Exceptional experience?

When is the last time you had an exceptional experience delivered to you from any business you’ve been in contact with? I ask this question a lot, to rooms full of people, and for the most part I get a blank stare. People are not sure, and after a moment of being lost in their thoughts, they slowly realize that nothing comes to mind. No exceptional experiences jump out.

After numerous real estate surveys, we have determined that no one is delivering exceptional experiences in the real estate markets. No brand is known for it, and further, very few people in the business even think about it. That gives you the chance. You really could be the exceptional experience advisor.

For most people, the next question is about how to define exceptional service in real estate. Does it mean a huge amount of extra work for no additional fee? Or does it mean I need to be twice as creative? I think the concept is simple: Care for your client as a person the way you would like to be cared for. A cold drink in the car, a lunch on a tour, an extra phone call updating the client on the process—it’s not that complicated.

Caring for others can mean getting to know a client on a personal level and arranging for some event that fits that client’s interests. Tickets to a game, a doctor referral, a good book recommendation, or even some new contact that might lead them to more business. All of these can set you apart and deliver exceptional experiences to people. I can remember getting Barney tickets for a client so he could take his kids and then receiving a huge listing a few months later.

Caring for clients must be our primary focus. It is amazing how little this is taught in business.

Here is what I would recommend to get started:

  1. Ask the client what you could do to deliver exceptional service
  2. Ask them if they can remember getting exceptional service from any others and what it was that made it exceptional
  3. Focus your attention on your client as a person not as a client
  4. Try to deliver something and keep trying for the rest of your career

Exceptional experience is active; it’s a verb, not a noun. It is an ongoing, constant focus. It is also highly subjective. After all, the client is the one who decides if you delivered an exceptional experience, not you. It is the client’s assessment that matters, not yours. But it is your effort that makes the exceptional possible. That should be enough to keep you going.

The operative word here is care. Caring is what turns transactional relationships into lifetime ones and what makes the client’s experience a truly exceptional one.