What’s the Best Way to Build Marketshare? Make Your Clients Happy.

I was asked to speak on a panel this week at the RIS Social Media Summit in New York, with several other brokers about how to generate marketshare in a competitive market. It was a great panel, moderated by the peerless Allan Dalton of RIS Media and Top 5 In Real Estate, and I tried to make the argument that the best way to generate greater marketshare is to do something simple: provide a better experience for your clients.

My point was to try to get away from the three traditional methods of building marketshare, all of which were adequately covered by other panelists: (1) build a bigger army by recruiting or acquisition; (2) build a better army through agent development and training; and (3) generate more clients directly through company initiatives and programs.

And it’s not as if my company hasn’t been doing those things.  We’ve had some of the biggest acquisitions in our history in the last year, and a few of the most productive recruiting results (we just recruited one of the top agents in Orange County this week).  Moreover, we’ve run a few really innovative programs to attract clients, including the Home Buyer Tax Credit site we put up in January. As a result, our marketshare has gone up, probably by about 20% across the region.

Nevertheless, though, I think that the strongest way to build marketshare is simply by doing a better job for your clients, which requires a focus on actually improving the client experience and agent competence. I’ve been beating this drum for over a year, in my own company and on this blog, but I’m amazed to the extent that the training industry in real estate simply ignores the fundamental issue of client experience.  Training is all about lead generation, and not what you do when you actually attract a client.

That seems backward to me.  If you do a great job with that client, that client is going to work with you again in the future.  That might not do much in the next few years, since most clients wait 6-7 years between transactions, but in the meantime that client is going to refer you business.  And write about you online. And be a great reference.  All those things will do more to generate new business (and marketshare) than a fancy personal ad campaign or a prospecting plan.

I firmly believe that the best companies in the next ten years are going to emerge because they simply do a better job for their clients.  But I don’t see anyone scampering to take that hill right now.