Office, 88 percent of customers expect a response from your business within 60 minutes! Further telling is that 30-50 percent of new business goes to the company that responds first. Email autoresponders and drip campaigns may help keep the lead warm in the meantime, but there is no replacement for the personal voice connection. On the other hand, being hard to contact creates doubt and will bring the reliability of a relationship with your compa- ny into question. Responsiveness is key, but speed alone is not good enough. You need to be quick while providing a QUALITY response. The person or team responding to leads should be considered the “Director of First Impres- sions.” Being purposeful, succinct, and equipped with solid baseline knowledge will allow your response team to move things to the next stage in the customer relationship. NO. 4 Building Trust Building trust is a critical factor in fostering quality relationships. Follow through after that first connection lets people know that you do what you say you will do. People prefer to do business with those they can trust to act in their best interests. If you have set up a meet- ing or a next call, it is critical to show up on time and be prepared. If that trust breaks down in the early stages, it can be difficult to salvage the relationship. The treasured tradition of a thank you note goes a long way toward fur- thering trust and confidence, whether it is a hand-written note, simple thank you email outlining next steps, or a creative video clip. This is the stage where you will “win” the business. NO. 4 Regular Communication When North County Property Group was a new and fledgling company, one of our property owners called me and started the conversation with “we have not heard from you in a while.” I knew right away it would be a dif- ficult conversation! An ongoing and open line of commu - nication is critical to relationship management because it fuels customer retention. Particularly during times of crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic or California wildfires, your customers want to hear from you! Most of us have technology at our fingertips to email and text owners and tenants directly from our property management software. At North County Property Group, we send out monthly “updates” as an email to owners and tenants, covering what is going on in the company, introducing new staff members, explaining market shifts, etc. This is a great way to keep communication open and typically results in an open rate, in our experience, between 50-75 percent. This is also a good way to demonstrate your knowledge of property management without being pretentious and to let them know you have their back.
NO. 6 Reviews In your ongoing communications with your customers, let them know they can come to you with their problems. It might just save you a nasty review. When you solve prob- lems, thereby meeting or exceeding their expectations, let them know it would make your day if they would leave an online review. While you have no control over what they say about your business online, it helps stoke the relation- ship by inviting them to voice their opinion. If you receive a review, good or bad, ALWAYS respond and thank them for their feedback. I respond to our reviews personally as the owner of the business. As a result, we closed many new customers because of the way we have responded to reviews. Your replies to reviews matter because it gives you an opportunity to show your professionalism, appre- ciation for their comments, and in some cases, humble appreciation for frustration they may have experienced. NO. 7 CustomerAppreciation At certain times of the year, make sure you show appreciation to your existing customers. Your custom - ers are more than a profit center and number on a spreadsheet. They need to know that! This is a proactive
78 | think realty magazine :: july 2021
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