A recent article in The Robb Report has stuck with me. Entitled, “Love Me, Waiter, Please Love Me” writer Daniel Langer makes the case that the luxury experience is much like a love affair. Where my mind went is to the place of emotion over logic accompanied with that euphoric feeling that you hope can only can get better with time. So what drives the luxury experience?
Not surprisingly, the person on the front line (salesperson, waiter, anyone with client services in his/her title) can greatly influence how the experience ends up being for the client. Mr. Langer tells of a dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant which began promisingly– until somewhere around the second wine pairing when the lack of product knowledge combined with a changed tempo in service prompted the diners to feel rushed and the evening “programmed”. The result was a slide from love affair to lukewarm romance and a dinner that should have been memorable as being okay, at best.
Mr. Langer contends that as the “experience” generation (fueled by the emerging luxury consumer, Millennials), what we are doing and how we feel doing it is important to us. So if its experiences that are valued and if feeling valued translates into memorable, how can your next real estate transaction leave you not only with the purchase or sale that you hoped for, but feeling a little more loved in the process? There are many things that a top notch real estate agent should bring to the relationship, but it will help the overall experience (or at least save time) if you, as the buyer or seller, bring a few things to the venture as well. My top three:
1. Articulate— Share your top criteria and priorities with your agent right from the start. The clearer that you are about your goals and needs, the more your agent can hone in. This is NOT to say that your list won’t change during the process. That’s perfectly fine and to be honest, more typical than not. Continuously fine tuning your priorities and clarifying is immensely helpful to your agent.
2. Communicate– Share what you are thinking, even if you think it’s not important. I have had clients who are more worried about being polite and not insulting a seller, then sharing their honest reactions about a property. Letting me know what you liked and didn’t like helps me better select properties for you and ensure that I use the time we are together efficiently.
3. Reduce Distractions– Leave the children, the dog, the cell phone at home, if at all possible. Okay, not the cell phone. Understandably, house hunting is perhaps not worthy of going off the grid. But to the extent that you can clear your mind and your attention to be fully present to the properties you are touring, will allow you to engage with them and better evaluate. Which will not only benefit you in the end but will probably lead to a more efficient process so that you can get back to “real life.”
On the client services end, a real estate agent that is attentive (let’s make that highly attentive) to your needs, professional, anticipating questions, providing relevant information that can help you evaluate choices and make the best decision for you, is going to end up delivering a memorable experience for you. One where not only you end up achieving your goals, but that is enjoyable in the process of doing so. Agents that are geared to extraordinary customer service and deliver on this because they really and truly want the client to have an amazing experience will get you what you want, you’ll likely have a memorable experience as well.