Jason Forrest is a sales trainer, management coach, member of the National Speakers Association’s Million Dollar Speakers Group, and author of three books, including his latest, Leadership Sales Coaching. Learn more at www.fpg.com.
Building a Lollapalooza Brand for Buyers
If you can make the act of purchasing a home with your brokerage an extraordinary event, you’ll have clients coming back for a lifetime of magical experiences.
March 27, 2015
We all want to be exceptional in our lives and work. We want to be lollapalooza — “an extraordinary thing, event, or person.” For some readers, the term — which has roots in early 20th century slang — may call to mind the annual rock festival. But in order to truly figure out how to be the best lollapalooza we can be, we should consider what’s billed as “the happiest place on earth”: Disneyland.
It’s more than a slogan. By creating a fairytale experience for millions of customers, Disneyland has earned a remarkable 70 percent first-time return rate. It creates magic. Every visit is designed to be a lollapalooza, with personalized experiences for young and old alike. Every detail matters. When he was still around, Walt Disney himself greeted guests. Today, company leaders walk the parks, interact with guests, and pay close attention to customers’ reactions to new rides. The execs are out among the people instead of tucking themselves away in a building far from the park. Each employee shares a unifying purpose.
Your challenge is to create your own lollapalooza brand. If you want to be like Disney, you have to act like Disney. Teams can create lollapalooza experiences for each customer by providing a personal touch. This requires teaching agents to truly know their customers and do their homework.
Make it a part of your brokerage’s culture for agents to take the time to learn about each client. One of my favorite tools is simple, but it’s incredibly effective in allowing agents to create a refined, highly personalized experience. It just requires a visit to the client’s current home. Agents ask clients to walk them around and describe everything they like about their current home and everything they want to change when they move to their next one.
Another strategy is teaching your agents to tour each prospective home before they show it to customers, whenever possible. It seems embarrassing to me when real estate pros are seeing the home for the first time along with potential buyers. A lollapalooza experience, on the other hand, is one where the agent screens the home first and demonstrates how each room and feature lines up with what their client desires in a new home. This shows that they respect the client’s time and want to make every home worth the visit.
And sometimes it’s the little things. Teach sales associates to bring boxed lunches and a cooler of water for the long days in the car. It’s not just a gimmick. For your clients, it’s magic.
Finally, the experience shouldn’t end at the closing table. Disneyland-level team members work tirelessly to make every minute magical. Celebrate the signing. Instead of just passing the keys across the table, agents should meet owners at their new home and make it an extraordinary event. Agents can have a ribbon on the door and present them with a welcome package that includes everything they need to know about the community. Make it simple for them to set up utilities or manage other details that will help ease the client’s transition. Make it lollapalooza. They will feel extraordinary and your agent will have earned their loyalty (and, hopefully, referrals).
Paying attention to customers and details will turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Your teams will build a brand that makes each client’s home feel like the happiest place on earth—and that is true lollapalooza.