Relocation Spotlight: Greenwood King Properties
Being an active listener and communicating with purpose can go a long way in helping relocation clients feel more comfortable about the process.
This is something that Reneé Eads understands very well, and strongly promotes within her role as vice president of global services, referrals and relocation for Greenwood King Properties.
During a recent interview, she discussed the ways that she and her agents work together and openly communicate to best serve the needs of their relocation clients.
Following are excerpts from our conversation:
MS: What do you mean when you talk about active listening and communicating with purpose?
RE: On the buying side, there are many moving pieces, because the client is probably also listing a home where they are coming from. So, we have to give them as much information as possible, and actively listen to them. That means listening between the lines and actually hearing what they are saying.
When we communicate back to them, we have to communicate back with purpose, and give them information, and follow up with emails.
Communication has to be with both partners or all of the decision-makers. So, we need to know who is moving with them, which could be children, parents, grandparents, and pets. We have to listen and really be their advocate here in Houston.
MS: How do you and your agents work together to better understand what your relocation clients are looking for in both a community and home in Houston?
RE: Either our relocation manager or I will make the initial phone call to the client and do a needs assessment. Then, we give that information to the assigned agent, who reiterates that information back to the client. This is because things change sometimes after our initial call.
We listen for certain things that the client wants to have close at hand. It could be that they love going out to dinner and are huge foodies, or they could be into football or baseball. Whatever that special interest is, we have to be proactive and share information with them about what we have in Houston, so that they don’t have to look for it.
MS: How do you determine which agent will be the best fit for a relocation client?
RE: We are kind of like match.com for relocation. I think everyone says that, but it’s true. This goes back to the importance of active listening and communicating with purpose. We listen to the client, and select the agent based on where the client will be looking for properties, as well as some information that the client shares with us about their lifestyle and interests. So, the agent selection is made on that basis, along with trying to match personalities and interests.
MS: What would you like your clients to know about the commitment of your company and Relocation Department in serving the specific needs of people who are relocating?
RE: There are two of us in our department, and we are both CRPs (Certified Relocation Professionals), which is a very big deal.
Having the CRP is a commitment for us, not only on the personal level, but on the broker level for our company, because they see the value.
We partner with the RMCs (relocation management companies), and we are taken seriously because of it. This is a profession, and we really care about our customers and clients, because we are all each other’s client in one way or another in that partnership.
MS: How do you keep your agents informed about the latest trends impacting your relocation clients?
RE: We provide frequent training to our agents. This is done on a one-on-one level, and in a classroom setting. Our agents also go to conferences when that is available to them. Experience is the best teacher, but we also encourage our agents to come and talk to us anytime and ask questions.
MS: I know how important that training can be when representing relocation sellers. Can you discuss some of the main benefits for those clients?
RE: We are really blessed at our company, because most of our agents are very relocation savvy. They partner with us as a department, and they understand the relocation process and what is needed and required. They also can help explain what will happen during each step of the process to the transferee. So, having an agent who is an advocate for the transferee, and can help them understand the process, and why they have to fill out certain paperwork to get their home listed and sold, is a big deal.
Michelle Sandlin is an award-winning writer, journalist and global mobility industry expert. Follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheMichelleSandlin and on Twitter: @MichelleSandlin. Also visit “On the Move” at blog.chron.com/onthemove.