“Service is the technical delivery of a product. Hospitality is how the delivery of that product makes its recipient feel. Service is a monologue – we decide how we want to do things and set our own standards for service. Hospitality, on the other hand, is a dialogue. [It] requires thoughtful listening to the other person, and follow-up with a thoughtful, gracious, appropriate response. It takes both great service and great hospitality to rise to the top.”
~ Danny Meyer in Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business
How do service and hospitality relate in real estate? I look at it this way: service is everything you, as a real estate agent, must do for a client in a transaction — everything that you are legally and obligated to do in order to get them from Point A to Point B, from contract to close. Doing what you need to do to get paid, the bare minimum.
But what makes a great real estate agent is certainly not the bare minimum. It’s so much more than that. The thing that differentiates a passable real estate agent from a great real estate agent is the hospitality piece.
Hospitality, then, is all of the extra things one does which, in my opinion, should not be considered “extra.” These pieces are your value proposition, what sets you apart from others. The reason consumers want to do business with you…and the reason that past clients become repeat clients and referral sources.
It may be that you have extremely good communication that anticipates client needs and questions before they come to you. Perhaps you acknowledge birthdays, home anniversaries, kids’ birthdays, pets’ birthdays and make the client always feel important. Maybe you are a resource for so much more than real estate, such as property tax appeal info, homestead exemption info, referrals to trusted vendors and service providers. In short, you are a constant in their world — before, during, and after closing.
This year, what are you doing to set yourself apart? Have you created your Hospitality Plan in order to better serve your clients, as well as stay top-of-mind?