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The critical consumer-experience component your real estate business could be missing

By February 4, 2015 One Comment

Recently, I appear to be placing an increasing premium on not only my overall consumer experience, but also the consistency of that experience.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I would finally upgrade my iPad (just a few months after deciding to upgrade my iPhone). I knew I would be taking at least a day off work on New Year’s Day, which would give me the time to allow for any device-switching issues.

I walked into my local Apple Store (an Apple Store that rarely closes) knowing exactly what I wanted. I thought that I would be out the door in less than half an hour, even on New Year’s Eve. I had good reason to believe that, based on my prior experiences purchasing Apple devices.

My experience was not as seamless as I’d hoped, to say the least.

I hear people complaining too often about real estate experiences they would either never inflict on their worst enemy. Less often, I hear about experiences that people would repeat over and over again, using the same agent.

During Agent Reboot at Real Estate Connect New York last week, there was a lot of discussion about experience, consistency of experience and setting expectations.

I briefly peeked over at the Broker War Room Twitter feed, and I noted undertones of the same, but from a brokerage perspective (I wish that I had been able to send my Gemini twin in there!)

One of the most extraordinary (and simultaneously frustrating) things about real estate is that there are seemingly infinite ways to do business and models to use — but the single common element should, in theory, be providing consumers with the best experience for their needs. On top of that, in the current day and age, there are many ways to do so in a manner that is both efficient in terms of times as well as economics.

Around this time last year, I was in a different place professionally. I was shocked after my recent inclusion in the Inman 100 list, shocked to have spoken at Connect again. More importantly, perhaps, I was once again re-engineering critical areas of my business and my life.

After a year of continuing shifts, including switching brokerages, I know that few things incite fear like change. I took a step back to evaluate my business, and my predominantly referral-based book of business speaks to the consistent experience that I provide to my clients and colleagues.

Does technology play a role in that uniform experience? Absolutely. Is it the starring role? No; it’s hardly more a supporting role. Technology allows me to distinguish between availability and accessibility — a critical conversation that is a part of any initial client consultation.

In the days, hours and minutes leading up to Connect, New York was under a blizzard watch. It was fascinating to observe the lengths to which people were willing to go to get to the event. It was moving to watch other attendees offering advice and assistance freely. It was wonderful to see the Inman team helping to facilitate and assist along the way.

Along the way, we have hopefully striven to provide consistency of experience for consumers in real estate transactions, both from an agent perspective and from the brands and brokerages, whether independent or part of an international franchise. Valerie Garcia aptly noted during her Agent Reboot kickoff presentation that we must think of all the areas in life where we expect consistency of experience — from food to automobiles. And real estate, too.

If you’ve been to Real Estate Connect, then you understand the consistent experience, platform and community that Inman provides at each event. It’s an experience so consistently on-target that attendees will literally walk through snow to take a seat at the table.

Do you deliver that kind of experience?

When not walking her dog, enjoying a cocktail or wearing fun patterns, Nicole Beauchamp — a born-and-bred Manhattanite — is a resource for friends, colleagues and clients who have decided to make New York their home.

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