The Lifestyle Client Experience
The “Lifestyle Client Experience”. What does that mean to us? Well, in today’s fast-paced world, it seems like everyone has a smartphone permanently attached to their hand, everyone seems to have less free time than ever, and good customer service feels like a thing of the past. Most companies are trying to distance themselves from their customers, so tasks like checking your bank account balance or paying your electric bill involve complicated phone trees and customer support representatives who are most interested in rushing you off the phone.
This ideology of poor customer service seems further exaggerated during a major life event like buying or selling your family’s home. Lifestyle Real Estate Services originated with the idea that technology should connect people — not alienate them. Before founding our company, our President and CEO, Roger Clark served as an agent at a number of “big name” brokerages and noticed a number of unsettling trends. Here are a few:
Technology. Although the vast majority of service industries are embracing technology as a way to introduce more efficiency, speed, and convenience to their customers, real estate is an industry that’s holding on to business strategies that are as old as the fax machine.
Today, with over 90% of home buyers searching for their next home on the internet, real estate agents who refuse to embrace technology are, bluntly, failing their clients. Lifestyle, on the other hand, utilizes technology in a way that gives our clients the edge they deserve. Our thorough and informative property listing webpages, as well as our social media and real estate site marketing campaigns, increases the exposure of your home and gets homebuyers excited to see more.
Customer Service. Buying or selling real estate can be a stressful process, particularly when it’s your first time doing so. Your agent, the other party’s agent, the loan officer, the appraiser, home inspectors, the title company, the escrow officer… there are a lot of people (and personalities!) involved as well. Our clients enjoy an approach that is “proactive” instead of “reactive.” For example, when escrow opens, we create a form for you that details the “due dates” for all the milestones involved in your Purchase Agreement. Everyone knows what needs to be done and when, and our job is to manage the process so that everyone involved stays on track.
But even with the most organized and scheduled transaction, “unknowns” can sometimes throw a wrench in the works. This is when a proactive approach makes the biggest difference. We commit to always keeping our clients up-to-date with thorough explanations that involve the most current information. Then we provide you with options on how we can remedy the situation, and provide a recommended “next step” so you can make an informed choice. An informed client is a happy client, and this is what we call “Concierge Customer Service.”
Marketing. The vast majority of real estate agents, whether with “big name” companies or with smaller brokerages, still think about marketing the same way they did thirty years ago. They spend a lot of money advertising on shopping carts, the back of busses, newspaper stands, and other outdated mediums, all for the worst reason possible: because it’s what they see other agents doing, and they assume it will bring them more business.
Does it make sense to think that someone is going to buy your house because they recognize your listing agents’ picture from a bus stop? Definitely not. Still, the vast majority of companies and agents forego in-depth property marketing because they spend too much money advertising themselves.
Lifestyle does things differently. With over a decade’s worth of experience, we’ve learned a lot about the types of marketing that appeals to home buyers the most. Our Marketing Manager, Marquis Kish, helps us invest our resources in creating a “Wow Factor” that grabs their attention. We stage your home in a way that connects on an emotional level. We get home buyers excited — we show them what their “Lifestyle” could be like if they were privileged to purchase a home like yours. That’s what gets your home sold for top dollar.
Speaking of staging, we have a very different approach to that, too. Before putting your home on the market, we spend time reviewing potential objections that buyers may have, and help you address them. Our experience will tell you what cost-effective things you can do to get top-dollar; our recommendations, and industry connections, get work done for less so you further profit from your investment.
Staging our listings is always a complimentary service. In some cases, sellers list their property while they’re still living in their home so we incorporate their personal effects and our staging materials to maximize their homes’ appeal while keeping them comfortable in familiar surroundings. Alternatively, if a listing is vacant, our complete inventory of furniture, artwork and accessories allows us to transform an empty house into a home. We provide a “layered look” suitable for a magazine that helps buyers envision themselves living there.
After any necessary repairs or modifications are done, and after staging is complete, we schedule a photo shoot. We believe the days of “360-degree Virtual Tours” through a distorted, fish-eye lens are a thing of the past. Our in-house marketing team photographs the interior and exterior of your house to maximize its visual interest and downplay its weaknesses. These photographs are used not only on our website and internet marketing campaigns, but also within a 4-panel print brochure which we produce for every home we market.
Get More From Your Agent
Many people think that agents who work for “big name” companies have more resources at their disposal. It’s a common misconception; the truth is quite the opposite. Agents in large companies have to pay part of every dollar they make to their broker. They also pay desk rental fees and technology fees, and inflated insurance fees. In many large companies, a percentage of every dollar you spend on commission goes to the national corporate franchise office. People who had nothing to do with your home sale profit from your home sale.
Lifestyle Real Estate Services doesn’t operate that way. The commission you pay goes only to the people who had a hand in selling your home, which allows us to invest our marketing dollars in ways that best benefits our clients. As a result, the majority of our business comes from referrals of past clients and word-of-mouth.
If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, we encourage you to compare Lifestyle Real Estate Services’ Client Experience with that of the competition. When you’re ready, get in touch with us to learn more about what we can do for you. We’re looking forward to working with you!