Relationships, Marketing Key to Satisfaction

August 2, 2017

If you want more satisfied customers, make sure you devote a lot of time to carving out a relationship with your buyers and that you amp up your marketing on behalf of sellers, according to the 2017 Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power. Researchers found that an agent’s rapport with a buyer is the most important factor in determining customer satisfaction, while sellers focus on the marketing of their home to gauge agent support.

The study, based on a survey of 4,170 customers who bought or sold a home between March 2016 and April 2017, also found that overall satisfaction with real estate companies is higher among first-time buyers than with repeat buyers or sellers. Researchers measure satisfaction among the nation’s largest real estate companies within four customer segments: first-time buyers, first-time sellers, repeat buyers, and repeat sellers. Satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale across several factors, including the agent or salesperson, real estate office, closing process, and additional services.

“With the real estate market remaining strong, it is more important than ever that agents, buyers, and sellers focus on the trade basics, especially for first-timers,” says Greg Truex, senior director of the at-home practice at J.D. Power. “When agents remain transparent, informative and responsive, they can greatly impact customer satisfaction and increase agent reputation and recommendations.”

For the fourth consecutive year, J.D. Power found that Century 21 ranked highest among first-time buyers and sellers. Here's the breakdown:

First-time Buyer Satisfaction Rankings

  1. Century 21 (ranked highest in the category on agent, closing process, and the variety of additional services offered)
  2. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
  3. Coldwell Banker

Repeat Home Buyer Satisfaction Rankings

  1. Keller Williams (ranked highest in the closing process, real estate offices, and the variety of additional services offered)
  2. Coldwell Banker
  3. RE/MAX

First-time Home Seller Satisfaction Rankings

  1. Century 21 (ranked highest in all four factors analyzed)
  2. Coldwell Banker
  3. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Repeat Home Seller Satisfaction Ranking

  1. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (ranked highest in this category for agent, marketing, and its closing process)
  2. Century 21
  3. Keller Williams

Source: “2017 Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction Study,” J.D. Power (Aug. 1, 2017)