Congratulations! You got the sale! Now it’s time to focus forward and get on to the next, right?
Wrong. Now it’s time to follow up with after sales service and customer care.
Rare is the real estate investor who understands the importance of that follow up care that most other types of businesses provide after a sale or service has been delivered. After all, it’s real estate; is it likely they’ll take two? Actually, they very well might. Not only that; they are also a great source for referrals, so several more might come in after them.
Buyers typically tend to go through three phases.
During the transaction period, you’re constantly in touch with your buyer. They’ve just made a pretty big commitment to purchase, they are thrilled with their decision and you are the one who helped them make it happen. They love you during this time period; they are so pumped about this new deal that the deal, and your name, are constantly woven into the fabric of their conversations with co-workers, neighbors, friends and family members.
If the closing of the deal drags on at all, your buyert’s enthusiasm and intoxication with this shiny new adventure will usually start to ebb a little. Regardless of the time it takes to hand them the deed, they are bound to be wondering if they’ve made the right decision. Once again, you and this purchase are the main topic of conversation with everyone they come into contact with. Their focus on the sale intensifies; at this potentially dangerous time, it is especially important that you stay in contact with them, offering reassurance, providing calm, and bolstering their confidence in their decision, as well as in you and your abilities.
Post Purchase Pain.
Sometimes referred to as buyer’s remorse, this is a natural occurrence in any kind of sale but can be especially uncomfortable with such a big purchase as real estate. This is the time that most real estate agents, brokers and investors disappear, that shimmering sale now a smudge on the pavement as they speed off to get the next one. This is the time when it is actually MOST important to be present, reassuring and in service to your clients. When you are, they feel better more quickly and you are esteemed for helping them through it and making their transition easier.
This final stage of the buyer’s process is so important that what you do about it could very well make or break your business as a real estate investor. Your actions at this crucial time will determine whom they choose to deal with next time around and whom they tell others to deal with. This is the time that will clearly define you as either a serious real estate investor who can be trusted to follow through with assistance and other deals as needed, or a just a get rich quick guy on the fast track who lacks integrity and is only after the next fast buck.
Reputation, referrals, warm leads and repeat sales; these are the spoils of the real estate investor who follows through and takes care of business. A few great ways to offer service and provide great after sales customer care are the following:
- Send a hand written thank you note. This good old fashioned common courtesy goes a very long way toward making a good impression and is woefully forgotten by most people; not just those in sales.
- Offer a support line for questions or concerns.
- Offer property management.
- Deliver a periodic report on property sales or rental values in the area.
- Make referrals available for area service providers and vendors.
- Offer tax, insurance and legal assistance.
- Assist with utility connections.
- Help with movers and transport.
- Have a referral listing of house sitters and caretakers.
- Offer periodic property inspection for vacant properties.
- Have a buy–back program. What guaranty is better than that to make your buyer feel confident in his decision to work with you?
The closing is never the end of the deal, but rather the beginning of the next transaction. Keep that in mind and your business will grow and prosper, along with your reputation.