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The Secret to Client Satisfaction (and More Referrals)

November 27 2017

The road to a closed real estate transaction is full of starts and stops.

Real estate attorney Scott Gartner knows this better than most. He's based in the Chicago metropolitan area, where lawyers participate in transactions nearly 100 percent of the time. Behind the scenes, he mostly acts as transaction coordinator, "so I have the perspective of somebody who's trying to coordinate all parties in the transaction. I found the process frustrating."

Missed deadlines and lack of communication are the most frequent roadblocks that Gartner says slow down a transaction. But the biggest obstacle, he says, is how "buyers and sellers feel left out of the transaction and uninformed. For most people, this is the biggest transaction of their lives, and they have no idea what's going on behind the scenes."

Overcoming this obstacle is a matter of improving both customer service and communication. This, in turn, results in happier clients as well as increased referrals and repeat business.

Keeping Clients in the Know

Gartner set out to make it easier to keep clients in the loop. In 2016, he launched Road to CloseRoad to Close, a transaction management tool where ALL parties in a transaction—from the buyers and sellers, to the agents, the mortgage broker, the title company, and beyond—can monitor a transaction's progress.

"On a standard real estate transaction, there's probably 20 different people touching a file, and nowhere for them to collaborate or communicate properly," Gartner says. Road to Close acts as a collaborative platform where all parties can upload and manage documents.

More importantly, the solution makes it easy to monitor the progress of important tasks and get in contact with the person responsible for each task, as seen below:

r2c interface progress 2

"One of the reasons I created Road to Close was so the consumer would know who to contact if someone was behind on a task," says Gartner. Rather than call you, the agent, for a progress report, they can log in to Road to Close from their computer or mobile device. "Then they'll see that the mortgage broker hasn't received their clear to close, and that the file wasn't in underwriting—and they'll now know they can directly contact that person."

Giving consumers insight into transaction process makes them feel more like full participants. And it saves time for agents, too, by cutting down on calls from anxious clients. Remember, for consumers, a real estate transaction can be a long and confusing journey—and one they only embark on every 7-13 years. Act as their guide.

"Make people feel involved and empowered," says Gartner. "If they enjoy the transaction, they're going to be repeat customers."

Learn more about Road to Close herehere.