by REP


So, you think you’re a great service provider? You always make sure you smile and have a pleasant demeanour. A friendly disposition and a smile are certainly important; however, in today’s competitive market, a smile is just not enough. The way we treat our clients is emerging as a critical differentiator for realtors and can provide a competitive advantage.
Today’s clients are savvy, less loyal and more demanding. They realize they have a choice and that you are not the only realtor to choose from. Additionally, client awareness around service standards also has increased. Good, ordinary and average are simply not good enough. It’s about providing an experience for your client that makes them want to come back, as opposed to being forced or compelled to come back.
So, what is service excellence? Exceptional client service is about going beyond what is realistically expected. It’s about surprising – and often delighting – your clients, turning them into enthusiastic referral sources who will stick with you not only because you do great work, but because of the value you bring.
As a realtor, imagine if you could get existing clients to tell others about the value you offer.
The beauty of word-of-mouth referrals is that they save on marketing costs, cold-calling and the time it takes to network. Great service is not just doing your job, but establishing an emotional connection with your clients. It’s about value adding and finding ways to be unique. It’s about getting to know them and being heartfelt. Research suggests that emotion influences purchasing decisions six times as much as rationale. So, if something or someone makes us feel good, we are more inclined to buy.
Remember, people do business with people they like. Unfortunately, many businesses believe that delivering exceptional service will cost them too much in staff time, training or developing service standards and procedures. These in-focused organizations are only concerned with company profit and cutting costs, and give little thought to how to keep clients happy.
Additionally, in these organizations, staff recognition and retention is low, which significantly impacts growth and profit. Training yourself or your team on how to deliver standout service is an investment that will reap significant personal satisfaction and reward.
Realistically, bad service is actually more costly to your firm than the time taken to provide great service. Poor service influences more than just a negative customer experience – it reduces revenue and drives up costs. It damages public perception, credibility and market reputation. As we all know, a dissatisfied client is more likely to spread the word about a poor service experience than a positive one. Nowadays, unhappy clients will take to social media platforms to broadcast their disappointment. From a client’s perspective, it’s the little promises you keep that matter most. Returning a phone call, providing information or simply getting to know them on a personal basis can significantly impact the relationship.
Providing great service is really about consistency, and realistically, that’s not too difficult for you or your team to achieve. For leaders, it is vital to communicate clearly to your employees the service behaviours that are expected with both internal and external clients. Explain to your team why service excellence matters, not only for the company or client, but also for the personal satisfaction experienced in making others feel valued.
So, what are some simple things you can do to enhance service excellence?
• Be responsive
Speed is everything, so try to reply to your clients as soon as you can and keep them in the loop and informed. Procrastination doesn’t help anyone, and you’re going to have to respond sooner or later. May as well do it now!
• Take time to listen
Avoid speaking, and really listen to what they’re saying. It’s important you understand what your clients are communicating to you. That way, you will be able to successfully meet their needs and provide the right solution.
• Do what you say you’re going to do
One of the biggest gripes in business today is that people simply don’t do what they say they’re going to do. If you say you’re going to do something, then do it! It enhances your professionalism and personal brand, and demonstrates you value your client.
• Know your stuff
Your client’s perception is that you are the paid expert. That’s why they’ve come to you to handle their real estate. So be sure to keep your skills up to date, and be on top of the game in your profession. Unfortunately, if you convey a lack of knowledge, then you risk ruining your credibility.
• Give a little
If a client asks you to do something that really won’t cost you a lot in time or money, then treat it as an opportunity to go the extra mile. By doing so, you not only have a contented and indebted client, but also someone who is more than happy to refer to you.
Finally, within the real estate industry, realtors really should view their book of clients as their most valuable asset and develop a plan around taking good care of them. Most important, develop long-lasting personal relationships by keeping in touch regularly, both in good times and in bad. As realtors, you’re not just selling a product, but providing expert advice that can significantly impact people’s livelihood and circumstances. So, if you haven’t given much thought to your service levels, then perhaps it’s time to conduct an audit. Remember, if you don’t bother to make the client feel valued, respected and important, then you can be sure your competitors will!
This is a slightly amended version of an article written by Nikki Heald, managing director of Corptraining. It has been shortened to make it suitable for web publishing.

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As you can see, there’s a lot of value you can get from talking to me as your REALTOR®. Call me today --604.644.1044  Alisa Sakamoto 

I just finished uploading this Townhouse for sale, 206 8600 WESTMINSTER HIGHWAY, Brighouse, Richmond, BC

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Welcome to EMERALD TERRACE conveniently located in central Richmond close to the Canada Line, transit, Richmond Center, Grocery Shopping & Restaurants. Move in or buy as an investment! This bright & spacious SOUTHEAST facing END UNIT townhome is QUIET - situated at the back of the complex away from Westminster Hwy. Enjoy 1094 SF of living space on 2 storeys with 2 bdrms & 2 FULL baths â bdrms are separated for extra privacy! Upgraded w/ laminate flooring, tiles, paint & a brand new hot water tank. Enjoy your covered deck off the dining room â perfect for BBQâs & your private fully fenced in yard off your master bedroom â great for pets or gardening! SINGLE CAR GARAGE and TONS of parking. Rentals & Pets allowed. Donât miss this! Open House June 25/26 2-4pm



Next to a major kitchen renovation, replacing appliances is the most expensive way to upgrade the space. So if you’re purchasing a new refrigerator, stove or dishwasher in order to make your home more attractive to buyers, you want to make wise purchasing decisions.

The most important consideration is how the appliances will look in the kitchen. Ideally, they should match in colour and style. They should also be the right size for the space. The last thing you want is a fridge that’s so large it dominates the room, or a stove that’s a completely different style and looks out-of-place.

Appearance is important, but so are the features. Buyers viewing your home will scrutinize the appliances. They’ll notice if the fridge has a cold water and ice dispenser. They’ll ask if the dishwasher has noise-reduction features. Double ovens and quick-heating burners (which are now available on electric stoves) will also get a buyer’s attention.

Power consumption is also a big issue these days. Increasingly, buyers are interested in the energy efficient features of a home — appliances included. So, as your REALTOR® I would point out appliances with energy-saving features, such as a dishwasher with a slow-run cycle that saves power.

Kitchen appliances may seem minor compared to the overall appeal of your property, but they do make a difference. Purchase wisely! 

As you can see, there’s a lot of marketing strategy you can get from talking to me as your REALTOR®. Call me today --604.644.1044  Alisa Sakamoto 

When is the best time to meet with a REALTOR® like me? Chances are, you would say, “When I’m thinking of buying or selling a home.” You’d be right, of course!


However, there are many other good reasons to meet with me. Here are just a few:

         • You want a professional opinion as to the current value of your property, so you know what it would likely sell for in today’s market.

         • You notice a home listed for sale in a desirable neighbourhood, and you’re interested in learning more — even if you’re unsure you want to make a move.

         • You’re thinking of moving within the next couple of years, and you want to find a REALTOR® like me, that you can get to know and trust.

         • You want some recommendations for preparing your home for sale and especially determining what repairs and other work needs to be done.

         • You want an honest assessment as to the state of the local market, and the best time for you to buy or sell.

         • You have real estate-related questions and you want to talk to an expert who knows the local market well and can provide you with answers.

As you can see, there’s a lot of value you can get from talking to me as your REALTOR®. Call me today --604.644.1044  Alisa Sakamoto 

VANCOUVER, BC – June 2, 2016 – Metro Vancouver* homes continue to sell at an unprecedented rate in communities across the region.

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Residential property sales on the region's Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) totalled 4,769 in May 2016, an increase of 17.6 per cent from the 4,056 sales recorded in May 2015 and a decrease of 0.3 per cent compared to April 2016 when 4,781 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 35.3 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the highest sales total on record for May.

"Home sellers are becoming more active in recent months, although that activity is being outpaced by home buyer demand today," Dan Morrison, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 6,289 in May 2016. This represents an increase of 11.5 per cent compared to the 5,641 units listed in May 2015 and a 2.6 per cent increase compared to April 2016 when 6,127 properties were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,726, a 37.3 per cent decline compared to May 2015 (12,336) and a 2.3 per cent increase compared to April 2016 (7,550).

"Economic and job growth in Metro Vancouver is out performing most regions in the country. This is helping to underpin today’s activity," Morrison said.

The sales-to-active listings ratio for May 2016 is 61.7 per cent. This is indicative of a seller’s market.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $889,100. This represents a 29.7 per cent increase compared to May 2015.

Sales of detached properties in May 2016 reached 1,865, an increase of 8.2 per cent from the 1,723 detached sales recorded in May 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 36.9 per cent from May 2015 to $1,513,800.

Sales of apartment properties reached 2,150 in May 2016, an increase of 34.4 per cent compared to the 1,600 sales in May 2015. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 22.3 per cent from May 2015 to $485,000.

Attached property sales in May 2016 totalled 754, an increase of 2.9 per cent compared to the 733 sales in May 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 24.9 per cent from May 2015 to $632,400.

*Editor’s Note: Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.

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