Let’s face it – estate agents are an easy target. Whereas in every industry sector there are those who operate professionally with the best interests of the client in mind, and those who are out to make a fast buck, most estate agents tend to be tarred with the same brush.
Recently, the Financial Times ran an article on the back of a review of 150 estate agent websites, which revealed that only 2% stated their fees in a clear and transparent manner. This has hardly helped to turn the traditional public perception of the estate agent on its head.
We thought it would be interesting and helpful to perhaps list some of the top ten common complaints made by clients regarding their estate agent, based on past experience. Most of these complaints are based on lack of communication, unreliability and poor quality of service. How many of these criticisms could be addressed by a review of internal systems, quality standards and superb training?
- Sole selling rights/sole agent agreements
- Valuation tactics (overvaluing/undervaluing)
- Delay in marketing of property
- Poor quality photography
- Hidden fees
- Failure to turn up to viewings
- Failure to ensure that potential buyers have funds in place
- Lack of communication
- Failure to keep website updated
- Pressurising sales tactics to use in-house mortgage service.
Far from being a hindrance, this general portrayal of estate agents can be used to your advantage. By placing your client at the heart of everything you do – and aligning your systems and procedures to support this focus, your agency will be well placed to quickly develop a sound reputation throughout your area. This will help to differentiate it from other agencies and will encourage word of mouth referrals – which are not only much more powerful than any other form of marketing, but will also help to ease the pressure on your marketing budget.