AN INVESTIGATION INTO SERVICE QUALITY DETERMINANTS AND THEIR EFFECTIVENESS IN REAL ESTATE AGENCY IN NAIROBI By MANG’ELI ANTHONY MUTUA

Service in real estate agency is any act or performance that a party can offer to another that is essentially intangible and results in the ownership of a right or interest. Its production may or may not be tied to a physical product. Quality on the other hand is the totality of features and characteristics of a product, or a service that bears on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs. This definition has been advanced to encompass the totality of characteristics of an entity that bear on a product‟s ability to satisfy stated and implied needs of the customers. Service quality has been termed as the extent to which a service meets customers‟ needs or expectations. It can thus be defined as the difference between customer expectations of service and perceived service.
This study has applied the service quality model developed by Parasuraman et al. (1988) to the real estate agency industry for the purposes of identifying determinants of service quality, determine whether property buyers‟ service expectations are congruent with their perceptions of service rendered by estate agents, determine whether the determinants and perceptions of service quality perceived by estate agents are consistent with those perceived by property buyers, evaluating the level of service quality delivered and investigating possible methods of improving service quality in the sector.
Analysis of property buyer response patterns about expectations of service indicate that the determinants of real estate service quality are service assurance, responsiveness, tangible service characteristics, reliability of service and service empathy. Service quality was found to be delivered in areas of service empathy and tangible product characteristics. However, service quality fell below expectations in the areas of service assurance, reliability and responsiveness.
Performance feedback and evaluation have been identified as necessary measures to improve service quality because they provide a base for implementing corrective behavioral attributes and improving future service quality. Possible causes of poor service delivery and specific intervention measures for improving service quality have been advanced in the study.

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