I often come across ‘old school’ estate agents and I feel a little bit smug…
The reason being is that when I joined the industry as a sales negotiator in the 1980’s, I was firmly a minority in the way I did my job. I treated my customers exactly how I wanted to be treated myself, I did not succumb to the pressure of ‘telling lies’ in order to get a deal, to ‘stack em high and move ’em fast’ or ‘get the deal and move on’ and there were many astounded faces when I was awarded ‘Connells’ UK Sales Person of the Year in 1988′ after completing on a staggering 196 deals. As an Estate Agent, I really loved all of my customers, buyers and sellers (at that time) and then landlords and tenants… I loved them all, even the challenging ones, and in lettings there were a lot of those! I became ‘friends’ with my clients, I still know many of them today, I was their trusted adviser and I always worked on the perception that tenants would become buyers, buyers would become sellers and/ or landlords at some point, so repeat business was at the forefront of my customer ethos.
With this in mind, when I read Kate Faulkner’s April property industry insight about Estate Agents having to adapt in order to survive, I thought ‘yes indeed’ and ‘about time too!’
Kate says “From an agent’s perspective, the local nature of prices and rents – coupled with stock issues putting pressure on agents – means those who understand their local economy and how supply and demand work in their area can really set themselves apart from the competition. In my view, the agents who will continue to succeed are the ones who advise people on property decisions.
It’s also vital that agents realise the need to encourage clients to take independent advice when it comes to property, checking they are on the right mortgage rate, and making sure, especially if they are a landlord, they are getting good financial advice on things like tax and inheritance.
The days of just selling or letting homes has gone; a local agent should be as important to people’s property decisions as a financial advisor is to people’s overall wealth – and one of the biggest opportunities for agents to establish themselves as lifelong consumer property advisors is by working to help first-time buyers onto the ladder.”
You can read Kate’s full article here
As an Estate Agent, I always offered unique services to my clients and was always thinking outside of the box and I now spend my days helping other agencies to do the same. Every Estate Agent needs to understand the customer lifespan, and often that is decades, so the service levels should remain as high in years 1,2,3,4,5 etc and they do from the very first ‘hello’. Also, talking about that initial greeting, please try to make the welcome as warm as possible, regardless of what your initial impression of the person or persons is! Never judge a book by its cover, and always remember first impressions count so your customer service levels should be paramount at all times! If you need to adapt, make that your first port of call and you will not go far wrong.
If you would like any help adapting to the challenges of 2017 and beyond, why not book a FREE CONSULTATION with yours truly? Just click HERE.
JANE GARDNER, FARLA, MNAEA
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For full information on Maxine Lester’s upcoming Buy to Let Seminar on 4th May 2017