Did you ever ponder what the restaurant and the real estate industries have in common? Imagine that as a conversation starter at your next party of social function!
The parallels are not widely published, but there are many commonalities between dining and home selling or buying. Both businesses rely heavily on repeat customers as a result of creating satisfied customers.
When a customer is pleased with a business, they are more likely to spread the good word to others, who will in turn patronize your business.
Q. What are the shared experiences of diners and home sellers and buyers?
Diners at restaurants and current home buyers and sellers are seeking the same experiences. There is more overlap than one would expect.
Both sets of customers want to be amazed, delighted and surprised with excellent service. They are seeking indulgence in their meals and their properties. Some are seeking convenience, affordability and consistency.
Each business accomplishes this in different ways. Both seek to create customer loyalty and retention by offering unique services. They also view success as creating a satisfied customer who returns time after time.
Q. Why is creating customer loyalty relevant?
Each business relies on positive word-of-mouth referrals to increase their business footprint. The hope is that a satisfied customer will tell their family, friends and neighbors about a genuinely good experience. In recent years, Realtors have been forced to think about customer service on a deeper level than ever before. Customers demand options and reliable information when it comes to their meals. Both industries are faced with customers who are seeking healthy options, demanding high standards and oftentimes willing to pay a premium for them.
Q. How can restaurants create a loyalty program with realtors who are selling nearby properties?
Since the demands of both are similar building a strong alliance with the regional or local realtor association, in addition to individual real estate brokerages nationally and locally, can accomplish this goal. Realtors have several points before, during and after a transaction where it is appropriate to show appreciation to the client.
Q. When can loyalty be created through gift giving?
Here are a several key times a gift card would be an appropriate buyer thank you:
- At first meeting or outing
- When an offer is made on a property
- As financing is approved
- Day of property closing/settlement
- During move-in
- Immediately after move-in
- At one-month anniversary
- For holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries
The same can be done for a seller:
- Upon introduction or first meeting
- When a contract is signed to sell a property
- At first open house (sellers can go have lunch at that time)
- After an offer is received
- Once a purchase agreement is signed
- Upon closing or move-out
Both realtors and the restaurant industry can find creative ways to thank customers so they are amazed, surprised and delighted. Creating a positive experience, making it personal, being on your toes, planning ahead and anticipating problems, then communicating them effectively, as well as going the extra mile, will set you apart from the competition.
Think about how memorable it would be for a family of four, who just purchased a home, to receive dinner on their move-in day from their realtor. It could be a gift card to a restaurant to go out for dinner or to do take out. Either way, you have just helped that family create a memory in their home.
Taking this commonality one step further, developing a collaborative business partnership between real estate companies and premium national restaurant brands can benefit both industries. For realtors, this partnership can increase client loyalty and create a lasting bond between dining and real estate, one bite at a time.