If you want to lead, your customers will expect speed

One of the most important aspects of the customer experience is creating speed and flexibility. With the pace of today’s society, you and your employees must continue to innovate to stay relevant in the marketplace.
Here are my top four reasons why speed is so important for your customer.
Outpace your competition
The best way to compete in business is to be the first company to create something new in your industry.
For instance, Schottenstein Real Estate Group was the first in Central Ohio to have clubhouses as part of our rental community back in the 1960s. After we began building clubhouses in every community, we started adding amenities, such as resort pools, gyms, community gardens, dog parks, bocce ball, pickle ball, game rooms, lounges and more. We also had the first planned unit development zoning in Central Ohio and were the first to add services such as month-to-month leases, satisfaction guarantee warranties and allowing pets in our communities.
When you start to see your competition follow you, it’s time to begin to think of new innovative ideas to continue to be at the top of the market.
Your customers expect speed
Think about how much the phone has evolved year after year. Customers want the same experience in other industries.
We continue to update finishes and amenities in every new development we build. We are in the process of creating online applications where someone can apply easily in very little time. We also have free wireless internet throughout some of our communities, so residents can experience ease of access, whether they are by the pool or in their living room.
We want our residents to have an easy way to apply and easy way of living once they’ve moved in. This helps differentiate our company from other developers.
Train your employees for speedy responses
We instill the belief in our employees that quick response time is crucial, whether it’s on social media, over the phone or in person. Our employees will call prospects back, even if they don’t leave a voicemail, and always follow up within 24 hours.
Flexibility is the key
All of our leases automatically go to month to month after their term is up, and all we need is a 30-day notice when someone wants to move out. This gives the resident complete flexibility and is unlike many other companies.

We also have a satisfaction guarantee warranty. This policy states if for any reason you ever feel we are not complying with your lease or meeting your expectations, we will allow a resident out of their lease with no penalty if we can’t fix the issue. This is another way to show how our customers come first, and you need to make sure you’re doing the same in your business.

Brian Schottenstein is the president of Schottenstein Real Estate Group, one of the largest developer/builders in the Midwest, focusing on residential and mixed-use developments throughout the Midwest and Southeast. It also is the only three-time Developer of the Year named by the Building Industry Association.