In thinking about how to grow your Estate Agency or Letting Agency, it’s worth considering what generates the most complaints, generally, when customers use their local High Street Estate Agency or Letting Agency. And to do that we can look at the 2017 Property Ombudsman Report, then ask ourselves; As an Estate Agency, how well do we manage customer satisfaction in these areas of our business?
- Communication and Records Keeping
- Marketing and Advertising
- Instructions, Terms of Business, Commission and Termination
- In House Complaints Handling
As a Letting Agent, how well do we manage customer satisfaction in these areas of our business?
- Communications and Record-Keeping
- Tenancy Agreements, Inventories and Deposits
- In-house Complaints Procedure
By looking at these areas through the eyes of your customer, you can identify opportunities for improved business performance.
How to grow your estate agency: work on the basics
All things need to start with the basics, you need to make sure those are in place first. If this was easy, everybody would have the basics in place, but they don’t. In any endeavour getting the basics right is where 80% of the results are. Then the last 10% or 20% is what marks out the champions from the rest. From eating, to living, keeping fit, to playing a sport, climbing a mountain, running a business, running an Estate Agency and Letting Agency, what basics need to be place? How much time is given to considering this in your business? Does everybody agree what they are? How are these basics being measured?
5 Estate Agency basics when taking a call:
- Greet the caller nicely, with a welcome, a nice a “Hello” and offer of help. This first impression matters. The caller will be stressed, they’ll need a cool, calm and confident call handler. If you’re rushed, you’ll lose this caller and potentially their friends too.
- Show real and genuine interest in the caller and their situation. They need to feel you’re there for them first, not yourself and your properties.
- Agents should give their name when taking a call. We see this alone improves call outcomes. The agent feels a greater sense of ownership and the caller higher levels of trust.
- Take contact details carefully, confirming spelling when needed. Be sure to record their situation and desired goals completely.
- Ask if you can help further at the end off the call. This can catch missed opportunities and helps to avoid the agent putting the phone down too quickly on the caller.
The basics need define a minimum level of customer service, not job function or property requirements.
Growing your Estate Agency is like growing any business
You need more valuations, with an increased conversion rate, increased instructions, on higher fees, using you more than once, who refers you to family and friends. If you did that, within days and weeks your business would be on a different and much improved trajectory.
- Attract more valuations
- Increase valuation conversion rate to instructions
- Increase your fees (by not discounting them in the first place)
- Get customers to use you again (keep in touch with them on anniversaries etc)
- Increase viewings
- Increase your referrals, and back to 1)
As you can see, there is a virtuous circle there. Increasing referrals is the easiest form of marketing. How can you achieve that? When did you last run a customer satisfaction survey? Maybe a while ago. Without that survey, it's harder to develop that virtuous circle.
Awardaroo can help you grow your estate agency with our business improvement coaching, customised for your industry.