Leveraging Loyalty in Real Estate
While many believe that leads and closings are the measuring stick for success in real estate, there is a growing sense that for those in the business for the long-term, loyalty may be the greatest indicator of success. For brokers, that loyalty comes from two sources, agents and clients.
Why is loyalty so under-rated in our industry? Well, first, by nature, agents tend to be fiercely independent and competitive. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It can, though, make it a challenge for brokers to get agents to understand the value of working together. The other big factor is that loyalty is often determined by repeat business. In real estate, it can be a very long time before a client is in the market again. Too many in the industry view this as a one-and-done relationship and don't place enough value on building loyalty. Loyalty, however, can be leveraged in real estate and it can pay big dividends.
Leveraging Loyalty in the Office
Real estate office loyalty is valuable to pursue even though it can be elusive and even tricky. Even incentives, designed to motivate and encourage, can create competitive divisions.
An excellent place to start is by making a committment to filling your office with the very best talent available. Everyone wants to be part of a winning team and building your reputation for excellence has extraordinary value on both the sales side and in future recruiting. Raise your standards.
Offer exceptional resources and support for agents. Create a motivational material library, access to seminars and superior marketing support. Build an online resource that is valuable to both agents and their clients. Getting your team involved in a fundraiser or community event can also build camaraderie and loyalty. Arrange a group family-outing to a local sporting event or amusement park.
Help your agents understand that their actions, both positive and negative, reflect on the office as a whole. Building loyalty in an office where everyone has a personal agenda can be challenging. It is well worth pursuing.
Leveraging Loyalty with Clients
Brokers are charged with the responsibility of helping agents understand the value of leveraging client loyalty. Client loyalty is more than their repeat business. It means getting positive online reviews. It translates into referrals. It is in recognizing for that particular client, EVERYONE in his personal and perhaps even professional network will know about his real estate purchase and experience. If an agent's loyalty to a client stops at closing, why should we expect anything less from the client? It is a shame that so many see closing as the finish line as opposed to the start of a life-long relationship.
Loyalty may just be the most unappreciated form of currency in real estate today. Its rarity helps make it so valuable to pursue.