Is customer service commensurate with price in real estate sales?

If I shop at Walmart for a pair of denim jeans priced on sale at $19.95 and then go to a boutique and pay $150.00 for designer jeans, chances are that my customer service experience is bound to be more personalized at the boutique. No one is going to tell me how those jeans look on me at Walmart, and if they don’t fit me, I have to get dressed again and  go back to the rack and find another size or another style. At the boutique however, the sales person goes back and forth honoring my requests and  even throws in a critical opinion on the fit. Does that then serve as a correlation that most consumers think the more you spend, the more service you expect?

In real estate transactions, we receive commissions based on the price of the home at an average of 7% per selling price. If, for instance, I sell a home priced at $100,000 and the following month I sell a home priced at $500,000, will I be giving the customer purchasing the more expensive home better service because my commission is more?

In the real estate business, sales agents are independent contractors. Accountability is expected because an agent is licensed by a particular state. Local, regional, and national organizations require agents to follow a prescribed code of ethics. On the other hand, customer service includes more than just accountability. To be an excellent real estate agent as opposed to an “order taker,” one needs to hone in on those special skills that sets one agent apart from all others.

There should be no difference in the quality of customer service given to any buyer or any seller regardless of the final commissions paid to the agent. Whereas manufacturers can gauge the quality of a product by accountability and reliability, industries involved in service need to focus more on professional courtesies and what consumers expect from their agents. Awards are given to agents who produce top revenues for their companies each year, but more recognition needs to be given to those agents whose customer service skills far exceed the norm so that agents are motivated to go that extra mile for their customers regardless of the size of the sale.

Statistically only 60% of the listings sell with the original listing office. Sellers most often change offices because the quality of service has decreased, but there isn’t much customer feedback. The client has simply moved on to another listing office. Training agents to provide consistent and excellent customer service could change these statistics.

All agents want to improve their business. Professional courtesies extended to all buyers and sellers will ultimately make a huge difference in the long run.

photo credit: kimubert