Unless you are an oligarch or Biff in Back to the Future II when he steals that almanac, you’re not going to be buying properties like you would Starbucks coffees. This is why the approach to customer loyalty in real estate isn’t going to be the same either.
The gifts may not be as immediate, but the rewards can be greater. Customer loyalty in real estate is also determined by different factors. One of the most important is the type of relationship one forms with their real estate agent. They are not simply passing an item past a bar code scanner and wishing you a ‘good day!’. They are there with you from the beginning of your inquiry into a property, to the day said property is in escrow and beyond.
For real estate agencies, such a relationship allows for unique and interesting opportunities to forge customer loyalty. Keep reading Social&Loyal to where these opportunities might be beneficial to you.
Not Like Other Purchases
As we have stated, and as anyone who has bought a house can attest, purchasing property is not the same as buying consumables or even many other luxury goods. Investing in a house is something people spend a lot of their time saving up and working towards. With home ownership among millennials at an all time low in 2017, there is not only the opportunity, but the need to make this purchase the best possible deal for the customer. This makes it a better deal for dealers as they are investing in the property owners of the future.
Many people assume customer loyalty programs are limited to club points on purchases. Scanning in a card and receiving some coupons 6 months down the line. If your brand is at the stage where customer loyalty is important, and this is at inception for most successful brands, customer loyalty needs to be multifaceted.
Your loyalty program needs to fit in with your type of business. If you expect a lot of purchases of small items or cheaper services, then you can build up a rewards program which benefits in smaller ways. If you expect high-end purchases which bring in a lot of capital, you need to make sure you are reflecting this in how you pay it back to the client.
Can Still Use Points
You may expect, then, real estate agencies will use a tiered approach. This can work. If you class your property prices into certain bands, then you can really make loyalty a breeze. When customers buy into a certain band of properties, then they will be rewarded with corresponding benefits.
However, you can also use a points based system if you so wish. Instead of advancing into another tier, you can have the number of points proportionate to the currency amount of the property. This means, if they have to go up to outbid another interested party, it takes the sting out of the tail a little by giving even greater rewards. We understand this may be a salve for a big sting, but when you come up with unique rewards, all the small things count.
You may, however, want to make it even more involved. There are many aspects to buying property which a real estate agency will need to take care of. Having a customer loyalty program which factors in these different aspects can give you the edge in closing the deal.
Some real estate agencies will provide free drinks or put on a spread when showing homes. Your rewards could be a certain amount of points per visit. If having too many visits without a purchase is becoming a problem for your company, you could even do the opposite. The quicker the purchase, the more points the customer receives. This comes with a caveat, however. If you pressure a buyer into making a purchase which isn’t right for them, all the customer reward points they accrue won’t make up for their inevitable disappointment.
You may even want to provide loyalty rewards for some of the big decisions. The owner wants to get rid of the furniture? More points for the buyer if they take them. Payment in cash? More points.
Unique Problems Come with Unique Opportunities
Real estate requires a trickier customer loyalty reward program than many other industries. This is because you will not be in control of the price in the same way as other businesses may be. You need to consider the owner, the bank, local authorities and a whole host of other factors which can make the process of buying property difficult.
This doesn’t mean your customer loyalty program is in trouble. Quite the contrary. You simply now have more opportunities to make your loyalty stronger than ever. For example, when negotiating the deposit, you can make the deal seem sweeter by given them targeted rewards for a more generous amount.
Crafting Real Estate Rewards
The actual rewards for real estate customer loyalty programs can be varied, but they should be inventive. What you need to be doing is making them suitable for someone who is just beginning to buy property.
If the property is a new home and you use a points based rewards system, then you can have these points redeemable against furniture and fittings. It also gives you the great opportunity to work with other businesses to get involved and allow for some mutual benefit. The same goes for retail and hospitality related properties as these rewards can go towards the unique requirements for these businesses.
Whatever the rewards in your real estate customer loyalty program, they need to be considered. Choosing the right customer loyalty software is the best way to find and analyze the data to make these considerations.
The Loyalty Doesn’t Stop When You Hand Over the Keys
Customer loyalty in real estate is a relatively new endeavor, but it is the future. Here at Social&Loyal we are signing 2 new clients a month and retaining them year on year. Customer engagement is something which is not unique to real estate, but the levels of growth we are witnessing in the area does make it special.
One of the most important aspects is this building of a relationship between brand and customer. Not only can you build a rapport which allows you to get a unique take on the customer profile, but you can use customer loyalty software to make sure this information is used to the optimum level. It also means wonderful opportunities for brand ambassadors and making referrals. When it comes to real estate, customer retention doesn’t work the same, so using your loyalty program to attract new clients is essential.
Do you want to learn how your real estate agency can start its own loyalty program? Set up a free consultation here!