Q: What do customers really want from their real estate agent and brokerage?
A: One-stop shopping.
They want the home-buying experience to be a seamless interaction. In the customer’s eyes, the process includes working with a real estate agent to find the home, researching mortgage options, choosing a lender, managing the closing and obtaining the right insurance.
Home buyers also want the real estate transaction to be as simple as ordering from Amazon. The “Amazon effect” has raised customer expectations for both online and offline transactions. Consumers don’t want complicated; nor do they want slow. They want it to be easy, and they want it fast.
A National Association of REALTORS-commissioned study by Harris Poll on consumer preferences for real estate services shows consumer support for one-stop shopping.
The most recent 2019 survey indicates that 95% of homebuyers would consider a model that provides mortgage, title, warranty and insurance. Notably, 79% of respondents said that making the home-buying process more efficient and manageable was important to them, and nearly 50% of recent homebuyers used one source to procure home-buying services in 2019.
Because the entire home-buying process can take 10-to-12 months on average, there are many opportunities to deliver impactful service. But like all customer journeys, there are specific touchpoints that stand out in the customer’s memory. In the case of real estate, it’s the closing. If you can master the closing, you’ll have loyal clients for life.
For real estate agency owners, the idea that you’re competing on customer experience is not new. You already may have expanded your service offering to include mortgage and title because you understand that home buyers see the process as one journey. The other reasons you added ancillary services, according to the 2013 Imprev Thought Leader Survey, was higher profits, one-stop marketing opportunities, increased customer satisfaction and enhanced quality control.
Adding insurance to your business can help you achieve both customer experience objectives to control and expedite the closing process. “It’s also a great way to keep in touch with your clients between your transactions,” advised Chris Pflueger, Chief Development Officer of We Insure. Offering insurance services also allows you to maintain the book of business you’ve worked hard to build. When your clients buy insurance, it gives you many more opportunities to maintain the client relationship over time, so you’re top of mind when they decide to re-list the home.
We Insure works with the top real estate brokerages in the United States to deliver an innovative independent insurance agency model that owners depend on for marketing, back-end support and access to top carriers from day one. It’s simple to get started, even without prior insurance industry experience — contact We Insure to learn more about our independent insurance franchise opportunities.