The current size of the Indian Real Estate market is INR 12,000Cr (7% of GDP) and is expected to jump to INR 65,000Cr (14% of GDP) in the next 2 decades. It currently, employs 55 million people, with 200 other industries linked to it, directly or indirectly.
What should be the role of a Real Estate Consultant (REC)?
If we understand the above question well, we will be on the road to chalking out the best business practices that are required to govern our business. These practices need to be the pivots on which the business model should eventually run, like a well-oiled machine. We, at Wealth Clinic, strive to run our business based on the sole fact that we need and have to give the customer what s/he deserves.
The REC is the conduit between the customer and the developer. The customer is dependent on his or her consultant to suggest the right property that they would be cherished for years. With a plethora of property options available nowadays, it is but natural for customers to get confused. This is where the consultant, comes in, analyses the various options, and suggests the ones, which a customer can choose from. Consultancy is a service and customers will always appreciate excellent service.
The demographics of the customer have changed over the past decade. Customers are now, younger, in the age group of 27 to 32 years, having more purchasing power and technologically more savvy, as compared to 45+ a decade earlier. With double income families, especially in Metros, in vogue, purchasing a property, nowadays, is now a husband-wife joint decision, in the sense that the incomes would be clubbed to avail of loans and other associated benefits.
Hence, keeping the above points in mind, there are certain important business practices that, if followed, would certainly help in bridging the gap, between the customer & the consultant and also ensuring that mutual goals are met.
Business Practice 1: Following the basic mandatory guidelines as per RERA
With RERA being enforced, it is mandatory for even a one-man Consultancy firm to have a valid RERA license. RERA protects the customer as well as the developer from any wrongdoings. As a consultant, we need to also ensure that the projects we pitch are RERA compliant.
Business Practice 2: Taking care during the 1st point of contact
The first point of contact for a customer with the consultant can be any of the following:
The website needs to be user friendly with updated information about the projects on offer with current prices and schemes. A chatbox, EMI calculator, and answers to FAQ’s are some important tools that need to be available.
In the case of telephone contact, you need to first identify yourself and the company you represent. In a polite and clear tone, request permission to speak for a few minutes. State why you are calling and how you can be of help. In case, the office receptionist picks up the phone, the greeting should be in a friendly tone, and the line transferred to the sales team to take care of the customer.
In face to face meetings, the consultant needs to be always formally attired, well-groomed, and with excellent knowledge of the property market. Avoid garish clothes and chewing pan masala/gum/etc. The REC needs to take care of the sentiments of both the husband and the wife, in most cases hence, the sales pitch needs to be tailored accordingly & both parties addressed. With the knowledge of the property that is being pitched, together with the knowledge of other competing projects in the neighborhood, the consultant needs to handle all the objections that will come his way. More so in these times, as the general awareness of the real estate market has gone up, thanks to the internet, which the customer is using to garner information. Now, with COVID-19 hitting the world, safety issues need to be also addressed. Use masks and follow other safety guidelines.
The office of the consultant, needless to say, has to be clean and the place where the discussion is on, has to be airy and quiet. All relevant brochures and price lists of the project need to be available during discussions.
Business Practice 3: Differentiating between “Need” and “Want”
After discussions with the customer, the consultant will get a fair idea of what the customer’s “NEEDS” & “WANTS” are. This is one of the most crucial aspects of a consultant to understand. It is here, that he can either make a one-time sale or create multiple sales with the referral customers that his customer could potentially provide due to the right choice of property that was offered. Trust needs to be created. Do not try and sell a property that the customer will later on regret, just to get a fatter commission. Greed is something that can kill you, hence, do not get tempted by it. Empathize with the customer and see the wonders that will befall you, by the goodwill, you would have created. This goodwill will last forever.
Business Practice 4: Lead Sourcing & Management
The generation of leads is another crucial aspect that needs to be dealt with in an extremely serious manner. Leads are the fuel that keeps the engines of a Real Estate Consultancy firm running. Some of the various avenues to source leads are as follows:-
Nowadays, with the advent of technology, the method of managing leads needs to change, as compared to a decade ago. The follow-up on leads needs to be regular and the speed of response has to be quick. This calls for a process to be well defined and the sales force to be agile. There are various CRM / Sales Management tools that can be of great assistance, in this regard. The entire data can be accessed at the touch of a button and is available on your smartphone.
Business Practice 5: Servicing
An efficient back office team with courteous staff is essential to keep this well-oiled engine running at optimum capacity. A Customer Service Executive has to respond to the customer queries in the stipulated time as laid down by the consultancy firm. Queries need to be sorted out to the satisfaction of the customers. KYC calls are made by the back office team to ensure whether the data provided on the booking form tallies with what the customer answers. A separate team needs to ensure that all bookings are logged in at the developers’ end which will complete the sale.
Business Practice 6: Training
Regular training is of paramount importance as this ensures the individuals’ efficiency to increase. All departments require to be trained, be it Sales, Operations, or HR. A Consultant needs to be trained on all features of the project that he is selling. Apart from this product knowledge, he should have excellent knowledge of the competition too, as queries of the customer can be handled with ease.
What makes the Real Estate industry even more challenging, is the fact that even though it is the 2nd largest creator of jobs in India (agriculture being the first), it is still considered to be an unorganized sector. This is where, a professionally managed RE Consultancy firm, like Wealth Clinic, tries it’s best to create a niche for itself by offering the kind of service that a customer is always looking forward to. Go the extra distance and you will never regret it, as hard work for the right cause, always pays dividends.