Real Estate Customer Relationship Management in 2019

Inman Connect Las Vegas 2019 - Real Estate Customer Relationship Management

Real Estate Customer Relationship Management in 2019

What I heard at Inman Connect Las Vegas - 2019

Last week real estate executives, brokers, and real estate agents all gathered in the glitzy conference space of ARIA to discuss all things real estate. The CEO of Compass, Redfin, Opendoor, Keller Williams, and Zillow openly discussed iBuying, lawsuits, technology, and current trends. The core theme of it all, the industry is now focused on the best “consumer-model”. Or put another way, solidifying real estate customer relationship management. 

The holy grail in real estate – 100% Client Retention 

Over the week, Leader after Leader came on the stage to tell the attendees how they were “delivering more value”, working towards an “all-in-one solution” and trying to “make real estate accessible to more and more consumers”. While each speaker had their strategy one panelist, Brian Boero from 1000Watt said it best when he said,

“Whoever figures out client retention, wins.”

Let’s think about that for a moment. If your past clients are so loyal that they will use you no matter what the other options, does it matter if they search for listings on Zillow? If they want your real estate services does it matter if they request an offer from OpenDoor? When you think about it, outside of First-time homebuyers, an online lead (or iBuyer client) is another agent’s past client. To put it frankly, if you can provide so much value to your consumer that they will want to use your services no matter what, you win. The real estate customer relationship stays with you.

Looking to Wealth Management as an Analogy for Real Estate Agents

Before I left for Vegas, I was having lunch with a friend who runs a Family Office firm. His firm advises high network clients on where to invest and what to buy. He doesn’t manage any transactions, he simply provides advisory advice to his clients then tells his computer to execute the trade. The clients have access to the same data he has, but he has the professional insight to make sense of the data for his clients. And his clients are willing to pay for that, and they pay a lot! 

Let’s take this and apply it to real estate for a moment. Our consumers are getting access to more and more data (if not all) and with Opendoor or Zillow Offers they can sell their home with a mouse click (just like buying a NYSE stock). In Finance, my friend has built a very successful firm that helps his clients manage their wealth even though they could do it all themselves online. So why won’t this be the same for real estate? As Eric Wu of OpenDoor put it:

“The reality with Realtors today, their role is shifting from project management--especially in our ecosystem, where we're automating a lot of the processes--to advisement." - Eric Wu, CEO of OpenDoor

I agree with Eric, the future is going to have a segment of the market that offers full cycle client advisory services in real estate.

The future of real estate customer relationship management

It is my view that the real estate agent is not going to disappear and most if not all of the Inman attendees agree. However, I do believe that the role is beginning to shift and that client advisory services will begin to become the most valuable service offered by real estate agents of the future. At Home Investment Advisors we have been delivering this service for our clients since 2010 and the results have spoken for themselves. So, what is the future of real estate customer relationship management? In my view it’s putting your client first, offering full cycle advisory services and looking after them for each and every transaction…but more importantly looking after them in-between the sale (pre- and post-closing).

Time will tell if my vision is correct but if one thing is certain, change is here and “we aren’t in Kansas anymore”. Thanks to Brad Inman and the Inman News team for yet another great conference. Onward.

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