As I continue on my quest to find the perfect new apartment here in NYC, I’m rather surprised by the questionable levels of customer service that I’ve received from brokers thus far. That said, I’m even more surprised that so many of those who represent a brand don’t understand how few chances they have to satisfy their customers before they lose them for good.
Being someone who has had little exposure to the real estate “game”, so to speak, I must say that my opinion of it is not so great now. And that’s a result of several unpleasant experiences over the last month. Brokers, like many other types of professionals, must interact with consumers very often and on a very personal level. Their brand is much more than the company that they work for, or the properties that they show. Their brand is them — their personality, their level of service, and so forth. Based on my many encounters so far, that concept isn’t something that all of them grasp and take seriously.
But there has been some good that has come out of all of this — and that’s the reminder of what not to do if you want to keep the credibility of your brand in tact.
- Don’t say one thing, and do another. Staying true to your commitment to consumers, clients, etc is a big deal, particularly when you’re interacting with new people each and every day. Every time you perform below expectations, you increase the amount of negative sentiment toward your brand. And that’s not good for business.
- Don’t take advantage of a bad situation. Consumers are more than likely turning to your brand because it’s their first preference. You have what they want, whether it be a great apartment or a great pair of shoes. The wrong reaction would be to assume that that level of interest will keep them wanting your product, regardless of your service and attention. It won’t.
- Don’t forget that you can be replaced. And this is, perhaps, the most important point of all. If there’s one thing consumers have going for them, it’s options. So when one brand fails, another one won’t be far behind.