Winning instructions is key

Winning instructions is key

It is important to recognise that the level of preparation which you undertake prior to valuations will have a direct bearing on your success on the day.

I remember somebody saying to me some time ago when I was a full time valuer that I treated every valuation appointment as if it was a military operation. I took this as a compliment – although I am not certain it was meant as one! In today’s highly competitive market, carrying out valuations is a battle and you must be equipped for that battle. Nobody would go into the trenches to fight in a war and suddenly think to themselves “Damn I forgot my rifle….”

There are a number of items you need on your person, in your briefcase or maybe in your glove compartment or boot. An exceptional plumber will go to every job with everything they could possibly ever need – it is no different if you want to be an exceptional valuer.

Obviously you will need pens, business cards, promotional material, agency agreements, comparable evidence, your IPad maybe if you use one and so on. But there are some less obvious things to consider taking…

SHOESHINE – clean shoes are always important – an early morning appointment in the rain could leave your shoes looking less than acceptable

COMPASS – you may have one on your phone but either way you will need to check the aspect of the garden

BOARD TOP AND BULLDOG CLIPS – if you list a property that is on with another agent, you can simply pop this over the top of their board for the photo

UMBRELLA – nothing worse than turning up like a drowned rat at your next appointment because you had to look round an acre of gardens at your previous one in the rain

LINT ROLLER AND BABY WIPES – if you are covered in dog hair or smelling of one because of the overfriendly pooch at your first valuation of the day, these will help keep your personal hygiene and appearance up to scratch

Having said all that, the most important thing to take with you on every appointment is a positive mental attitude – the best valuers treat every appointment as if it is an instruction and therefore prepare themselves mentally for that, as well as preparing themselves physically with everything they need to close the instruction there and then – i.e. measure, camera and so on.

Other less successful valuers go to valuations and then are sometimes surprised that they turn out to be potential instructions. Sadly at this point those valuers are unable to close the business because they do not have the right equipment with them.

Ensuring you are fully prepared for your appointments is one element of preparation, but there are several more to bear in mind. Best practice principles in preparation include:

A PRE-APPOINTMENT EMAIL

This can be sent immediately after the valuation has been booked to confirm all the key information to the clients – time and date, who is coming out, the likely duration of the appointment and so on. You may choose to put a link in there to your website inviting the client to visit it to find out more about your company.

You could include a sentence about how moving home can be a stressful experience and that if the client has any particular concerns they could drop you an email so we can ensure we deal with those on the day.

You might also drop a letter and pre-appointment marketing information through the door ahead of the appointment, although an email is cheaper and quicker.

A PRE-APPOINTMENT PHONE CALL

Agents that have embraced this idea have reported back a range of advantages to a call to the client beforehand.

Firstly, it gives a chance to build some early rapport with the client and break down any barriers.

Secondly, the valuer can pick up extra information about the client or property prior to the appointment.

Thirdly, it makes you different from the agents that don’t bother.

Valuers who try it do stick with it as they benefit from doing so. Some call on the morning of the appointment, some the evening before. Whatever suits you – we strongly recommend you do it!

FOCUS ON EARLY SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM

A high proportion of people move house to solve a problem – for example, to move closer to work, to get the children into a better school or because of financial or relationship problems.

If we identify any of these when the appointment was booked, we can illustrate our awareness and helpfulness by trying to help come up with solutions to those issues early on in the process.

For example, if they are moving into rented due to financial challenges, we could discuss the whys and wherefores of renting a property and perhaps email or hand deliver a guide on how to go about doing so. If

Perfect preparation creates the right foundation for the appointment. It is then up to the valuer to ensure he or she reinforces the client’s opinion that your firm is the right choice by conducting themselves at the appointment in an exceptional manner.