(MC / Host: Kiyohiko Watanabe)
An example of an interior proposal that attracts high-end customers
We differentiate ourselves from other companies by providing information with interior proposals.
━━ Startline Inc. acts as an agent for real estate in Tokyo, mainly in Chuo-ku, Minato-ku, Koto-ku, and Chiyoda-ku.
Mr.Arakawa, Deputy General Manager of Corporate Sales Division, Startline Inc.：Yes, we introduce a large number of rental properties in the Wangan area. Many of our customers work for top companies or have their own business, so they tend to require a high quality of living.
Mr. Saito, Sales Division, Startline Inc.：In fact, we receive various kinds of questions from our customers when viewing a property. In addition to the content of the lease agreement, building performance, and features, they ask us about interior fittings and home appliances.
━━ Customers nowadays consider properties while imagining the interior fittings, even at the time of viewing.
Mr. Saito：As every customer has their own strong insights and broad life experience, they are not satisfied with shallow answers. Although we work hard to gain knowledge, to be honest, we sometimes feel our knowledge is insufficient.
Mr. Arakawa：At a time like this, we introduce May’s to our customers, saying, “We know this type of interior professional who can give you advice.”
May’s Sales rep.：We are grateful for that. Thanks to your cooperation, last year we received the largest number of referrals out of the past few years.
Mr. Arakawa：We also feel that we can differentiate ourselves from other companies by providing our customers with property information, including consultations about furniture and home appliances. From now on, we would like to further increase our customer closing rate through the greater introduction of properties with interior proposals.
An experienced coordinator profiles a customer’s request.
━━ Was the customer in this case also highly interested in the interior?
Mr. Saito：First of all, when I asked the customer about his request, he had various detailed images in his mind. I first noted down and organized them by drawing the requested pieces of furniture in a floor plan.
May’s Interior decorator： The materials that Mr. S gave me were really helpful for planning!
Mr. Saito：Because I also wanted to do as much as I could for our customer.
May’s Interior decorator：Especially, it was a case where the customer was living abroad and wanted to find somewhere to live on returning to Japan.
Mr. Saito：Since he was living in a furnished apartment at that time, he was not going to have any furniture after returning to Japan, so he wanted a set of furniture as well. He originally asked for “home appliances” too but later decided that “I would like to choose them myself after all.”
━━ Does your coordination service cover home appliances as well as furniture?
May’s Interior decorator：Yes, that is often the case with a customer returning from another country, like in this case. We first look at the inside of the property and measure the spaces for household appliances and furniture. We then check the status of the doors and corridor to see if we can bring an item into the room before choosing home appliances and furniture and including them in the plan.
━━ How did you proceed with the planning in this case?
May’s Interior decorator：After Mr. S gave me the information on the customer’s budget and required items, I went to view the property and had a discussion with Mr. S. This was when you told me that “cool interior” was one of the keywords mentioned by the customer.
Mr. Saito：That’s right. It was a phrase that the customer mentioned several times.
May’s Interior decorator： Based on information such as the customer’s age, the fact that he would be living alone, his overseas experience, occupation, and so on, I set the direction by imagining that “he might like this kind of thing” and organized the plan accordingly.
━━ If you can meet with the customer face-to-face, you are able to understand his requests straight away, but then profiling work is also required at that time.
May’s Interior decorator：Especially in the case of coordinating a rental property, the timing of the move is decided, often with a tight schedule, and customers are busy with work. I am used to this way of working, but still, the materials that Mr. S prepared helped me.
━━ Then, do you present your first plan to use it as the “draft” of the proposal at the meeting with the customer?
May’s Interior decorator：Exactly. A lot of customers say that “I can’t make a judgment without any specific information.” Of course, we often prepare several different options depending on the customer’s request.
May’s Sales rep.： I was amazed at the number of email exchanges from then. It took about a month and a half to hand everything over after we received the request, but there were over 60 emails exchanged, and those are only the ones I am aware of.
May’s Interior decorator：Once we have presented a specific plan, the customer then begins to consider the details. In addition, since I want the customer to be satisfied with the choice of each item, such as the furniture, curtains, rugs etc., I checked the customer’s wish in relation to each item.
━━ Could you give me an example?
May’s Interior decorator：How about the spacing between the pieces of arranged furniture, the pile depth of the rug, the cleanliness after arranging the furniture, or the color shades of each piece of furniture and fabric…?
━━ That is very precise, indeed.
May’s Interior decorator：But it is about the place where the customer spends every day. Even a small sense of strangeness can lead to great stress. Even if it takes some time, I aim to eliminate the gap between the customer’s image and our proposal as much as possible at the planning stage.
It is essential to meet the delivery date, budget, and requests.
Provision of services with no complaints
━━ How was the customer’s feedback after moving in?
Mr. Saito：I paid a visit two weeks after he moved in. I was relieved that he seemed to like it.
May’s Sales rep.：He decided to only lease a bed as he stated, “I want to lease one until I can choose something I like.”
━━ It is good that you offer the option of leasing an item, instead of purchasing a temporary one just for the time being.
May’s Sales rep.：I consider that to be our company’s unique proposal.
May’s Interior decorator： We often receive inquiries about curtains, such as what kind of curtains customers should buy to match their existing furniture. There are many cases of curtains being the wrong size when they are brought from a customer’s previous house.
Mr. Saito：As a sales representative from the agent, I am also asked about curtains at the time of viewing, but I do not want to make any mistakes, so May’s helps me by dealing with everything, including the measurement.
May’s Sales rep.：There are lots of special properties nowadays; for example, where the opening is curved, or the height of the opening is 2 meters. We sometimes have a sewing expert who will take measurements when we have a slightly different property.
━━ You truly deal with the situation in detail.
May’s Interior decorator：I think it is very important to pay attention to detail to avoid mistakes, in addition to the content of the coordination. Since we deal with many leasing and rental cases, it is essential to fulfill the requirements of the budget, delivery date, and requests. In addition to this, we aim to satisfy our customers and make them pleased.
Mr. Arakawa：We can gain a sense of security from May’s because of this approach.
May’s Interior decorator：We can offer a proposal with a reduced cost if it is for end-of-lease products. We are able to respond to a variety of requests, so please feel free to consult with us.
Planner: PR agency, Inc.