- New research reveals the process customers go through when choosing their agent
- The main finding is that it is all about trust, and how this can be built up over time
- Important factors also include: personality, reputation and past results
Do you trust your real estate agent? New research suggests you do, because that’s the main reason you chose them.
‘The Trust Report: what consumers want from real estate agents‘ from marketing automation company ActivePipe examined the factors that influence how people choose a real estate agent and what drives loyalty.
The research revealed the process people go through when researching the property market, and identified the specific actions that agents can take to accelerate the building of trust to convert contacts into loyal clients.
It also pinpointed the most frequent errors made by agents that make them appear untrustworthy in the eyes of potential clients, losing them business.
The author of the report, Kylie Davis, said one of the key insights from the report was the ‘permission promise’ that occurs when potential clients provide an agent with their email address.
“Buyers and sellers provide their email address and opt-in to receive updates from agents because they see it as a low-risk way to assess whether the agent will be valuable to them.”
Kylie Davis, ActivePipe
The permission promise occurs if the expectations of the prospective customer are matched by the agent providing information (such as regular emails) that delivers ongoing value.
In this way, the agent has earned their trust, and the relationship grows.
However, emails that are generic, poorly targeted, irrelevant or too frequent can breach the permission promise, destroying trust and resulting in potential clients unsubscribing and then refusing to consider the agent when the time comes for them to sell.
Stay in touch (well)
Staying in contact with past clients proved to be important for developing client loyalty. 61% of those surveyed prefer to use the same agent again, while 27% of those who changed agents did so because they couldn’t remember who their last agent was.
10% of agents lost repeat business because they simply did not stay in touch with their past clients.
Other key findings were:
- The top factors that influence how consumers choose an agent are personality (24.2%), reputation by word of mouth (22.6%) and past results (21%).
- Low fees were not considered important when deciding whether to stick with a current agent (5%).
- When a new property hits the market, 63.3% of participants wanted to hear about it as soon as possible.
- When sharing properties that are for sale or sold, undisclosed prices erode trust significantly.
How people research property
“The marketing landscape for agents has changed dramatically over the past 5 or so years and we know that the new digital options can be overwhelming,” said Ash Farrugia, ActivePipe founder and CEO.
Much of this is all about relationships, relationship-building and keeping. Customers smell fakery. Selling or buying a home is a large financial investment, with long-term implications. They want to deal with someone they can trust.
This reminds me of that quip from American comedian George Burns: “The most important thing is sincerity; if you can fake that, you got it made.”
But don’t fake it.
‘The Trust Report: what consumers want from real estate agents‘ is available from ActivePipe.