The customer perception of unfaithfulness of the real estate agents is an issue that the company needs to address, even though it was ranked 23 out of 25 in a recent survey of careers. The first thing the agents should do is to work with integrity and honesty. They should always do what they promise their customers. In case an agent is not capable to do or does not know, what a client wants him to do it is good to tell the client (Andruff n.d). It may seem admitting ignorance, but it is better to be honest with clients than lead them down to the wrong paths. Clients will always trust honest agents, especially those who promise to find out who can answer their questions and follow through. Clients will see an agent to have strong ethics, when he is honest, admits mistakes and takes responsibility for his actions. They always have confidence in such an agent’s skills, and will feel to have known him well enough as a person to entrust with future business.
An effective marketing will also help the business build the public trust. For example, you do not just tell customers to call you, if they want a trustworthy agent; they need to give some reasons as to why they call you. They could say to their customers; a good reason to call me is because I sell for more than 20% more than the other entire agent. However, they should consider not pushing the line that they are trustworthy too much. Century 21 can apply the following additional marketing strategies in order to win their client’s trust: branding the business with a unique logo to make it identified uniquely, promoting its logo through items such as calendars, key holders and clothes so that the public can identify with it, designing and updating their website in a regular basis, writing a monthly or weekly column in their local newspaper, talking about their services on their local radio or television, sponsoring a sports team at a local school, distributing fliers, newsletters and other written communication to churches and business centers, hosting an annual holiday event for their customers, and probable customer, being visible through attending conferences and other networking opportunities to learn new ideas, products and services.
Listening is another thing to be considered by agents, in order to gain trust from clients. Agents should be fully present while speaking to their clients, by listening keenly to what clients are saying. By maintaining eye contact and asking timely questions, the clients will feel that they are the only ones and your first priority. Along with listening, agents need to learn how to read a body language. This can reveal to them most of what the clients are thinking at a particular moment, which in most cases is incongruent with what they say. Andruff n.d said that if your customer agrees on something, but you notice that her hands are clenched, her shoulders are hunched, and she's biting her lips, it's quite clear that she is not saying yes”. Agents ought to know that. In case they see this in customers if they are not satisfied, they ought to address this issue in a respectful and empathetic manner. This strengthens the relationship because clients will feel understood by the agent.
Not forgetting the value of hard work, clients should always ensure that they work hard to deliver good results to clients. This will also help to tackle the problem of unfaithfulness. Agents should come up with new approaches to the business. If an agent has worked with some customers, he has to ask for a testimonial. Testimonials are like a social proof that agent does his work, and that he has helped others successfully with their similar concerns. Besides testimonials, agents ought to use client stories to boost their credibility. When client asks an agent a specific question, he ought to tell them how his previous customer had the same problem and the steps he did to solve it.
The price and quality of the services and products they offer to their customers should be reasonable. The quality should be higher while prices competitive with those of their competitors. Low quality with high prices discourages customers and creates a negative perception. All these techniques not only build an agent’s credibility, but also act as main components of any marketing campaign.
Real estate business can be highly profitable if the agents are trusted and respected. The trust can only be achieved if the agents offer quality services, work hard and use better marketing language while advertising.
E-media marketing has been made possible with the invention and concentration of VCRs, computers and DVD players. It is an inexpensive way to market a product or service when the cost to target audience is considered. Most companies can reach many customers worldwide today at a lower cost through online marketing, as compared to the traditional marketing. E-media also helps marketers to know how customers used their websites or responded to their advertising by measuring their statistics easily and inexpensively through the use of the ad server or other online metric tools. E-media advertising is an appropriate way to complement print media. It helps to create awareness, build brand, and keep an enterprise in front of current and potential customers.
Real estate agents should create a website that contains their contact information, the services they offer and a list of clients they have served. This will help clients to have an in-depth understanding of their company. In a highly competitive market place like the internet, it is appropriate to have a professionally designed website that is a search engine friendly (eMedia Worx 2011). This will help clients to find the website easily by searching through the search engines. The agents should also link customers’ websites to their website and provide a way that the customers’ website greets, whoever visits the web with the agents’ targeted offer.
Social media sites such as Facebook, twitter, etc. are sites that are mostly visited and form the most appropriate place to advertise real estate products and services online. One way is to create an e-marketing social media bio. This is done by writing a short message highlighting the products and services. Secondly, real estate agents should join the appropriate e-marketing social media networks. This will help them to get connection with competitors and clients. It also allows them to help their clients. This is done by suggesting interesting articles and information that can add value to clients. LinkedIn, for example, has an area where they can answer other user’s questions or suggest questions to be answered by the community of experts.
Considering the editorial capability of emails, it is another appropriate way to market the real-estate products. Emails can reach a wide audience and can contain personalized and relevant information. Email marketing is advantageous because it is cheap, and helps to deliver messages to specific people. Century 21 business can either send direct or retention emails to their customers. Direct email is where the business sends promotional message in form of an e-mail. It can be a promotion of a special offer or new product or service in the market. Retention e-mail, on the other hand, is in the form of regular e-mails whose aim is to develop a long-term impact to the customers. Moreover, instead of producing their personal newsletters, the agents can use newsletters published by others to put their advertisement and pay them to send to them to send to their subscribers as they also send theirs.
Another form of e-media that the company can employ is television. This will reach many people, because many homes possess television. Message retention is increased with the sight and sound of television than sound alone. Generally, e-media stimulates and expedites buying decisions, is cost effective and has a favorable return on investment and use of E-mails targets a specific audience than mass media.
Marketing in real-estate requires a good analysis of the characters of the external environment. The environment includes government regulations, the economic climate within which the customers operate and the general technological changes within the economy. Real-estate agents should work with integrity and honesty to address customers’ perception of untrustworthiness in real-estate. Finally, to promote buying and selling to potential buyers, the agents should also consider using e-media such as websites, emails and social media services to advertise their business.