Client and Customer Feedback – Are You Really Satisfied?

I think every real estate agent finds out in their first week in the industry that client testimonials are gold.  Client feedback goes well beyond the occasional testimonial and the better agencies invest in detailed client surveys so they can take a real measure of their performance.

Till now most real estate agents have really been restricted to paper surveys (complete with reply paid envelope) or investing significant time with the  online survey companies to make a fit our industry. Speaking for ourselves we have been surveying landlords, prospective sellers, sellers and buyers for over a decade and literally have boxes of completed surveys.  Some of the emarketing solutions also provide you a rudimentary survey ability but it really is quite basic.

Feedback is absolutely essential if you want to be fine tuning your business to suit your clients and customers. In our office each buyer and seller feedback survey is read out in full and discussed at each of sales meeting but the real deeper analysis is quite time consuming so it is done at much longer intervals.

For a little while now I have been toying with the idea of migrating our paper surveys over to one of the many great survey solutions available on the web but that would require a significant investment in time as you have to setup the survey from scratch.  These companies give you amazing building blocks but you really have to construct the building yourself to get the most out of it.

I am glad I waited though as a new online solution has been released specifically for Australian Real Estate Agents called RealSatisfied (www.realsatisfied.com.au).  They surveys are fully setup for our industry and are ready to go.  In fact once the account is setup and you have uploaded your logo your first survey could be sent out within a minute.

The service itself is very polished and professional. Late on Friday afternoon I signed up and sent out surveys to our our landlords. Within 30 minutes the first survey was back and by the time 24 hours ticked over 10% had returned the survey. By Sunday night we are close to a 20% return rate and I expect those numbers to be much higher again by mid week.

Part of the RealSatisifed Dashboard for each user.

In addition to the full details of all survey the system also asks each person to submit a testimonial and so far we have found about a third of all respondents have chosen to provide a testimonial. This alone is marketing gold but the best part is the system gives far  more statistics and analysis. Each salesperson can (optional) have a dashboard providing a selection of quick performance stats and then burrow down to find full details and responses.

In just  two days the results have been very impressive!

There are currently 6 types of Surveys

  • Vendor
  • Purcahser
  • Landlord Placement
  • Tenant Placement
  • Landlord Loyalty
  • Tenant Loyalty

Over the next week we will change  over our buyer and seller surveys to the RealSatisifed system but I expect a similar sort of results and I expect the statistics to only get better as you are able to track changes over time at different intervals.  This allows you to set performance targets and track changes in that performance over time.

RealSatisfied, Is it perfect? – Of course not!

It is still an off the shelf solution and it wont be an absolutely perfect fit for you but honestly what is? There are things I would slightly change or tweak but none of them is a game breaker.  There are surveys we have done for nearly a decade that the system does not do, at least for the moment.  These includes surveys for Appraisals, Lost Appraisals/listings and a few other scenarios. So whilst it’s not perfect, it’s pretty damn good~

There is the typical 30 day free trial period in which you can give it a good flogging to work out if it’s for you.  The cost works out at a base price of $39 per month (includes one account) and then $9 per additional team member.

If you do paper surveys this is going to save you substantially in time and  money and provide you and your clients a far better experience. If you are not surveying your clients then you should and this is simply the easiest purpose built way to get it done. The bonus of course is that your return rate for testimonials will probably skyrocket.

On  the RealSatisfied website you can have the surveys sent to you as though you were a client and you can also take a tour of a back end in a demo account to check out the reports.

client feedback, feedback, real satisfied, realsatisfied, surveys

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About Glenn Batten

Glenn Batten is the General Manager at First National Real Estate Nerang and Principal at the First National Real Estate Upper Coomera office and has over 20 years real estate experience and a passion for technology. Glenn has been writing from an agents perspective on industry issues and covering a range of topics on Business2 since 2007.

16 Responses to Client and Customer Feedback – Are You Really Satisfied?

  1. Vic July 12, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Glen,

    Great advice. If I can add one very important point to your post, from a old hat at sales and marketing.

    Always summarize the feed back to the survey participants. You owe it to them for their giving of time and it will be another step in the loyalty building program/strategy between you and your clients.
    Also next time you go to them your response rate quantity and quality will improve.

    Cheers Vic

  2. Greg Vincent July 12, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    Thanks for sharing this Glenn. Looks like a great service.

    Surveying your market provides such an important insight into not only what your clients think of you and your company but it also helps businesses to determine what the marketplace really wants & expects.

    With the testimonials do you ask the “May we quote you? Y/N” question? If not, do you put it differently within your surveys so that the testimonials may be used publicly?

    PS: Great suggestion Vic.

  3. Vic July 12, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Glen,

    I’m amazed that so far only two comments have arisen from your post.

    I would have thought that customer feed back was among the top three most important tools available for business managers.

    I guess everyone is too busy making money.

  4. Glenn Batten July 12, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Vic,

    Over the years I have learnt that you cant gain a fair reaction from the number of comments. Some topics evoke comment and some don’t.

    I remember somebody on here are year or two back tried to make a connection about the quality of a post based on the number of comments each received. Her maths were actually out at the time but I disagreed with the claim then as I do now. One of my favourite posts on here was Peter’s article about TED. From memory it had just 2 or 3 comments but I personally loved it and it is now one of my favourite websites and the top 10 is truly mind blowing.

    Other posts I do I can get a lot of phone calls and emails but others dont get any personal contact. It really is a mixed bag. For example I did a post on how to create a blog in 25 minutes which had a video run through of the process. That had little by the way of feedback in the comments but the personal contact I had over it was incredible.

    Some posts on controversial subjects will generate lots of comments. Posts on price rises, private sellers, the institutes or a problem that has a major impact on the industry will get the opinions flowing.

    In fact you can have posts that have bucketloads of comments but they are all off topic because the comments morphed into a different topic entirely.

    I never measure the success of an article just on the amount of comments it received but saying that I would certainly love to get some feedback from agents who trial the service. That may take a few days to come through.

  5. Rachael Lord July 13, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Was this really retweeted over 3000 times or was there a glitch?! Just curious, if it’s real – congratulations!

  6. Rachael Lord July 13, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Forget I said it, it’s displaying as 7 now. Strange! Feel free to delete these posts, they add nothing.

    Going to try the free trial for surveys – thanks Glenn!

  7. Glenn Batten July 13, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    They go up and down and are not reliable at all Rachael. I did a check a while back and at that time it was because spammers were hijacking the article titles to try and generate unique content. It really makes this feature unreliable.

  8. Robert Simeon July 13, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Glenn,

    A smart initiative indeed however as discussed it needs a timer (as we can get caught on long surveys) – keep it short and sweet. Secondly: apply the Law of Reciprocity and reward clients who complete the survey with a chance to win a case of wine for taking the time to complete the survey.

    That way everybody is happy 🙂

  9. wayno July 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    I will fill one out just to win the case of wine

  10. Jayne Harwood July 14, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    We have been looking at conducting surveys so will definitely look at this. Thanks Glenn. We are really keen to get some buyer surveys out to see where they start their search for property so I am hoping that this may do the job. We have also been looking at gathering landlord testimonials so this could kill two birds with one stone! Now I just have to work out what to give away!

  11. Mac July 15, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Thanx Glenn.
    Off topic, do you/Peter et al, know anything about facebook real estate /realty applications please? How are they rated? How can I find them? I stumbled upon some portally type apps that we could add to our page in there last year but they don’t seem to be too obvious now.

    Thx,
    Mac

  12. SAP Training London July 15, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    The major problem from the customer side is that their expectation is more. And from the client side, they want more then they pay.

  13. Vic July 22, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Hi SAP Training London,

    Can’t help myself with this one.

    Do they want more, then they will pay, or do they want more than they pay for, or do they want more, get more, then pay for it?

    Hope you guys don’t teach English.

  14. Phil Kells July 22, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    Vic – could not have said it better 🙂

    Glenn – thanks for the review and your feedback – look out for a few updates next week & thanks everyone else for your comments… we love the feedback, keep it coming!

    Cheers,

    phil

  15. Glenn Batten July 23, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    Just an update. With regards to the property management surveys we sent out originally we are currently about 40% returned with every day seeing another few back and that without any wine bribery 🙂

  16. Phil Kells July 27, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Great to see your response rates are going well Glenn.

    We’ve just released a reporting update that enables drill down to the customer level across all of our reports. We hope you find it useful!

    Feedback always welcome – @RealSatisfied or via http://www.realsatisfied.com.au

    cheers,

    Phil

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