If we could design a customer journey. A Customer journey every homeowner would want to participate in. Would it be worth 2 minutes of your estate agents time to ensure the development of such an elusive customer journey? 

On one hand GDPR is a massive intrusion on customer relationships due to how GDPR limits and restricts communication. On the other hand GDPR forces estate agencies to check in with the customers and actually get to know their needs and wants thus their requirements to stay loyal. 

“According to Per Vinje most estate agencies would benefit massively by gathering individual consent from each and every customer. Such an effort would clear the way to increase customer retention and develop brand ambassadors.”

GDPR is an agreement between the estate agency and its customers on their relationship before, during and after a sale. This relationship has at its core, different consents provided by the customer and to the estate agency. Each communicative action the agency wishes to do towards the customer, is regulated by different forms of consent. Great and valuable agencies have every consent they need, other agencies don’t 

Arvid Madland Lyngnes
GDPR is based upon consent. Consent given, is based upon the customers needs and wants. How does the average estate agent and agency get these golden tickets?

The written consents we have gotten our hands on have been somewhat limited. The general consent allowed the agency to keep fiscal data. Some consents give the agency an opportunity to do some “light” marketing outreach. The most common is some sort of future service. In general marketing consents for estate agencies leaves a lot to be desired.

Web Pages are much the same. If you register the general consent is about newsletters, invitations to events, offers and customized ads. So far we haven’t encountered even one page asking to do a follow up. A follow up to clarify actual needs and wants. 

Our first “real” point of contact with any agents are in most cases at an open house event. We get to opt in/out for a follow up on the listing at hand and a request for future digital marketing. Again, the follow up, the clarification on needs and wants is rarely present.

“Mistakes has a tendency to follow mistakes. The great mistake with GDPR, from an agency perspective was to develop GDPR routines from fear. This fear is now excluding the majority of former clients, from almost every agency out there, from the customer journey they actually wanted”
My very personal view on GDPR as an opportunity, not a threat

GDPR entered the marketing equation in a period where digital marketing went from fast to warp speed. Knowing how the customer journey would be in a month is difficult, knowing how to do it in 2-3 years time, is imposible. While the EU, lawyers and anyone who saw GDPR as a victory or cash cow did their best to frighten anyone who would listen. And they won. Today there are next to no estate agency, estate agent or franchise who can realize the financial windfall inside their own customer data. GDPR were pulled down their neck and tied their hands behind their back. And as a consequence they are rarely if ever allowed to communicate to former customers leaving great and loyal customers up for grabs

So, is GDPR nothing more than a lost opportunity?

The EU gave every estate agent and agency every incentiv to develop a great routine for clarifying each customer and prospects needs and wants. They didn’t. Instead most agent’s and agencies insisted in any future communication will be “my way or the high way.” This has negative effects for everyone involved. The estate agents and agencies looses sales and income. The customers looses a trusted advisor.

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