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  • INTERNATIONAL JOURNALS OF ACADEMICS & RESEARCH ISSN: 2617-4138 IJARKE Business & Management Journal DOI: 10.32898/ibmj.01/2.1article05

    www.ijarke.com

    45 IJARKE PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL Vol. 2, Issue 1 Aug. – Oct. 2019

    Effects of Service Quality Dimensions on Customer Satisfaction in Real

    Estate Industry in Kenya

    Safari Irene Sanita, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology, Kenya

    Dr. Benedict Mutuku, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology, Kenya

    1. Introduction

    Real estate can be defined or described as land, improvements and buildings thereon, including attached items and growing

    things. It is virtually the same as real property except real property includes interests which are not physical such as a right to

    acquire the property in the future (Gerald N Hill et al., 2015).Also the business of real estate; profession of buying, selling or

    renting land, buildings or housing. It is a legal term used in jurisdictions such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada,

    India, Pakistan, Africa and New Zealand. Real estate in the world is majorly developed and managed by public, private and state

    owned red chip enterprises. It is a significant feature of the economy of many developed countries in the world. The real estate

    market in the United Kingdom is the largest or second largest in Europe after Germany depending on the method of measurement

    (Morgan et al, 2014).

    For a few years, many Asian Countries have developed a keen interest on the real estate market in Europe. Many developers

    and investors from China have seen that the UK government gives support and encouragement to these projects, making London

    seem like the ideal area when looking at European markets for higher returns and strong growth. Hoping to aim for the desire and

    need of being seen as a hub for diversification and safety in the eyes of its investors, which is a successful venture considering its

    political and economic stability. Elections and other political events that occur regularly have a small impact on the legal system.

    Moreover, due to globalization, many European countries in the world are pushing the boundaries by adapting to the latest

    technological advances. Virtual reality, which is more prominent in videogames, has been accommodated by real estate listing

    portals to highlight the possibility of touring properties remotely (Radford et al, 2016).

    Real estate services are almost the same everywhere in the parts of the world. However, it is a matter of distinguishing the

    services provided especially with the dynamic business environment and the needs of the markets. In Europe, the real estate

    services are thriving and attract a unique way of life. Services offered include: residential real estate sales, new home and land

    marketing, short sale and foreclosure, insurance brokerage, mortgage services, moving services, consultation and development

    among others.

    Real estate sector in Kenya contributes 10.6 % of the Kenya GDP and has shown the greatest growth at 9.9 %, compared to -

    2.7 % in financial services and 30% in agriculture sector. In Kenya, the sector has consistently outperformed other asset classes in

    the, last five years, generating returns of between 25% and 30% and making it the most lucrative business to venture in with zero

    losses (KNBS, 2015). Residential units in Kenya generate an average rental yield of 5% while commercial space generates an

    average yield of over 9%. According to Cytonn Investments, the report indicates that the total return, including rental yield and

    appreciation, is in the region of 28% High Returns Recent Developments Market Outlook. The real estate sector; in and which

    INTERNATIONAL JOURNALS OF ACADEMICS & RESEARCH (IJARKE Business & Management Journal)

    Abstract

    As customers are more exposed to different types of real estate setups and experiences, they have developed a complex set of

    attitudes towards selecting better real estate firms for services and management. The general objective of this study was to

    investigate the effect of service quality dimensions on customer satisfaction in the real estate industry with a specific focus of

    the firms in Mombasa County based on the service quality dimension: RATER. Descriptive statistics was employed and data

    analyzed using SPSS. The findings indicated that majority (36%) of the respondents was between 35 and 44 years implying

    that the respondents were old enough to provide valuable responses. The study concluded it‟s clear that service

    responsiveness, service reliability, service assurance, service tangibility and service empathy greatly affect customer

    satisfaction. The study recommended that the managers in the real estate industry should ensure that there is continued and

    sustainable service quality for good returns and great performance. Employees should be able to provide quality services to

    their clients to ensure service quality and customer satisfaction. The future research may extend this study focusing on public

    sectors facilities in Kenya and multi-national real estate firms around the world.

    Key words: Service Quality Dimensions, Customer Satisfaction, Real Estate, Kenya

  • INTERNATIONAL JOURNALS OF ACADEMICS & RESEARCH ISSN: 2617-4138 IJARKE Business & Management Journal DOI: 10.32898/ibmj.01/2.1article05

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    46 IJARKE PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL Vol. 2, Issue 1 Aug. – Oct. 2019

    was previously dominated by individual developers has now seen entry of more institutional developers such as Sacco‟s, private

    equity firms and foreign institutions in major towns around the country. Rapid population growth of 4.2 % per annum (KNBS,

    2015) is creating increased demand for housing, as families grow and consumer needs change to reflect independent living. The

    demand has also been aided by the high urbanization rate of 4.4% per annum in Nairobi area and the metropolis (KNBS, 2015).

    The new middle class have created a huge opportunity for integrated housing developments and master planned communities.

    Improved infrastructural developments have opened up new development areas. These include improved roads, expanding airports

    and the standard Gauge Railway, electrification, ICT and telecommunication systems (Soko Directory, 2016). Professional agents

    in Kenya provide broad knowledge and expertise about the marketplace to streamline the home buying and leasing process

    without any hassles. The real estate market in Kenya has several successful developments in several parts of the country. The

    companies work with other developers, landowners and home builders to handle new home sales and marketing for these new

    developments.

    In Kenya, the housing demand has always outstripped supply, especially in the lower segment of the market. Developers over

    the years filled the gap in the middle to upper reaches of the sectors that are seen to be more profitable. In Nairobi, the capital and

    the largest city of Kenya, there is one of the largest expatriate communities in the continent due to its significant number of

    multinationals. The rebirth of property development in Nairobi has attracted a lot of global attention. In its 2012 Wealth Report,

    real estate companies, it has outpaced cities like Miami (19.1%), London (12.1%), Moscow (9.8%), New York (3.1%) and

    Singapore (-4.7%). According to Nairobi Property Price Rally, in 2012 both Nairobi and Mombasa were the only cities in the

    Southern hemisphere to have reported double digit property price increases, out of 71 cities surveyed in the Prime International

    Residential Index. In Kenya, Nairobi which consists of 4 out of 47 counties in Kenya, it is said that it generates up to 60% of the

    nation‟s wealth.

    Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya. Prime land in Mombasa is up for grabs as property boom like the one witnessed

    in the 1970s continues to push up home prices in the coastal town. Most sought areas in Mombasa are: island, Nyali, Bamburi,

    Shanzu and Mtwapa areas. Nyali houses some of the most expensive homes in Kenya. Shanzu is another affluent neighborhood

    right past Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort. The area houses high profile housing developments. Other great development around

    Mombasa area is the English Point Marina which is East and Central Africa‟s first floating pontoon marina. It offers apartment

    living in comfort, luxury and security of a hotel that is being managed by Pinewood Village Beach Resort (English Point Marina,

    2016). Units sold cost between Ksh. 36-150 million (US$ 410,000-US$1.8million). The total cost of the project was about Ksh.5

    billion (US$60million).

    2. Statement of the Problem

    Service quality is often correlated with perceived value, trust, satisfaction and loyalty. An investigation was done to assess the

    relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction and their subsequent effects on purchase intentions and conclusion

    made was that perceived service quality leads to satisfaction and that satisfaction in turn has a significant positive effect on

    purchase intent. This is not the case in most of the real estate firms in Kenya. Furthermore, if a service oriented firm has the

    objective of outperforming its competitors and thus gain competitive advantages, then it is crucial to offer relatively greater

    perceived qualities and particularly those important to its customers (Bei and Shang, 2016). Customer satisfaction and service

    quality in the real estate firms results from experiences and thus if people do not attain their expectations they will become

    dissatisfied (Kim et al., 2008). In this context, it is important that management of real estate firms in Kenya keep service levels

    higher than the customers deserved expectations to avoid dissatisfaction (Yoon and Ekinci, 2013).The modern customer expects to

    be treated as an equal partner with courtesy and efficiency thus the need of organizations to make customer feel the value of using

    its products or services is greater than the price the customer is paying.

    Dissatisfied customers would hurt the long term profits and success of the firms due to failure of the customer to return for

    future business; reduction in customer visits; negative word of mouth advertising. Service Quality represents everything an

    organization should ensure or accomplish in order to have products and services that will satisfy the customers‟ requests

    concerning quality and the requests of the existent regulations. According to the ISO 9000:2000 standard, quality management

    coordinates activities in order to direct and control firms regarding management of quality. This will increase efficiency,

    reliability and improved feedback (Cordos, 2003). Ignoring customer value may cause lowered customer satisfaction and reduce

    repeat business and purchase intentions. Basically, organizations‟ efforts for improving service quality and customer satisfaction

    should be conducted holistically, including value enhancement (Kim et al., 2008).

    Given the financial and resource constraints under which firms must manage it is essential that customer expectations are

    properly understood and measured through various aspects including re-purchase of any available properties, referrals through

    word of mouth to other respective buyers, loyalty in brand and many other forms. Providing excellent service quality and

    achieving customer satisfaction is the most important and challenging issue facing the contemporary service industry (Hung et al.,

    2003). Through such perspectives, many problems arise due to gaps based on perception and expectations both by customers and

    real estate firms (management). When customer expectations are greater than their perceptions of received delivery, service

    quality is deemed low.

  • INTERNATIONAL JOURNALS OF ACADEMICS & RESEARCH ISSN: 2617-4138 IJARKE Business & Management Journal DOI: 10.32898/ibmj.01/2.1article05

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    47 IJARKE PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL Vol. 2, Issue 1 Aug. – Oct. 2019

    3. Objective of the Study

    The general objective of the study was to assess the effects of service quality dimensions on customer satisfaction in the real

    estate industry with a specific focus on Mombasa County.

    4. Review of Literature

    4.1 Theoretical Review

    4.1.1 Assimilation Theory of Customer Satisfaction

    In a recent research dissertation done by Jacob, (2016) he wrote about the Assimilation theory is based on Festinger‟s (1957)

    dissonance theory. Dissonance theory posits that consumers make some kind of cognitive comparison between expectations about

    the product and the perceived product performance. This view of the consumer post-usage evaluation was introduced into the

    satisfaction literature in the form of assimilation theory. According to other researchers, consumers seek to avoid dissonance by

    adjusting perceptions about a given product to bring it more in line with expectations. Consumers can also reduce the tension

    resulting from a discrepancy between expectations and product performance either by distorting expectations so that they coincide

    with perceived product performance or by raising the level of satisfaction by minimizing the relative importance of the

    disconfirmation experienced. Peyton et al (2014) argues that Assimilation Theory has a number of shortcomings. First, the approach assumes that there is a relationship between expectations and satisfaction, but it does not specify the way in which the

    expectation disconfirmation can lead to satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Second, the theory also posits that consumers are motivated

    enough to adjust either their expectations or their perceptions about the performance of the product. Some researchers have found

    that controlling for actual product performance can lead to a positive relationship between expectation and satisfaction. Therefore,

    it would appear that dissatisfaction could never occur unless the evaluative processes were to begin with negative consumer

    expectations.

    This theory is useful to this study because it assists the overall customer or consumer to make a sort of cognitive comparison

    between the expectations regarding the product or service and the perceived performance. If there is a discrepancy between

    expectations and the perceived performance, then the dissonance will not fail to appear. This point of view on post-usage

    evaluation was introduced in this study to discuss satisfaction under the form of the theory of assimilation (Florin & Sergiu, 2014).

    4.1.2 Andre M. M. Customer Satisfaction Theory: Service Profit Chain

    Andre M et al show that clearly there is no much commitment to customer satisfaction in many organizations. The theory

    behind this encapsulates all one needs to know about how customer satisfaction and then customer loyalty are linked to the quality

    of customer service and ultimately leading to organization profitability. In short, keeping the customers satisfied translates to

    benefits to an organization. The service-profit chain establishes relationships between profitability, customer loyalty, and

    employee satisfaction, loyalty, and productivity. The links in the chain (which should be regarded as propositions) are as follows:

    Profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer loyalty. Loyalty is a direct result of customer satisfaction. Satisfaction is

    largely influenced by the value of services provided to customers. Value is created by satisfied, loyal, and productive employees.

    Employee satisfaction, in turn, results primarily from high-quality support services and policies that enable employees to deliver

    results to customers.

    Top-level executives of outstanding service organizations spend little time setting profit goals or focusing on market share, the

    management mantra of the 1970s and 1980s. Instead, they understand that in the new economics of service, frontline workers and

    customers need to be the center of management concern. Successful service managers pay attention to the factors that drive

    profitability in this new service paradigm: investment in people, technology that supports frontline workers, revamped recruiting

    and training practices, and compensation linked to performance for employees at every level. These techniques calibrate the impact of employee satisfaction, loyalty, and productivity on the value of products and services delivered so that managers can

    build customer satisfaction and loyalty and assess the corresponding impact on profitability and growth. In fact, the lifetime value

    of a loyal customer can be astronomical, especially when referrals are added to the economics of customer retention and repeat

    purchases of related products.

    A research done by Harvard Business Review indicates that in 1991, one proprietary study of a property-and-casualty

    insurance company‟s employees, 30% of all dissatisfied employees registered an intention to leave the company, a potential

    turnover rate three times higher than that for satisfied employees. In this same case, low employee turnover was found to be linked

    closely to high customer satisfaction.

    The relevance of this theory to this study is to establish relationships between profitability, customer loyalty, employee

    satisfaction, loyalty, and productivity. Profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer loyalty. Loyalty is a direct result of

    customer satisfaction. Satisfaction is largely influenced by the value of services provided to customers. Value is created by

  • INTERNATIONAL JOURNALS OF ACADEMICS & RESEARCH ISSN: 2617-4138 IJARKE Business & Management Journal DOI: 10.32898/ibmj.01/2.1article05

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    satisfied, loyal, and productive employees. Employee satisfaction, in turn, results primarily from high-quality support services and

    policies that enable employees to deliver results to customers.

    4.2.3 Theory of Service Quality (SERVQUAL)

    In his research, Omollo (2016), he mentioned that ,Parasuraman et al. proposed service quality model for the first time and

    said service quality can be measured through functional quality dimensions which has five components (reliability, assurance,

    tangibility, empathy and responsiveness). These components can be well understood by looking at what Kotler and Keller, (2015)

    has written about them. These gaps can be evaluated through several dimensions which will help one to be able to evaluate and

    cater for the gaps.

    Service quality is linked to the concept of perceptions and expectations. Customers evaluate service quality by comparing what

    they expect with how a service provider actually performs. Thus, service quality can be defined as the difference between

    customers‟ expectations of service and their perception of actual service performance; formally the degree and direction of

    discrepancy between customers‟ service perceptions and expectations. Service quality is a measure of how well the service level

    delivered matches customer expectations. Delivering quality service means conforming to customers‟ expectations on a consistent

    basis. Customers‟ perceptions of service quality result from a comparison of their before-service expectations with their actual-

    service experience. The service will be considered excellent, if the perception exceed expectations; it will be regarded as good or

    adequate, if only equals the perceptions; the service will be classed as bad, poor or deficient, if it does not meet them. Based on

    this the authors developed a scale for measuring service quality, which is mostly popular known as SERVQUAL. This scale

    operationalizes service quality by calculating the difference between expectations and perceptions, evaluating both in relation to

    22 items that represent the 5 service quality dimensions knows as Tangibles, Reliability, Responsiveness, assurance and Empathy

    (Zeithaml & Parasuraman, 2004).

    Parasuraman et al., states that the components such as tangibles which are equipment that the personnel use to offer the service

    as well as their own physical appearance these create a perception on the consumers mind on the level of service to expect,

    reliability which is the ability of the staff to perform the promised service dependably and accurately as it was promised in the

    initial stage of the service encounter, responsiveness which is about the willingness of the staff in the service company to help and

    provide the service promptly without any delays, assurance which includes the competence of the staff, courtesy of the staff and

    credibility, empathy which entails the attention that the representative provides to the customer including the access to

    information, how it is communicated as well as understanding the customer.

    The knowledge gap explains the difference between actual customer expectations and management‟s idea or perception of

    customer expectations. The difference between what customers expect and what management perceive as their expectation, is

    often the result of overlooking the need to fully understand customer‟s expectations (Gachengo, 2014). The service design and

    standards gap indicates a mismatch between management expectations of service quality and service quality specifications. The

    awareness of these relationships can assist service managers to allocate resources more judiciously and establish more realistic

    expectations of their customers. The Service Performance gap arises when there is a significant discrepancy between designed

    service and actual delivery of it. The difference between service quality specifications and service delivery arises from role

    ambiguity that causes conflict in an organization. The Communication gap indicates an inadequate horizontal communication and

    propensity to over-promise customers raises their expectations sometimes to unrealistic level beyond the organization‟s capacity.

    When promises do not match delivery, the customer is dissatisfied leading to loss of loyalty in the part of the customer to the

    organization. Customers‟ Expectation versus Perceived Service shows the discrepancy between customers‟ expectations and their

    perception of the service delivered is as a result of the influences exerted from the customer side and the shortfalls on the part of

    the service provided. Thus, the customer‟s expectations are therefore influenced by the extent of personal needs, word of mou th

    recommendation, past service experiences and external communications.

    The significance of this theory to this research is the ability to keenly identify customer demands and preferences of different

    products and services as a subject of concern for many business areas. For the service industries it means providing a variety of

    products and services that a customer wants. However, these customers‟ preferences and choices are not similar from one

    customer to another. These differences make it hard for the services companies as for other businesses to meet diverse demands.

    Thus, the knowledge of customers‟ preferences and their choices of products and services provided is one of the most significant

    characteristic for meeting customers‟ expectations and exceeding their perceptions. Measurement allows for comparison before

    and after changes, for the location of quality related problems and for the establishment of clear standards for service delivery

    (Shahin, 2016). Based on the abovementioned nothing would benefit companies more than an accurate and valid measure of

    service quality that helps them in measuring their performance. Such a measure would help them in evaluating their performance

    and taking corrective actions wherever required in order achieve their mission (Guar & Agrawal, 2016).

    4.2.2 Reserve Theory (Real Estate SERVice quality)

    Tuzovic et al describes that Nelson and Nelson developed reserve (Real Estate SERVice quality) which is an adoption of

    SERVQUAL and is predominantly used for measuring real estate service quality. It consists out of 31 statements in seven

  • INTERNATIONAL JOURNALS OF ACADEMICS & RESEARCH ISSN: 2617-4138 IJARKE Business & Management Journal DOI: 10.32898/ibmj.01/2.1article05

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    49 IJARKE PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL Vol. 2, Issue 1 Aug. – Oct. 2019

    dimensions appose to SERVQUAL which consists out of 22 items in five dimensions. The seven dimensions of Reserve are

    known as tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, professionalism and availability. The dimensions tangibles,

    reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy have been discussed above under SERVQUAL. The remaining two dimensions

    of this theory will be discussed next herewith. The author states that availability is the openness and effortlessness to contact the

    institution or employees. The customer should find it easy to communicate with the real estate agents by means of telephone,

    email or web during business hours. The author states that all communication should be in a language that the customer can

    understand, the customer should be kept informed during the purchase process and the employees should listen to the customer.

    Real estate firms need to communicate with buyers or sellers preferably in their home language or at least a language that they can

    understand; the real estate firm needs to keep the buyer or seller up to date with the progress of the sale and the real estate firm

    needs to listen to the customer to make sure that they are showing the right kind of residential properties to a potential buyer or

    that the potential seller is happy with the times and dates the residential property is being sold. The relevance of this theory to this

    study is the ability to state that professionalism is a candid process where the employee works together with the customer to

    achieve the best possible outcome. The real estate agent should build a good partnership with the buyers in order to deliver them

    the best possible service. Moreover, it will assist to determine the effectiveness of service development and improvement

    initiatives in targeted dimensions. This theory can also be used in various service setting/sectors and provides a basic skeleton that

    can be adapted to fit the specific attributes of a particular organization. It is applicable across different empirical context and

    various countries and cultural backgrounds

    4.2 Conceptual Framework

    Conceptual framework is a concise description of the phenomenon under study accompanied by a graphical or visual depiction

    of the major variables of the study Mugenda (2014). A conceptual framework shows the relationship between independent and

    dependent variables. The variables will be developed based on the literature review and the purpose of the study.

    Independent Variables Dependent Variable

    Figure 1: Conceptual Framework

    Service Reliability

    Timeliness of services

    Accurate records

    Dependable staff

    Service Assurance

    Trustworthy

    Polite

    Adequate support

    Expertise Customer satisfaction

    Customer service

    Customer loyalty

    Performance

    Customer Relationship

    Management

    Service Tangibility

    Well dressed and neat

    Up to date records

    Visually appealing facilities

    Service Empathy

    Individualized attention

    Convenience

    Customer needs

    Service Responsiveness

    Respond promptly

    Willingness to help

    Performance

    expectation

  • INTERNATIONAL JOURNALS OF ACADEMICS & RESEARCH ISSN: 2617-4138 IJARKE Business & Management Journal DOI: 10.32898/ibmj.01/2.1article05

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    50 IJARKE PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL Vol. 2, Issue 1 Aug. – Oct. 2019

    4.3 Discussion of Study Variables

    4.3.1 Service Reliability

    Zeithaml et al explains that reliability is the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately or delivering on

    its promises. This dimension is critical as all customers want to deal with firms that keep their promises and this is generally

    implicitly communicated to the firm‟s customer. Especially it involves accuracy in billing, keeping records correctly and

    performing the service at the designated time (Mutuku, 2017). Customers normally want to count on their providers. They value

    that reliability. It is three times more important to be reliable than have shiny new equipment or flashy uniforms. Realtors first

    and best efforts are better spent making services reliable (Chris, 2016). Most realtors promise a lot when it comes to offerings.

    However, the exact opposite is the same after they have sealed the deal. Whatever promises they made usually do not come true.

    Organizations today are interested in providing top notch services to their clients however this is not the case in other

    companies. The dimension of reliability is largely concerned with the service outcome. Customers view reliability as the service

    core and they tend to have higher expectations for it. A customer‟s zone of tolerance for poor service is influenced by a number of

    factors. Customers are less willing to relax reliability expectations. As such, their zone of tolerance is smaller than those of the

    other service dimension. For example, a more experienced customer is more likely to have higher expectations and to be the

    squeaky wheel.

    In addition, emergency and service failure situations tend to raise customers‟ expectations- customers will be more demanding

    when urgent condition exists or when the service was not performed properly the first time (Ottawa Chamber of Commerce,

    2014). Providing a high quality service experience requires an organization to recruit the most promising employees, provide them

    with ongoing training in interpersonal and problem solving skills, measure and reward employees for delivering service with

    excellence (Janet, 2014). Parasuraman et al reveled that reliability was the most important and empathy least important dimension

    across wide array of service type.

    The essence of service is keeping promises. Superior real estate providers do what they say they will do. For example, they

    follow up and report to owners the number of times a home has been shown each month. They also do what customers can

    reasonably expect them to do even if not overtly promised. For example, they check and double check a contract for accuracy.

    Superior providers are conscientious, detail minded and competent. Performing a service reliably is part attitude and part design.

    In the real estate industry, it requires a blend of desires and systems that need to be managed. Realtors should seek continually to

    improve those aspects of the service systems most prone to failure. Redesigning or simplifying the service, better training and

    additional evaluation are among the possibilities.

    Customer interactions are emotional exchanges as well as factual ones, so give your employees the tools to share a happy

    customer‟s enthusiasm or reduce a frustrated customer‟s tension. To your customers, any member of your staff becomes the “face

    of your company.” When your employees have the power to please customers, they better reflect your entire organization.

    Instead of focusing on speed and productivity, give your frontline employees permission to take the time they need to make

    each customer feel valued. When your staff members make customers feel truly appreciated, and not just “heard,” customer

    satisfaction rises. When your employees have the power to please customers, they better reflect your entire organization. Instead

    of focusing on speed and productivity, give your frontline employees permission to take the time they need to make each customer

    feel valued. When your staff members make customers feel truly appreciated, and not just “heard,” customer satisfaction rises.

    When everyone in your company can act as support, customers can get their questions answered promptly. Saving your customers

    additional calls to the help desk goes a long way toward making them happy. In turn, employees who interact most with customers

    will have many good ideas for improvement if they are properly involved in the improvement process. In most cases, they would

    welcome the chance to make these improvements and make customers more satisfied. Customers perceive the ability to look up a

    tracking number or read frequently asked questions as less effort than calling a customer care center, so offering these options also

    increases customer satisfaction (Mutuku, 2014).

    Good recordkeeping can help you to find the information you need. It promotes the creation of full and accurate records in the

    first place. It also involves storing and managing records appropriately so that the information will be available to you when you

    need it. Ensure that you are up to date on the information systems and tools in your workplace including their security,

    confidentiality and appropriate usage by ensuring that employees protect any passwords or details given to you to enable your

    access to any systems, Make sure written records are not left in public places where unauthorized people might see them

    (including any electronic systems or displays) lastly Ensure that an entry is made in the customers private records whenever an

    employee serves a customer (Mutuku, 2014).

    Staff dependability is an important attribute to look out for in an employee as it increases a wide variety of tasks. A dependable

    employee not only shows up for work on time every day but also produces consistent work. Gradually, they become an essential

    team player in the company as they build a strong working relationship; not only with management but with their colleagues as

    well (Heryati, 2019).

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    4.3.2 Service Assurance

    Zeithaml et al defined as the employees‟ knowledge and courtesy and the service providers‟ ability to inspire trust and

    confidence. According to Andaleeb and Conway (2015), assurance might not be important relative to other industries where the

    risk is higher and the outcome of using the service is uncertain. Trust and confidence may be presented in the personnel who link

    the customer to the organization. Most authors and writers have tried to describe the essence of assurance on the service

    dimension criteria. This is best known to service providers who have to impart the skills of knowledge, courtesy and confidence

    when handling day to day service activities.

    Trustworthiness means people can count on you to get the job done and get it done right. According to a research done in the

    previous years, trustworthy employees get expected results, even if it means doing extra research or committing to a heavier work

    load. Your customers must be able to depend on you to do your part, or you'll lose their confidence and respect. For example, if

    you're a sales agent but you never make sales calls or meet with potential clients, your boss can't rely on you to generate new

    business. You must be solid as a rock so your customers can depend on you (Tucker, 2018).

    When a company offers complex and sophisticated products and services, it needs to provide ongoing support. The sales

    agents act as consultants, who help the customers to identify properties and other real estate services on time and adequately.

    When someone buys a property, for example, they will appreciate the Sales department or the customer support department,

    which provides guidelines related to the property market and for all other issues. A representative from the customer service

    department does not necessarily need advanced technical skills. They won‟t be in charge of helping the customers purchase

    whatever the firm sells. They have a different role, related to comprehensive understanding of the customers‟ interactions wi thin

    the business. In addition, their job is related to the goal of the organization to give the customers the value they deserve for their

    money. The companies train customer service agents to maintain positive attitude and convey the message of the brand in the best

    possible way. An adequate customer support representative, on the other hand, does care about that larger view of the

    organization‟s goals. (Hicks, 2017).

    Expertise by staff can be defined as the ability for businesses have access to an extensive pool of knowledge whether this is

    their understanding of customers' needs and the business environment or the skills and experience of staff. The way a business

    gathers shares and exploits this knowledge can be central to its ability to develop successfully. This doesn't just apply to huge

    multinational companies. Knowledge management can benefit everyone from a local newsstand to a real estate firm. Most

    businesses can be affected by numerous outside factors. Developments in politics, the economy, technology, society and the

    environment could all affect your business' development, so you need to keep your staff members informed. Firms could consider

    setting up a team of employees to monitor and report on changes in the business world (Arlen, 2017).

    Real estate is the classic example of a complex product category for which selling really means service (Berry, 2014). In the

    real estate industry, the most successful salespeople are those who are mostly service minded. Real estate transactions are

    inherently risky for customers. Considerable money is involved in the transaction; the customers frequently are inexperienced in

    real estate matters and usually live with the consequences of the transaction for a long time. Thus, real estate agents and brokers

    who perform well for their clients and instill confidence create strong client loyalties and benefit from favorable word of mouth

    communications.

    4.3.3 Service Tangibility

    This dimension, which is defined as the physical appearance of facilities, equipment, staff and written materials. It translates to

    the companies interiors, the appearance and condition of all facilitates and equipment, how the staff dress, appearance of the

    websites, signage on properties and advertisements .Tangibles are used by firms to convey image and signal quality. According to

    Chris Arlen (2008), service providers want to know what customers (internal or external) care about. Even though this is the least

    important service dimension, appearance matters. Service providers will still want to make certain their employees‟ appearance,

    uniforms, equipment and work areas on site look good. The intangibility of services heightens customers‟ sensitivity to fairness.

    Because services are difficult for customers to judge prior to experiencing them, customers have little choice but to trust the

    provider (Berry, 2014).

    Parasuraman et al. identify tangibles as physical facilities (equipment, personnel, and communications materials). It is the

    physical image of the service that customers will use to assess quality. Tangibles are associated with the physical facilities, tools,

    and machines used in order to provide the service, as well as representations of the services, such as statements, cards, speed, and

    efficiency of transactions. Several privileges are included in tangibles such as; external appearance, opening hours, and speed and

    efficiency of transactions. Parasuraman et al. stated that tangibles have the same importance as empathy. Sharmin et al. consider

    tangibles as a distinct element, showing consistency across cultures. In the real estate sector, the tangibility dimension becomes

    intrinsic in service quality, according to the tangible facets of the services cape, such as equipment, physical facilities, and visual

    appeal subsequently, in the real estate sector, it can be said that there is a significant influence of tangibility on customer

    satisfaction. Similarly, many researchers have found a meaningful influence in this sense (Miklos et. al., 2019).

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    4.3.4 Service Empathy

    Zeithaml e. al., defined empathy as the caring individualized attention the firm provides its customers‟ .The customer is treated

    as if he is unique and special. There are several ways in which empathy can be provided: knowing the customers‟ names, his

    preferences and needs. Many companies use the ability to provide customized services as a competitive advantage over other

    companies. This dimension is also more suitable in industries where building relationships with customers ensures firms‟ survival

    as opposed to transaction marketing (Andaleeb et. al., 2016).Customers need to feel that they are made priority by the

    organization providing services .Empathy means caring, paying personal attention, and providing services to customers the core of

    empathy is conveying the feeling that the customer is unique and special. Parasuraman et al. stated that quantitative studies that

    have identified service quality model dimensions have used security, credibility, and access to measure empathy.

    Empathy will apply more on the context of real estate industry where it ensures customer loyalty. Empathy in the context of

    real estate industry can be demonstrated through showing concern in terms of service failure and providing service recovery or

    going out of the way to meet customers‟ requirements, for instance, searching for another property in another area or particular

    floor. Empathy is usually integrated with service recovery. If the first tenet of service marketing is to earn the customers

    confidence, then the second is to restore it when the service fails. Customers‟ expectations intensify rather than decline after a

    mistake. Customers become more sensitive to a subsequent failure (Berry, 2014).

    Empathy and responsiveness together form an intriguing factor. It also proved to be significantly related to customer

    satisfaction. With good communication and an understanding of customer needs and friendly behavior, empathy will be achieved.

    The result implies that customers of the real estate sector are satisfied in terms of the empathy dimension when branches are in a

    convenient location, they receive good care, there are good operating hours, and staffs have an understanding of their needs. In

    addition, understanding customer expectations will influence better performance among competitors. These findings are in line

    with previous studies (Ennew et. al., 2014).

    Understanding customer needs is a very key indicator for any business endeavor. Successful business owners understand what

    their customers want and the most effective way of making their product or service available. The depth of knowledge is also

    crucial it requires knowing more than their names, ages and incomes. As business owners, knowing your customer‟s hobbies,

    tastes and interests along with what they watch, listen to and read can be a profitable advantage. Companies that know what their

    clients want and what they expect can also work on customizing the customer experience to create loyalty and repeat business.

    Smaller and more quick-to-respond entrepreneurs and small-business owners already have the upper hand for achieving this

    competitive advantage. Simply by extending the length of your customer‟s interaction will provide a greater opportunity to create

    a positive experience and build a strong relationship. Listen to your customer‟s feedback and provide sound advice, even if you

    sometimes have to direct your customer to another source (Grow, 2015).

    In individualized attention, there's a strong disconnect between what businesses and their customers see as good customer

    support one that can have drastic consequences for companies. When evaluating the state of their customer service, businesses

    tend to focus their attention on the overall situation. They implement policies that span their entire support teams and take a top-

    down approach to fixing any issues. Customers, on the other hand, view support as a series of interactions between themselves

    and the business they're dealing with. They come to their conclusions on a case-by-case basis, taking each encounter as evidence

    of a business' success or failure. Ultimately, good service is a series of singular, personal interactions between a business and a

    customer. Each experience is part of a whole, and treating them as such ensures your customers are happy and engaged.

    The need for personalization in customer service has become more pronounced now since customers are now a more

    demanding and fastidious breed. They expect to be treated well and receive individual attention with so many competitors for a

    single company; customers know that companies will comply. Customer needs vary we know that no two customers are alike and

    hence they cannot be served by an „umbrella‟ kind of service, leading to the need for personalization. Customers have evolved are

    more involved, have a wider knowledge base and are unwilling to compromise on the standards they set. With such wisdom and

    experience in dealing with companies, it has become tough for companies to give them anything but the best. Higher expectations

    of standards in service have led to companies aiming for personalization in customer service in every interaction, with each

    customer. Personalization in customer service leads customers to feel more connected and engaged with a company. These

    feelings ensure reduced opportunities for strife and customer churn customers would feel proud to be associated with a company

    and would do their bit to let others know of their happy experiences. Positive word of mouth would attract other potential

    customers to explore business relations with a company this is a more potent form of advertising than any other method. Through

    personalization in customer service, companies gain a better and more in-depth understanding of their current and potential

    customer base. The greater the understanding of the customer needs and expectations, the more individualized products and

    services a company can create for its customers. The demand for such products would definitely be greater, leading to higher sales

    and profits for the company (Newman, 2016).

    Customers are a discerning lot when they perceive genuine efforts towards personalization in customer service, they are sure to

    reciprocate the company‟s efforts. With consistent efforts on the part of the company, customers willingly take on the role of

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    brand ambassadors and actively spread good things about the company and its offerings. Since people are more likely to become

    customers when they read reviews and comments of current customers, such brand advocacy bodes very well for a company.

    Personalization in customer service also encompasses customized messages and content for customers. With so many choices and

    an overwhelming amount of information available to customers now, it becomes difficult for them to choose. In order to cut

    through this „noise‟ and confusion, messages and content that are precise and lucid, hit home better with customers. Such

    messages also ensure that information passes to customers speedily and is readily usable. Speed, reliability, and usefulness are

    three extremely important factors for customers when deciding who they remain associated with and for how long. Through

    personalization in customer service, companies display their knowledge about the customer‟s preferences, previous buying

    behavior and history and their relationships with the company‟s competitors. Customers in turn, reciprocate by willingly sharing

    information about them, which tells a company that a customer feels engaged and connected with it and would be happy to

    contribute to its success (Newman, 2016).

    Adopting the customer's point of view will help a business improve its support efforts overall. Focusing on the individual

    customer service experience reveals valuable insights that can then be applied to others. As each of these experiences switches

    from negative to positive - or, better yet, remains positive - more customers are satisfied. Brown (2016) suggests that convenience

    lies in the service instead of the individual and breaks up convenience along the five dimensions of a service: time, place,

    acquisition, use, and execution. Researchers found that convenience in for example retail derives from minimizing the costs of

    time, space, and effort. Also to take into account are the costs of the experience (in money, effort, and other terms), a true

    understanding of the stages of the experience, and an understanding of customers as their needs and behaviors change from

    context to context (Clulow & Reimers ,2019).

    Customers with higher expectations of complexity are more likely to perceive a service as simple or convenient. By providing

    customers with the tools to control and more deeply engage in their experience, you can create a perception of improved

    convenience when, in fact, you have decreased actual convenience by increasing the customer‟s workload. There is an

    indisputable link between personalization and customer convenience: relevance. To boost convenience in customer

    communications for each individual customer or prospect, for businesses this is key: deliver the right message at the right moment

    via the right channel. Understanding your customers‟ starts with knowing what exactly they want and need. Indulging in these

    preferences is one thing, knowing your customers so well that you can reach out when they need you to before they even realize

    themselves, is something else. This, you could say, is convenience at its finest. The contents of your communications also go hand

    in hand with the channel by which they reach your customers. The digital era has provided us with numerous ways to create touch

    points and new channels so it‟s important to select the right channel for each communication (Suy, 2018).

    4.3.5 Service Responsiveness

    This is the willingness to help customers and provide prompt service (Zeithaml et. al., 2006). This dimension is concerned

    with dealing with the customers‟ requests, questions and complaints promptly and attentively. A firm is known to be responsive

    when it communicates to its customers how long it will take to get answers or have their problems dealt with. To be successful,

    companies need to look at responsiveness from the point of the customer rather than the company‟s perspective (Zeithaml et. al.,

    2017). Customers normally judge a company‟s responsiveness by assessing the amount of time that it takes and the attentiveness

    that is offered in response to their requests, questions and problems.

    Most real estate firms in Kenya and around the world have a critical role of designing policies, rules and regulations of how

    they have to respond to customers‟ needs, wants, problems or requests. This will allow them to grow and flourish. They have to

    put in place the necessary policies that facilitate the efficient and effective ways of managing customers issues in a more flexible

    way that will enhance the welfare of the organizations and as well as the customer. The firms should also provide proper

    mechanisms, which are well maintained such as platforms and systems in order that are sustainable. This will enhance customer

    satisfaction and by word of mouth, it will create and appeal more as a brand outside the firms. Most realtors fall short in providing

    proper responsorial mechanism and if they do have, they are unable to manage the same for quite some time. This is more the case

    on realtors that do not want to address and embrace change as part of growth and at the end process the firms end up reporting

    losses. For instance, you might find that a customer who purchased a property at a certain location finds it difficult to access

    certain amenities or a client who has leased a property finds out that place is a waterlogged area and since he or she bought the

    land or home during dry seasons was not well conversant with the same. As a firm, it is proper to handle such complaints and

    respond to them as fast and efficient as possible to avoid inconveniences in the near future.

    The responsive dimension on service quality has proven difficult in most companies. Realtors want to sell, lease and manage

    and the often forget about the aftermath. For most companies to keep growing their customer base, it is important for them to

    respond to the issues of clients promptly and efficient. Businesses are meant to grow and not collapse and lack of responsiveness

    implies how indifferent or lackadaisical the realtors seem to be in terms of responding to customers‟ requests and needs (Sachdev

    et. al., 2004).

    When it comes Customers have expectations from the support unit and it is up to the support unit to uphold these expectations

    by being prompt and professional. The importance of being prompt and professional lies in the foundation of every business that

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    provides a service to customers. One of the importance of being prompt is when the service has been delivered within the time

    scale that was agreed on, this will leave the customer having confidence in you and the company which will have a positive effect

    on the unit. Delivering the service on time with professionalism will define the standards of the service provider. Without the

    promptness and professionalism, it would make the customers feel very isolated and they would want to cease contracts with the

    service provider which would obviously leave the unit losing out on revenue. The value of the customer should be the most

    precious asset to the business, so it is vital that expectations are met with excellence in order to keep customer satisfaction high.

    Performance expectation standards are the pre-established guidelines a business has in place for various areas of business

    operations. Customer service performance standards dictate the ways in which customers are to be treated and the best practices to

    be observed. Having such standards in place and educating employees on your directives can help encourage repeat business and

    improve your overall business operations.

    Setting customer service performance standards involves determining what you want your customer experience to look like.

    Assess every part of your service model from the customer‟s perspective. Look at wait times, employee interaction, return policies

    and refund or exchange guidelines. Consider your staff‟s ability to fill orders and meet deadlines in a timely manner and handle

    customer concerns in a knowledgeable and friendly way. Once you know what type of experience you want your customer to have

    with your business, you can set the parameters for your performance standards (McQuerrey, 2019).

    For your employees to be effective in delivering exceptional levels of service to your customers, they must have a solid

    working knowledge of your business‟s policies and procedures for customer interaction. This may involve developing training

    programs or instituting job shadowing or on-the-job training to develop a solid working knowledge of best practices in customer

    service. It may also include conducting customer service performance reviews and soliciting feedback from customers to help

    improve service provision (McQuerrey, 2019).Willingness to help customers has become so profound these days because it is

    fashionable for companies to refer to customer service as customer retention, but that can lead to backwards thinking. To retain a

    customer, simply serve him and do it well. If you focus on retention you'll miss what is important, which is the customer and his

    or her needs (Gladin, 2019).

    A customer service strategy helps you meet the specific needs of your target markets and defines how you can let your

    customers know that you understand their needs and can meet them. At the core of customer service is the concept of delivering

    on a promise if you promise you're able to provide the best product or service, or that you can deliver quickly, or offer the best

    price, you must be able to deliver on that promise. Having a customer service strategy in place ensures your processes; systems or

    people don't let you down (Ward, 2019).When a customer is inquiring you about a problem; listen carefully to what is said. Ask

    clarifying questions when the customer is finished speaking if necessary to get more details that will enable you to solve the

    customer's problem. Do not interrupt a customer when he or she is speaking. You can't listen when your mouth is moving. You

    should finish helping a customer by actively suggesting the next step. If he or she is ready to make a purchase at this point, escort

    or direct the customer to the checkout where you or someone else will go through the payment procedure with them. If the

    customer is not ready to buy at this point, your suggested next step might be a further invitation to engage with the merchandise or

    service such as, "Is there anything else I can help you with” and move on (Ward, 2019).

    4.3.6 Customer Satisfaction

    Customer satisfaction provides an essential link between cumulative purchase and post-purchase phenomena in terms of

    attitude change, repeat purchase and brand loyalty (Churchill & Surprenant, 1982). Service quality has a positive influence on

    customer satisfaction (Yee et al., 2014). Customer satisfaction is defined as the attitude resulting from what customers believe

    should happen (expectations) compared to what they believe did happen (performance perception). Satisfaction reinforces quality

    perception and drives repeat purchases. Zaim, Bayyurt, and Zaim (2015) found that tangibility, reliability and empathy are

    important for customer satisfaction, but Mengi (2009) found that responsiveness and assurance are more important.

    Customer loyalty is essential to sustain the business. The business sectors‟ progress and success depends on their loyal

    customers. The business sectors must give first priority to their customers then only think about the profit. They must have the

    motto of „Serve first, sell second‟. Customer satisfaction is the key element or leading indicator of every business to uplift as well

    as to create loyal customers. Therefore, the needs of customers should be cared by every business. In this 21st century, many

    companies are getting established to compete with each other. In this competitive environment if the company gets success to

    build a solid and loyal customers by providing the excellent services or products with affordable price then it is not far to be a

    number one company with high volume of customers as well as name and fame (Ranabhat, 2018).

    Ranabhat (2018) suggests that customers may be an individual or business that purchases the goods or services produced by

    the company. They are the actual bosses in a deal who are responsible for profit in the business because they create demand for

    goods and services so that the company produces more goods. The customers are one who is the user of the products or services

    produced by the company and judge those products‟ quality with other people. They are the sources of generating profit that

    always spend a greater share of wallet. So, every company must produce the quality products or services with affordable price to

    attract more customers and make more sales. It is costly for business to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing

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    customer. Therefore, the businesses should be aware of their products as well as their customers‟ type such as loyal customers,

    discount customers, impulse customers, need-based customers and wandering customers to treat them well.

    Loyalty also means a continuous trust or devotion of customers to the supplier on certain grounds although he may have other

    options. It is not compulsory that the product used by the customers always be best. Sometimes the unexpected defects will appear

    in the products or there will occur some problems with the supplier in respect of his product supply. If the customers don‟t want to

    use other options than preferring the same products continuously with the same suppliers thinking that the suppliers will provide

    them the more beneficial and valuable products than others then this is the true customer loyalty. This type of long-lasting

    customer loyalty may be created by listing the customers in number one priority and always caring about providing them the

    excellent products. Likewise, the company always tries to attract their consumers to get familiar with brands in this competitive

    environment.

    Service providers and scholars have long recognized the importance of customer satisfaction as contributing to market share

    and return on investment for companies. Several definitions and models of customer satisfaction have been proposed by various

    scholars. The focus of much of the research is on the “disconfirmation of expectations” theory which explains that “the customer

    is satisfied when he or she feels that the product‟s performance is equal to or more than what was expected (confirmation). But if

    perceived performance falls short of his/her expectations (disconfirmation), then the customer is dissatisfied.

    Customer Relationship Management (or CRM) is a phrase that describes show your business interacts with your customers.

    Most people think of CRM as a system to capture information about your customers. However, that is only part of the picture.

    CRM involves using technology to gather the intelligence you need to provide improved support and services to your customers.

    In other words, CRM is also about what you do with that information to better meet the needs of your existing customers and

    identify new customers, resulting in higher profits for you (Mutuku, 2014).

    Merchants and traders have been practicing customer relationship for centuries. Their business was built on trust. They could

    customize the products and all aspects of delivery and payment to suit the requirements of their customers. They paid personal

    attention to their customers, knew details regarding their customers‟ tastes and preferences, and had a personal rapport with most

    of them. In many cases, their interaction transcended the commercial transaction and involved social interactions. Even today, this

    kind of a relationship exists between customers and retailers, craftsmen, artisans essentially in markets that are traditional, small

    and classified as pre-industries markets. These relationship oriented practices have changed due to industrial revolution.

    Businesses adopted mass production, mass communication and mass distribution to achieve economies of scale. For example,

    manufactures have started focusing on manufacturing and efficient operations to cut costs. Intermediaries like distributors,

    wholesalers and retailers took on the responsibilities of warehousing, transportation, distribution and sale to final customers. This

    resulted in greater efficiencies and lower costs to manufacturers but brought in many layers between them and the customers. The

    resulting gap reduced direct contacts and had a negative impact on their relationships (Kimball, 2014).

    According to Kalaiselvi (2016) Customer‟s service is also an essential component of customer orientation and is currently

    acknowledged as one of the most efficient ways to add value to products and services. In most cases, clients have many available

    options, so the decisive factor for them to come back or not is the received service. In many industries and sectors this also means

    is more likely for the customers to buy again from the same company or to come back to it in order to benefit from certain

    services, which will generate more profit. Based upon this service-quality model, researchers have identified the following five

    determinants of service quality, in order of importance: Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance, Empathy and Tangibility.

    5. Research Methodology

    Descriptive survey design was adopted in conducting this study. The total population of the study was 450 customers drawn

    from 45 firms i.e. the landlords in the various houses the firms manage. Responses will be given by the customers‟ i.e. Landlords

    that will be involved in the study.

    A representative sample of 208 respondents based on the sample calculation formula below and a population of 450 customers

    (landlord customers) will be approximated to give results within ±.05 margin of error at a 95% level of confidence.

    SS=Z2p(1-p)

    C2

    Where,

    Z= 1.96(95% confidence level)

    P= percentage (p=0.5)

    C= confidence interval expressed 0.05

    Pop= population (total number of households in each project)

    New = SS

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    1+SS-1

    Pop

    Substituting for the formula:

    SS = 1.96*1.96*.5(1-0.5) = 384.16

    0.05*0.05

    For finite population of 450 households, the correction will be: 384.16

    1+384.16-1 = 207.4 rounded up to 208

    450

    6. Data Analysis Results

    6.1 Descriptive Statistics

    6.1.1 Effect of Service Reliability on Customer Satisfaction in Real Estate Industry

    Majority of the respondents were in support to the statement reliability has a great impact on customer satisfaction in the real

    estate industry in Mombasa County. This was evidenced by respondents agreeing to the statements that the firm meets their

    promised time-frames for responses with mea of 4.09, that the firm is sympathetic and reassuring when the customer has problems

    with a mean of 4.24 and that they keep accurate record with a mean of 3.75, further respondents agreed that the firms provide their

    services at the times promised with a mean of 3.84 and that the staff are dependable with a mean of 4.84.

    Table 1 Service Reliability

    Opinion Statement Mean Std. Dev.

    The firm meets their promised time-frames for responses 4.09 .703

    The firm is sympathetic and reassuring, when the customer

    has problems 4.24 .654

    They keep accurate record 3.75 .859

    They provide their services at the times promised 3.84 .802

    The staff are dependable 4.84 .653

    Valid N (list wise)

    6.1.2 Effect of Service Assurance on Customer Satisfaction in Real Estate Industry

    The researcher requested respondents in in the real estate industry in Mombasa County to indicate the extent to which they

    think that assurance has effect on customer satisfaction in the real estate industry in Mombasa County. From the analysis, there

    was a strong support to the statement relating to employees should be trustworthy with a mean of 4.3, respondents also agreed that

    customers should feel safe when transacting with employees with a mean of 4.24.they further agreed that employees should be

    polite with a mean of 3.69.Respocects strongly agreed to the statement that employees should get adequate support from the firm

    to do their job well with a mean of 4.86

    Table 2 Service Assurance

    Opinion Statement Mean Std. Dev.

    Employees should be trustworthy 4.03 .891

    Customers should feel safe when transacting with employees 4.24 .641

    Employees should be polite 3.69 .641

    Employees should get adequate support from the firm to do their

    job well 4.84 .764

    Valid N (list wise)

    6.1.3 Effect of Tangibility on Customer Satisfaction in Real Estate Industry

    The researcher wanted to analyze the respondent‟s decision on statement relating to effect of service tangibility on customer

    satisfaction in the real estate industry in Mombasa County. From the respondent‟s feedback, respondents agreed to the statement

    that employees should be well-dressed or neat with a mean of 3.81.respodets also agreed to the statement that appearance of the

    physical facilities are consistent with the type of services offered with a mean of 3.84. Further, they agreed that physical facilities

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    are visually appealing with a mean of 3.92.Respodets were neutral to the statement that the firms records are Up-to-date with a

    mean of 3.22.

    Table 3 Service Tangibility

    Opinion Statement Mean Std. Dev.

    Employees well-dressed/neat 3.81 .840

    Appearance of the physical facilities are consistent

    with the type of services offered 3.84 .767

    Physical facilities are visually appealing 3.92 .764

    Up-to-date records 3.22 .866

    Valid N (list wise)

    6.1.4 Effect of Service Empathy on Customer Satisfaction in Real Estate Industry

    The respondents were asked to rate their level of agreement or disagreement to the statement relating to effect of empathy on

    customer satisfaction in the real estate industry in Mombasa County. From the analysis, most of the respondents agreed that firms

    should be expected to give each customer individualized attention with a mean of 4.13, that employees should be expected to give

    each customer individualized attention with mea of 4.28 and that it is realistic to expect employees to fully understand the needs

    of the customer with mea of 3.73. They further agreed that firms should necessarily have to operate at hours convenient to all

    customers with a mean of 3.84.

    Table 4 Service Empathy

    Opinion Statement Mean Std. Dev.

    Firms should be expected to give each customer

    individualized attention 4.13 .653

    Employees should be expected to give each customer

    individualized attention, 4.28 .840

    It is realistic to expect employees to fully understand the

    needs of the customer 3.73 .677

    Firms should necessarily have to operate at hours

    convenient to all customers 3.84 .745

    Valid N (list wise)

    6.1.5 Effect of Service Responsiveness on Customer Satisfaction in Real Estate Industry

    The researcher requested the respondents to indicate the extent to which they think responsiveness has an effect on customer

    satisfaction in the real estate industry in Mombasa County. . Their views were ranked based on the indicated level of support.

    From the analysis, majority of the respondents agreed to the statement that they respond promptly to customer requests with a

    mean of 3.58. They also agreed that employees are always willing to help customers with a mean of 4.20. Respondents further

    agreed to the statement that prompt services are offered by the employees with a mean of 4.11.they also agreed to the statement

    that employees are expected to tell customers exactly when the service will be performed with a mean of 4.02.

    Table 5 Service Responsiveness

    Opinion Statement Mean Std. Dev.

    They respond promptly to customer requests 3.58 .577

    Employees are always willing to help customers 4.20 .673

    Prompt services offered by the employees 4.11 .894

    They are expected to tell customers exactly when the

    service will be performed 4.02 .678

    Valid N (list wise)

    The researcher requested the respondents to indicate the extent to which they think responsiveness has an effect on customer

    satisfaction in the real estate industry in Mombasa County. . Their views were ranked based on the indicated level of support.

    From the analysis, majority of the respondents agreed to the statement that they respond promptly to customer requests with a

    mean of 3.58. They also agreed that employees are always willing to help customers with a mean of 4.20. Respondents further

    agreed to the statement that prompt services are offered by the employees with a mean of 4.11.they also agreed to the statement

    that employees are expected to tell customers exactly when the service will be performed with a mean of 4.02.

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    58 IJARKE PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL Vol. 2, Issue 1 Aug. – Oct. 2019

    6.1.6 Customer Satisfaction in Real Estate Industry

    The respondents were asked to indicate their support or non-support level on statement relating to customer satisfaction in the

    real estate industry in Mombasa County. Form the data presented, it was evident that most of the respondents do support the point

    relating to the statement that they would like to recommend the chosen firm to friends and people they know with a mean of 3.63;

    they strongly agreed that they consider themselves to be loyal to the chosen firm with a mean of 4.69. Respondents further

    strongly agreed to the statement that they are completely satisfied with the services delivered by this firm with a mean of

    4.50.Howver respondents were neutral to the statement that the performance of this firm is superior to that of competitor‟s with a

    mean of 3.13.

    Table 6 Customer Satisfaction

    Opinion Statement Mean Std. Dev.

    I would like to recommend this firm to friends and

    people I know 3.63 .638

    I consider myself to be loyal to this firm 4.69 .855

    The performance of this firm is superior to that of

    competitor‟s one 3.13 .938

    Am completely satisfied with the services delivered by

    this firm 4.50 .778

    Valid N (list wise)

    6.2 Inferential Statistics

    6.2.1 Correlation Analysis

    Pearson Bivariate correlation coefficient was used to compute the correlation between the dependent variable (Customer

    satisfaction) and the independent variables (Service reliability, service assurance, service tangibility, service empathy and service

    responsiveness). According to Sekaran, (2015), this relationship is assumed to be linear and the correlation coefficient ranges from

    -1.0 (perfect negative correlation) to +1.0 (perfect positive relationship). The correlation coefficient was calculated to determine

    the strength of the relationship between dependent and independent variables (Kothari & Gang, 2014).

    Table 7 Pearson Correlation

    Customer

    satisfaction

    Service

    responsiveness

    Service

    empathy

    Service

    tangibility

    Service

    assurance

    Service

    reliability

    Customer

    satisfaction

    1

    198

    Service

    responsiveness

    .175 1

    .002

    198

    Service

    empathy

    0.321** .213 1

    .000 .002

    198 198

    Service

    tangibility

    .0325** .235 .195

    .001 .002 .000

    198 198 198 1

    Service

    assurance

    0.191 .171 .251* .554**

    .000 .000 .004 .000

    198 198 198 198 1

    Service

    reliability

    .405** .205 .049 .734** .430**

    .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 1

    198 198 198 198 198 198

    **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

    *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

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    59 IJARKE PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL Vol. 2, Issue 1 Aug. – Oct. 2019

    In trying to show the relationship between the study variables and their findings, the study used the Karl Pearson‟s coefficient

    of correlation (r). This is as shown in Table 4.11 above. According to the findings, it was clear that there was a positive correlation

    between the independent variables, service reliability, service assurance, service tangibility, service empathy and service

    responsiveness and the dependent variable customer satisfaction. The analysis indicates the coefficient of correlation, r equal to

    0.405, 0.191, 0.325, 0.321 and 0.175 for service reliability, service assurance, service tangibility, service empathy and service

    responsiveness This indicates positive relationship between the independent variable namely service reliability, service assurance,

    service tangibility, service empathy and service responsiveness and dependent variable customer satisfaction.

    6.2.2 Coefficient of Determination (R2)

    The coefficient of determination was computed to measure how well the study‟s data was suited for the statistical model that

    was used for main analysis. The table below shows that the coefficient of determination (R2) was 0.735. This R

    2 suggests a

    relatively goodness of fit of the study data to the OLS regression model. 73.5% of variability in the level of customer satisfaction

    can be explained by variations in service responsiveness: service reliability, service assurance, service tangibility and service

    empathy. The remaining 26.5% of variability can be attributed to other factors which were not included in the model.

    Table 8 Model Summary

    Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate

    1 .857a .735 .707 .49479

    a. Predictors: (Constant), Service Responsiveness:, Service Reliability, Service Assurance, Service

    Tangibility, Service Empathy

    b. Dependent Variable: Customer satisfaction

    6.2.3 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

    In testing the significance of the overall model, the study used the ANOVA F –Test. From the given figure below the p-value

    is 0.000 and F 104.645 This implies that the model is statistically significant in estimating the effect responsiveness, reliability,

    assurance, tangibility and empathy on customer satisfaction.

    Table 9 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

    Model Sum of

    Squares

    df Mean

    Square

    F Sig.

    1

    Regression 42.382 5 8.4764 104.645 .000b

    Residual 15.610 192 .081

    Total 57.634 197

    a. Dependent Variable: customer satisfaction

    b. Predictors: (Constant), responsiveness, reliability, assurance, tangibility and empathy

    4.6.2 Regression Analysis

    Multiple regression analysis was conducted to determine the relationship between customer satisfaction and the five

    independent variables as shown in the table below.

    Table 10 Regression Analysis

    Model Unstandardized

    Coefficients

    Standardized

    Coefficients

    T Sig.

    B Std.

    Error

    Beta

    1

    (Constant) . 917 .188 4.870 .000

    Responsiveness .106 .165 .092 3.674 .004

    Reliability .069 .041 .085 9.028 .000

    Assurance, .772 .090 .511 11.432 .000

    Tangibility .566 .052 .470 7.632 .000

    Empathy .049 .062 .073 1.545 .013

    a. Dependent Variable: customer satisfaction

    The regression co efficient in the above table established that taking all the independent variables (responsiveness, reliability,

    assurance, tangibility and empathy) to be constant, the level of customer satisfaction will be at 0.917