A couple of years ago I attended an event held by my brokerage at a bar in Beacon Hill in Boston. This company was very innovative in that they were the first brokerage (I know of) to align an agents pay with the survey score they got from their clients for real estate transactions. Towards the end of this event, I stayed to have a beer with another agent and our manager. This agent was struggling with his survey scores and was frustrated. He asked what my secret was to getting all 10’s. I knew I actually didn’t have a secret for getting 10’s. The truth was I wasn’t dwelling on my scores at all. I was trying not to be a bad agent and represent my clients as well as I could. I wasn’t doing anything I could have learned overnight, it was my experience that was helping to produce happy clients. It may take handling 25, 50 or 100 deals to start knowing what you’re doing as an agent and be able to do a good job. I promise you’ll see and learn new things even after managing 100 deals.
If there’s any secret at all to getting authentic positive reviews it’s simple: listen to your clients, learn from their feedback and constantly work on improving their experience. Also, although you should always put your clients first; treating everyone well is key to providing great service. A real estate transaction always has some moving parts and if you only perform well in front of your clients you’re doing them a disservice. You can also help out attorneys, lenders, inspectors and other agents, to win them over and make the transaction smoother for your clients. Being well rounded and handling both sides of a transaction was important in my ability to get great reviews. You need perspective on working with buyers and sellers to fully understand how a transaction works and not provide a cookie cutter service. This makes you a better agent and gives you negotiation experience. I promise you’ll thrill your clients if you get them a great deal and are not just a middleman.
A relative recently asked me for some advice in selling an out of state property. She had received a postcard from an agent in the area and he emailed her a link to the local state licensing board telling her he had been in real estate for over 40 years and had never received a complaint. The link to the licensing board with his lack of formal complaints was his main selling point. This is an example of someone being behind the curve but it also shows how everyone understands information is becoming more public. If you’re bad people will find out fast. Companies like Yelp, Angieslist and Zillow make it possible to publicly review any agent at any time whether you worked with them or not. I’d highly recommend proactively learning how to be a better agent instead of being satisfied with a lack of complaints. In the end the secret is there is no secret.