Today’s housing market is continually being stretched to match buyers and sellers, adapt to the frequently changing tax credits and mortgage regulations, and cope with falling home values. The role of the real estate agent is always one of service, but can be put to even more of a test in a flagging market. Real Living and GMAC hope to step to the forefront of the real estate market with a merger that aims to provide high levels of customer service to a female target audience.
Real Living and GMAC will rebrand under the Real Living name, with offices across the country. Real Living will focus on female customers, with plans for an exceptional customer service experience, by taking advantage of the services already offered by GMAC.
GMAC uses a customer satisfaction survey, GMAC Premier Service, to follow up with customers and attempt to stay connected through all steps of the home buying process. As Real Living merges with GMAC, Real Living will adopt the Premier Service program into its customer service efforts.
Kaira Sturdivant Rouda, the founder of Real Living, says the merger with GMAC Real Estate will provide Real Living an opportunity to extend across a network that understands customer service. Rouda says that Real Living wasn’t organized as GMAC at customer service and they look forward to extending that across Real Living.
Real estate agents must also compete or learn to work with new technologies that their customers will almost certainly be using. Rouda says that today’s consumers spend a lot of time online researching their communities, looking for homes and exploring neighborhoods before even contacting a real estate agent. Real Living provides a tool called My Real Living 2.0 that allows customers to register, research, share photos and contacts, keep a calendar, track events, and maintain communication with an agent. Instead of the agent chasing down a potential client, the consumer will decide when they want to be contacted by an agent, and reach out through the My Real Living tool.
According to Rouda, this tool is a consumer portal that helps provide a two-way dialog between the consumer and the agent. “We want to make sure customers are empowered to go through home buying process the way they want to,” Rouda says.
Real Living was founded in 2002. The merger of GMAC and Real Living comes after Brookfield Residential Property Services acquired Real Living Network Services, a subsidiary of Real Living Inc., and as a result will now rebrand GMAC Real Estate as Real Living.
For more information on the merger of Real Living and GMAC visit www.realliving.com.