How Personal Is Your Brand?
What was the name of your last Uber driver?
What kind of car were they driving?
What rating did you give them?
Written by guest blogger Jay O’Brien from Client Giant
After jogging your memory a bit, your answers are probably some version of:
“Ummm…probably a Prius?”
In 2019 and the world of perpetual rating scales for nearly everything we consume, it’s critical to take a step back and understand the meaning (or lack thereof) of such an arbitrary system.
If a consumer is hastily throwing out a review that suggests 5 stars, meaning 100%, meaning A+, meaning “could not be any better”, but can’t even remember the service provider’s name, at best it becomes a false point of credibility for cold clients who find you online which really just assures them you’re still in business and not a serial killer. This is hardly the reliable source of referral business we may have hoped it would be.
This draws a clear parallel to platforms like Yelp! and Zillow, where real estate agents are constantly asking for a public post in an attempt to solicit future business.
So if the intention is to take a positive story from a past client and turn it into a new business, and reviews aren’t the answer, what IS the most effective way to do this?
As consumers, we fervently appreciate when a business takes notice of our loyalty and makes an effort to show theirs in return. Yet, when we’re thinking like business owners, we seem to fail to practice our own love language.
As a consumer of just about anything, when we feel good, we talk about it. We gladly tell the world what we have experienced because we want them to experience what we have. Think of your favorite movie that your friend has never seen, your favorite restaurant your colleague has never been to, or your favorite resort your sibling has never stayed at. You will passionately refer these curated experiences without any form of expected reciprocation simply to receive fulfillment in knowing someone important to you has now experienced what you have
As business owners, however, we often fail to find this connection. For example, let’s say I’m thinking of switching my wireless phone service. I walk into a different carrier’s store, chances are I will receive an exclusive promotion for new customers only, such as a free phone. However, if I have been a paying customer for the last 10 years with this same provider, asking for the same piece of equipment, chances are the price skyrockets. How does this make any sense? We are luring in individuals who have never paid us a dollar and penalizing the loyal patrons who have been with us forever and never missed a payment.
What happens when you ask a real estate agent what they’re doing for their current or past clients versus what they’re doing for a new business? Almost unanimously the answer is next to nothing for the former and throwing tons of cash at the latter (ie. online lead generation, the newest CRM, etc.). But if we can recognize that, as a consumer, the most important thing in a transaction is to feel appreciated and special throughout the process, how can we do that as business owners?
Maybe it’s time we zoom out and recognize that begging for 5-star ratings or seeking new business with self-aggrandizing postcards, recipe magnets, and other useless items is doing nothing to make a lasting impression on any current or prospective client. In fact, those trinkets don’t last 2 minutes. Your prospects throw all your swag in the trash just as fast as you do when it comes to your own house.
So what can you do that will make a real, impactful, and lasting mark on a consumer? Deliver a real estate experience that’s like their favorite movie, restaurant, or resort. Make it so remarkable on its own that they’ll be talking about how they were treated for years to come. Make them want to share it with everyone they meet so they can experience it too.
I have taken this approach exclusively in my own business for over 5 years, spending $0 on marketing to new prospects and all my energy WOWing the ones who have already trusted me. I believe so strongly that this is the most effective approach to real estate that I’ve built an entire company around helping other agents to do the same.
Client Giant is a premium concierge service that authentically delivers high-level experiences to your clients on a regular basis, all addressed from you. Touches either proactively solve pain points (ie. sending moving boxes, handling the forwarding of address/transferring of utilities) for clients or surprise and delight them (ie. gifts and intangible experiences such as in-home professional cleaning, dinner for 2 with roundtrip transportation, handyman work, etc.). As a member, you have complete visibility into what is being sent to your clients days prior to the delivery. No more having to remember what to send, when to send it, or watching opportunities fall through the cracks. You stay focused on your core business of the transactions and we’ll help build your army of repeat and referral business without you having to lift a finger.