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Customer complaint culture a risk to agents who lag behind, says top industry boss

18 April 2019 Tim Neary

The growing “culture of complaint” in real estate is putting the industry at risk of lagging behind, especially for agents who fail to evolve with the new landscape and better manage consumer expectations, according to one renowned network CEO.

Starr Partners CEO Douglas Driscoll said that the focus among large multinational companies to deliver “super experiences” for their customers is having a knock-on effect on real estate.

He said that it’s leading to increased levels of dissatisfaction among buyers and vendors, as they compare service levels across industries.

“In today’s competitive business environment, real estate agents are no longer just competing against each other,” Mr Driscoll said.

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“Instead, they are competing against the expectations set by some of the world’s very best companies. This new landscape is one with empowered customers who are very much in the driver’s seat. Large multinationals recognise that we are in the age of the customer, which is why they are investing inordinate sums of money to improve their customer experience.”

Mr Driscoll said that customer complaints in real estate are increasing, with landlord and tenancy disputes some of the worst offenders.

But he added that it’s not that real estate standards have dropped.

“Instead, customer expectations have grown exponentially,” he said.

“The rise of social media and online reviews has meant that we are being held accountable more so than ever before, and are struggling with the customer-centric evolution.”

He said that agents need to shift and evolve to stay relevant — and necessary.

“Today, there’s an even greater need to strive for professionalism among real estate agents.

“It’s important to avoid shameless self-promotion and instead focus on assisting and informing. As an industry, we need to continue to build a reputation for providing quality information and high levels of service to better manage client expectations.”

Customer complaint culture a risk to agents who lag behind, says top industry boss
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