Have you mapped your customer’s entire journey?
If you want to improve your MLS customer’s experience, one of the first critical steps is mapping out the entire customer journey. From awareness, to purchase, to onboarding to active involvement, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of customer touchpoints that influence the customer experience and your customer’s perception of your organization.
Think about a new agent entering your market and wanting to “get started in real estate.” How early in their journey from new licensee are you engaging with and supporting this customer? Customer experience starts the first time an agent or broker decides they want to sell real estate. The experience of your MLS customer starts long before they set up a listing or call customer support. How do you ensure a frictionless and welcoming experience every time they connect with you?
Some key customer moments you may be overlooking:
How do I become a real estate agent?
The customer journey for your MLS subscribers starts before they are even qualified to be your customer, but that does not mean you should wait for them to come to you. This early exploration and discovery phase of the customer journey is a prime opportunity for your organization to build rapport with your future customers. If they can learn early on to depend on you for clear and reliable information, then you have set the stage for a long and successful customer relationship. If you can provide them with digestible education about how they can succeed without having to invest thousands in their own technologies, you may win an engaged customer for life.
What is the initial onboarding process between you and the customer and their brokerage?
Onboarding is one of the most critical steps in the customer journey and is, understandably, where most organizations focus a lot of attention in their customer experience program. Unfortunately, there is still room for improvement. Many MLS organizations miss the mark in coordinating their onboarding with the subscriber’s brokerage. Whether it is a brand new agent fresh out of real estate school, or a veteran agent coming from another market or brokerage, onboarding at the MLS and association usually coincides with them joining a new brokerage too. Consider how you can coordinate with your local brokerages to support and not overwhelm agents at this stage. This can help to accelerate the customer’s journey instead of derailing it. Online membership applications tools like those offered by MMSI, for example, can definitely assist in making the onboarding process faster and simpler.
Are your customers increasing their annual transactions and listing counts?
As a new agent, joining an association and MLS can be a confusing process. While most organizations have orientation sessions, they are seen as drudgery, not a way for new agents to learn how to get the most out of their subscription. MLSs have a chance to provide them with a sales-centric overview of the tools available designed to help subscribers generate leads, nurture customer relationships, and stay in touch with automated home valuations to create a customer for life. Agents will only continue to be customers if their business is successful, so it is in the organization’s best interest to help them be successful.
At WAV Group, we have worked with many MLS organizations to develop targeted communications and training programs designed to engage and excite MLS subscribers. Our latest program, the Customer Experience Index for MLSs, will help organizations like yours take a more proactive and holistic look at the customer experience. If you would like to join the ever-growing number of MLSs who are benchmarking customer engagement and satisfaction with this program, we would love to tell you more. Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.