Letâ€™s set the scene. You are a REALTOR; you arrive on time for your weekly [broker] sales meeting to be informed you are now going to be evaluated by your client on every transaction.
Thatâ€™s not all; in addition the evaluation score will be used publically to assist future clients in their selection of your services.
Is this your worst nightmare or your incredible dream come true?
For me it would be both at the same time. Iâ€™ve had clients who think I can part the water and others who would never be satisfied even if I sacrificed my first born son, returned 110% of the commission plus physically moved every stick of furniture into or out of the new home!
Giving power directly to the people who may or may not understand the real estate process would be placing it in hands that have the power to do undeserved damage.
I donâ€™t see that happening. Yet, there is strong merit in having a one-on-one evaluation with the customer. Listening to the other sideâ€™s expectation and experience undoubtedly can provide valuable insight from people we are in business to please.
The process may be flawed, but donâ€™t give up on the concept yet. Agent evaluations are a wise business routine if done in a manner that would improve the performance of the agent and enhance the experience of the consumer.
Thereâ€™s a Japanese concept Kaizen, which calls for never-ending effort for improvement at all organizational levels. Why not apply it to our real estate business practices with clients? By using the skill of listening, applying it to consumer feedback to create systems and processes to eliminate the problems in the future.
Is there integrity in evaluations?
Many real estate brokers will request a buyer/seller fill out a broker evaluation form at the closing table. This routine may or may not deliver honest results. Most consumers arenâ€™t going to let their hair down in a public setting. They will be polite, fill out the form and move on.
Iâ€™ve witnessed buyers evaluating a new home builder. The buyer is frightened to start off on the wrong foot with the builder who will be responding to their repair requests, while at the same time they are furious with the builder for something that went wrong. When handed the evaluation, they protect themselves, they lie.
To be worth anything for our purposes, evaluations need to be collected in a neutral, safe setting. Consumers need to know their responses will not result in retaliation but will help the company tallying them to improve.
Going back to the sales meeting
The broker now tells the group we have hired an independent company to evaluate our business practices by interviewing our clients and before they do we will be informed as to the points evaluated. First we shall review the 5 point evaluation plan so we can focus on what will be expected of us.
What does this do to your comfort zone? Still challenging yes, but knowing the questions and having this knowledge prior to the actual meeting relieves the undue pressure of dealing with the unknown.
Using a third party company to collect the responses puts a buffer between the possible problem and the source. Hopefully the buffer will result in an honest evaluation. Additionally the final score of the agent will be delivered by the unrelated company, instead of the broker. The broker gets out of the firing line and the score is validated and used in advertising.
Surprises are only good on birthdays and holidays, not in the business world!
Delving into consumer expectations provides insight for the appropriate course of action. We may have to brace ourselves for what will come out, but by purposefully inquiring, we can curtail the negatives and enhance the positives.
Understanding what the consumer wants means we can achieve better results by creating systems and scripts designed to deliver better future results. Doing so will enhance revenues, increase retention and put us REALTORS in a better position to receive referrals from the customerâ€™s extended family and friends. Listening to the customer creates loyalty.
Loyalty from customers is the ultimate goal.