What Real Estate Can Teach Other Industries About Customer-Centricity

Does your organization have the reputation of doing whatever it takes to deliver for your clients? If not, you have work to do.

Customer experience is the lifeblood of a company. If customers don’t feel heard, a business has little chance of making it for the long haul.

Despite this fact, only 38% of American customers feel that the brand advocates and employees they interact with understand what they need. CEOs should be asking why that disconnect exists and what they can do about it. For those looking to shape a more customer-driven experience—regardless of industry—real estate is uniquely positioned to offer some insight.

Throughout my time in real estate, I’ve recognized five principles that consistently keep customers top of mind at my company. If you want to create a more customer-centric experience at yours, start with these.

1. Cultivate empathy. A client sent me a letter recently to thank one of our agents. This client was having to sell her aging mother’s house—a home full of a lifetime of memories. The agent didn’t just help with the practical matter of selling the house, but also helped lessen the emotional strain on the family.

When you practice empathy, you connect in a way that customers don’t forget. That’s why customers who feel an emotional connection with companies have a lifetime value 306% higher than those who don’t.

2. Get tactical. Selling someone’s home involves a lot of meetings. An agent sits down with clients and works with them to come up with a strategy for preparing, marketing and selling their homes. There are overarching similarities from sale to sale, but you’re still tailoring a unique plan to each client.

How can your sales and marketing teams do the same? Pinpoint the unique desires and needs of your customers. Getting tactical means asking questions and involving the customer in your planning.

3. Communicate progress. Steady, open communication is the name of the game in real estate. If a client hosts a disappointingly quiet open house and hasn’t heard from his agent on next steps, you can bet that agent is getting a call Monday morning. The client wants to know what his agent has done for him lately—and the agent better have answers. If you’re providing your customers with a service that’s supposed to bring results, be prepared to offer steady progress reports.

4. Pursue innovation. It can be tempting to stick to the status quo in business, but the best agents are those who drum up new ways of meeting and surpassing client expectations. Equipping your teammates with a streamlined tech stack and timely marketing tools allows them to do what they need to do at speed and with accuracy, resulting in better customer care down the line.

5. Persevere. Successful real estate agents are incredibly tenacious. I know agents who tirelessly collect every contact they can at open houses and follow up with every single one. Why? Because they’re loyal to their clients and dedicated to making the sale. They’re not going to miss the chance at uncovering a lead.

Does your organization have the reputation of doing whatever it takes to deliver for your clients? If not, you need to instill a spirit of dogged persistence in your employees. Few things will communicate that you value your customers more.

CEOs have a lot to weigh when considering where to take their companies. As you’re considering what’s next for yours, make sure you’re not leaving your customers behind.