are not happy with their real estate agent. Those are pretty appalling numbers, I’d say.

As a Broker/Owner of an Independent Brokerage, I get the opportunity to witness lots of interesting things. Just last week, I watched an agent at my office pick up a client at an open house. The client was using another agent to sell his home, but he was dissatisfied with that agent and had not signed a buyer’s agency agreement. He stated that he wanted to use her services instead.

She then showed the client several properties. The client selected on property. She wrote an offer, and drove to the client’s home to get the offer signed. What happened next is made for movies. He refused to open the door when she arrived, and subsequently phoned her to say that he could not move forward because the listing agent had “guilted him” out of writing an offer with another agent.

(Moral of this story: He who hesitates is lost.)

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Communication Could Be Key to Client Satisfaction

After considering that story and several unnamed details, it became clear to me that agent – client communication is the key to client satisfaction.

Here are four easy ways to provide clear and concise communication to your clients:

  1. Begin with a formal meeting. At the meeting, discuss in detail the home buying or home selling process and answer any questions that the client may have. Even though you may have been through the process hundreds or thousands of times, the client has not. That’s why you are the expert.
  2. Offer a third-party booklet. Title insurance companies offer complimentary homebuyer and home seller materials that provide an excellent overview of the home buying and home selling process. In addition to reviewing the process in your own words, leave clients with a booklet that they can review if they are seeking further information on the process.
  3. Provide everything in writing. First and foremost, provide the client with copies of everything they sign. If you run a paperless office, those copies can be provided electronically. Or if you scan and upload, you can probably leave the originals with the client. In addition to that documentation, any promises, guarantees, and unique service propositions should be provided in writing.
  4. Email Weekly Status Updates. I don’t know about you, but most agents that I know do a lot of things for their clients—without ever even telling them what they are doing. Instead of keeping all your hard work a secret, provide weekly email updates where you review all of the things you have done for your client: holding open houses, creating mail campaigns, creating single property websites, and coordinating photography among other things.

In that strangely dramatic anecdote, the seller wasn’t even sure where he was in the home selling process. He was also fairly dissatisfied with his current agent. However, with these four communication tips in your bag of tricks, the likelihood that your clients will be satisfied with your service will be significantly increased.

Full NAEA study results.

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Melissa is an in-demand business success speaker and author, as well as a real estate broker with thousands of short sale transactions under her belt. She leverages her experience as a short sale insider to motivate thousands of business professionals to plan their careers better, execute more effectively on their plan, and earn more because of it.

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