Top realtor's client research secret and how it could work for brokers

One award-winning real estate agent has developed a thorough feedback-gathering strategy which could benefit brokers



One Sydney-based realtor has taken a proactive approach to getting client feedback – and he believes the technique could benefit mortgage brokers as well.

John Cunningham, director of multi-award winning Cunningham’s Property in Balgowlah, tells Australian Broker that his agents are asked to provide prospective home-sellers with a four-page long questionnaire, covering everything from how the client found out about his agency to what they understand about the housing market.

“The questionnaire is designer to discover what is really driving the decision to call us: Is it serious? Is it timely? Who referred them and why? And what do they know about us?”

While the concept of using a client questionnaire may not be entirely new, Cunningham’s approach has proven highly successful in generating straight-forward information on what makes his clients tick and he believes it could be a useful option for brokers as well.

#pb# “It’s all about discovering what your client needs, wants and knows about. We can assume many things and one of the worst is our clients knowledge…once you discover this you often find that they think they know about what you do and why, but mostly they have very little knowledge and are just winging it on advice someone may have given them.”

However, the prospect of having to fill out a four page sheet of questions could be a bit off-putting for new borrowers, so Cunningham says it’s important to clearly explain why you’re asking them to do it.

“It’s all about articulating the ‘why’ you are asking and how you go about it, so we do a lot of pre-framing around the question so that they understand the ‘why’.

In the end, he says it’s all about aiding preparation to ensure he and his agents are delivering the right information and advice.

“There is no point going over ground that does not need to be worked on and you want to instead be concentrating on what is relevant to that client.”

#pb# To get you started, Cunningham suggests starting with the following questions:

  • What is driving their decision to call you?
  • What are their primary reasons for wanting a loan? Why are they buying the house/refinancing?
  • What market knowledge they have?
  • What are they looking for in a broker?

However, Cunningham says the most important thing to remember is to ‘never assume anything’.

“Try to make the invisible aspect of what we do for our clients visible, because visibility leads to clarity, clarity leads to knowledge, knowledge leads to confidence and confidence leads to good decisions being made.  So in our world, it all starts with providing our clients with the best advice which leads to a great experience and ends in the best possible result.”



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