It’s essential to know whether or not your clients are happy, but it can also be challenging to measure. What one person likes another person might not—so how can you tell, for sure, if your clients are happy or not? This is where Net Promoter Score or NPS comes in. NPS is a handy tool for definitively measuring customer satisfaction. We wrote the Realtor’s guide to NPS to help you make the most of this tool.

What is NPS?

First off, what is NPS? NPS is a tool to measure and average out customer sentiment using a numbered scale. It was developed by Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, Inc., and Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and is now used by thousands of businesses worldwide, including many individual Realtors and large real estate businesses.

NPS uses the question “how likely is it that you would recommend our company?” and measures responses on a scale of zero (not likely at all) to ten (very likely). The total NPS is derived from Promoters (those who answered with a 9 or 10) and Detractors (those who answered between zero and six) using the following equation:

Net Promoter Score = % of Promoters – % of Detractors

% of Promoters = # of Promoters / Total Respondents

% of Detractors = # of Detractors / Total Respondents

Your NPS score may be anywhere between -100 and 100. NPS score can actually be a negative number if you have more detractors than promoters.


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How to Get Your NPS Score: A Guide for Realtors

The first step in the Realtor’s guide to NPS is to get your NPS score. To do this, you’ll need to submit an NPS survey to your previous clients and customers. Use the question “how likely is it that you would recommend me/my business to friends and family?” and provide a numeric scale answer between 0 and 10. You might use emojis or text description (“not likely at all” to “very likely”) to help. A single, simple follow-up question like “why did you give that score?” or “what stands out to you about our business?” can help you derive more insights.

Creating and Sending an NPS Survey

You can design an NPS survey yourself and send it to your previous clients, or you can use NPS software tools to help. These tools make it easy to design an effective NPS survey in a few clicks, and send it to your mailing lists. Email is the most popular way to send these surveys, though you might also consider snail mail, text messages, or even social media messages, depending on your clients’ preferred communication method.

Measuring NPS Accurately

NPS can be a very helpful tool in gauging your customers’ satisfaction, but there are some caveats. It’s important to measure NPS accurately. For example, if you have fewer than 30 responses, outliers can throw off your results significantly.

Be aware of who you’re asking and how. If you’re only sending surveys to clients who completed a home purchase or sale with you, you might not be getting the full scope. Though it can be difficult to hear criticism from unhappy clients, try to reach out to previous clients who didn’t complete a purchase. Some may have simply walked away because they weren’t ready for home ownership or sale, or they may have had unrealistic expectations. However, some clients may have important insights about something that went wrong during the real estate sale or purchase process.

Calculating Your NPS Score: What Does It Mean?

Once you have your responses and you’ve calculated your NPS score, what should you do with it? What does it mean? How can you use it?

NPS By Industry

NPS is a somewhat relative measure of customer satisfaction. By their nature, some industries will have lower or higher NPS scores. For example, the insurance industry has a fairly low average NPS benchmarks. This might be because insurance is built for problems and disasters, such as car accidents and health problems. However, online shopping and e-commerce retailers tend to have high NPS benchmarks. This could be because, unless there’s a serious problem, online shopping is generally less stressful and more fun, so customers are more likely to give higher scores.

Company size can also make a difference. Industries dominated by a handful of very large companies, such as airlines and internet services providers, consistently have very low NPS scores. This means it’s important to compare your NPS to other real estate businesses of relative size.

What Does Your NPS Score Mean?

Though NPS is somewhat relative, there are a few concrete conclusions you can derive from your score.

Negative scores mean you have more unhappy clients than happy ones. This isn’t sustainable for business, and you should work to improve your NPS score—and your clients’ experiences—immediately.

A low positive score means that your number of happy and unhappy clients is nearly equal. This is where a follow-up question like “why did you give that score?” can be helpful. Take a look at these responses and see what customers are saying. What are they unhappy about? Is this fixable?

A high number of passive responses (those who answered with a 7 or 8) can also show where your process can be improved, even if your NPS score is positive. This means your customers aren’t unhappy, but they’re not likely to remember or recommend you, either. Look at the responses to your follow-up question and see where you can improve.

A high positive score, generally 30 or higher, means that your clients are not just happy, but they’re impressed with your work. Take a look at the responses to follow-up questions to see what you’re doing that is wowing your clients, so you know what works.

How to Use Your NPS Score

Your NPS score is an indicator. Gathering your NPS score is only the first step in a greater customer experience improvement process. Once you have this number, you’ll know what to do next, and you’ll have a benchmark for continuous improvement.

If your NPS score is close to zero or it’s negative, you know that it’s time to take a hard look at your process and see where you can make improvements. If you didn’t include a follow-up question in your survey, or you didn’t get much of a response, try sending another, more in-depth survey after some time passes. Use the right feedback questions to see where you can improve.

Keep track of your NPS score and compare it year over year, or whatever interval is helpful for you. This quantitative metric makes it easy to see how you’ve improved over time and whether or not your strategies for improving your customer service and experience are working.


Realtor's Referral Marketing Playbook

Get the tools you need to wow clients, gather praise, and generate leads. Download the Realtor’s Referral Marketing Playbook


Now that you know how to use NPS as a Realtor and what it means, you should have an easier time measuring and improving your customer experience. Keep in mind that this number is only a benchmark and an indicator; you’ll need follow-up questions and an action plan to make your experience with customers better.

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