5 Things REALTORS® Can Learn from Uber
By Victor Khong, REALTOR®
Uber has finally arrived in BC! While it may appear to be an industry disruptor, what it really offers is as old as time: exceptional customer service. Here are five things REALTORS® can learn from this so-called industry disruptor:
1. Provide timely communication - Part of the appeal of Uber is how much communication you receive about your ride. Uber lets you know what you'll be charged upfront, when the car will be there and when it arrives, and even prompts you to rate your driver at the end of your journey. This shows the importance of timely and consistent communication with your clients throughout a transaction. From initial contact to completion, consumers want to know where they are en route to their destination.
2. Smooth the process (without reducing your fiduciary duties) - Uber makes the process smooth and straightforward for their customers, without cutting any corners. When looking for ways to ensure a smooth and seamless experience, make sure you take the time to get to know your clients and understand what's important to them. For example, some clients prefer the convenience of electronic signatures, while others want the security of signing in person.
3. Be accountable - Just as Uber sends its customers an electronic receipt with the fare breakdown and route taken, your workflow should document and communicate your efforts to your clients. For example, the Disclosure of Remuneration form for buyers and the Disclosure to Sellers of Expected Payment form for sellers are accountability tools.
Uber also gives every customer a chance to review their driver and takes this feedback seriously (Uber will de-activate drivers who have cumulative ratings of 4.6 or below). Similarly, it's a great idea to conduct a completion interview at the end of every transaction and use the feedback you receive to hone your skills and process.
4. Offer added value - Uber understands that value isn't all about saving money. REALTORS® who offer negotiation strategies and advice on market price, and perform the due diligence of investigating title, land use, compliance, and material latent defects, provide their clients with added value. Make sure to invest in your education and continue to grow your skillset so you can ensure this added value for your clients.
5. Embrace change - Ultimately, the only constant in life is change and the real estate industry will continue to change and grow, just as the ride-hailing industry will evolve over time. In the same way Uber will adapt to meet the needs of its customers, be flexible in your approach, stay current on real estate and consumer trends and embrace industry best practices in the face of change.
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