Blog > Books for Real Estate Agents: Review of "Be Our Guest"

Books for Real Estate Agents: Review of "Be Our Guest"

by Pure RealtyApril 30, 2020

To help our agents as much as possible, we want to share with them resources that can improve the many facets of their business. There are numerous lists about books for real estate agents. Not only do we want to share books, but also give more insight on how they can help.

Today we’re diving into Be Our Guest by Theodore B. Kinni from the Disney Institute. This is a good book for real estate agents because it focuses on quality customer service and being innovative in your work ethic.

Front cover of the book, "Be Our Guest" from the Disney Institute.

Customer Service

Real estate is all about customer service. It is a service that assists consumers with major decisions. It’s about delivering on (and exceeding) expectations, supporting people in stressful situations, and building strong, trusting relationships with strangers.

To improve customer service skills, the book introduces a unique philosophy that Disney calls “guestology.” It’s about looking beyond the basics of the trade and focusing on clients as people. Not transactions.

A real estate agent helps a young couple with a home transaction.

Things like empathy, reading a room, nonverbal cues, and human nature are not always intuitive. They are critical, however, to excellent service. One thing that makes this so helpful as a book for agents is that it helps you actually take action on the advice. Here’s an example.

Disney has a phrase called “bumping the lamp.” It’s basically Disney-speak for “strong attention to detail.” The expression came about when animators made sure that, when a lamp in an animated film was bumped, the shadows danced across the characters’ faces. Just like real life.

The message is to pay close attention to detail. Incremental improvements lead to major leaps in client satisfaction.

So, how can you make the shadows the dance when you bump the lamp?

Think about your day-to-day process and how you can improve them. Think about past mistakes you’ve made because you glanced over something. Write all these down, and make a second list on how to avoid them or improve them. Here’s an example from the marketing director at Pure:

  • Triple check your work.
  • Redo what isn’t perfect; don’t assume they won’t see it (even if they won’t).
  • Send summary reports after every meeting.
  • Set check-in reminders for three days after an agent service.
  • Respond to every email within 24 business hours, even if it’s just to say I got the email.
  • Request confirmation of receipt for clear communication.
  • Ask about my performance: “How can I do better?”
  • Prepare for every meeting with a 30 min. time block beforehand .
  • Set clear expectations from the very beginning by explaining skills, billing, timelines, etc. both verbally and via email.

Innovate Your Work

While keep customers happy is critical, there is more to a real estate agent’s job than customer service. The second great attribute of this book for agents is that it can help with work flow and work ethic.

It’s not the sole focus of the book, but readers will find several great tips to mull over. Here’s a good example.

There are four great questions the book poses throughout that can help real estate agents simply work better:

What is my success formula?

A “success formula” is essentially which skills, actions, and circumstances create the best results for you? Find this by assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Then, find how you can make those actionable. Most importantly, you have to know the goal you’re trying to reach. What is success?

What common purpose do my clients and I share?

Another good way to look at this may be the question from above: what is success? This may be different for each client. Consider what goal the two of you are working toward. On the base level, it is likely “to sell a house” or “buy a house.” Find that, and then dig deeper. “Selling a house” for a client can mean closing a chapter of their life and moving on to something better. For them it’s a new home in a new place, full of excitement and potential. For you, it’s the joy of creating that excitement and life potential.

Excitement, the potential adventures, and the joy of a fresh chapter are your common purposes. Tap into that, and you will feel invigorated.

What kind of energy do I want to create?

People are drawn to people like themselves. This is where personal branding really comes into play. What do you value? How do you communicate that? How do the way you dress and the posts you share on Facebook support or hurt that communication?

Be conscious of your message. Good vibes only!

What are my strengths and how can I wield them in this role?

Again, going back to the first questions about success formulas. What are your strengths and weaknesses? It’s a basic job interview question, so the answers may come easily. But how do those strengths actualize themselves in the day-to-day?

For example, if one of your strengths is “discipline,” how are you showing discipline daily as an agent? Are you time blocking, following your check-in timelines, patiently waiting for market shifts, following up on contract reviews? Are these tasks written down, your calendar blocked out?

It seems small, but you may find that you’re not using your strengths to their fullest potential.

Does Be Our Guest sound helpful to you?

If you’d like to give this book a go, you can order it on Amazon here.

Check back periodically for more reviews on books for real estate agents. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to stay up-to-date on the latest from Pure Realty!

About Pure Realty

With each closed transaction, Pure Realty agents donate to an organization that aids in the effort to provide clean water to impoverished children and families around the world. Pure Realty matches 100% of agent donations.

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Molly McKenna

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