Little things mean a lot

Little things mean a lot

I was lucky enough to be asked to present at one of the industry’s premier events last week – the Negotiator Conference at the Park Lane Hilton in London. As I was first on, I felt a little levity might be in order, so I included within my presentation airline boss Jan Carlzon’s famous quote “Coffee stains on the flip tray suggest to our customers that we do not service our engines properly” and then the top ten examples of “coffee stains” perpetrated by sales and lettings agents.

The basic premise of Carlzon’s quote is that if you get the small details wrong in your business, a dangerous bigger picture presents itself to potential clients. Lack of attention to detail will potentially dissuade a client from using your firm. A recent survey stated that 42.5% of people found bad spelling and poor grammar in Social Media usage to be damaging to a brand.

Beyond social media, the quality of property presentation within the realms of portals and your own website can prove costly if strewn with errors and/or lack of care.

My presentation included the “Terrible Top Ten”, which were my personal lowlights that I had come across by pottering about on Rightmove and the like.

A lounge with a “chimney beast” was one. A house with a “rear bobby” was another. And a “large loving room” made the cut. Plenty of others didn’t…

“A double bowel and drainer unit”, a “kitchen/doner” (ideal for kebab lovers), several “dinging rooms” (a campanologist’s dream) and a garage with a “roller shitter door” missed out on the final list.

Social media messages can say so much good about you and your firm – yet do so much damage if your spelling and/or grammar let you down. Tweets to say how busy you currently find yourself are all well and good, but don’t undermine the impact by lack of attention to detail. My personal favourite example? It has to be “Morning all. Busy busy day ahead – those hoses won’t sell themselves!” – now unless that agent has branched into garden equipment, I detect a rushed tweet and a poor impression created.

Poor quality photos are another trap into which agents plummet regularly. There are a number of websites which feature such camera crimes – my personal favourite being

The serious message here is that these crass errors are your firm’s “coffee stains” and some clients, when reviewing how you present properties will strike you from their list of potential agents as a result.

On a final note… “complimentary tiles” are the types of tiles that, when you walk into the bathroom, say “Looking gooooood”…it is “complementary” that you should be using. And don’t get me started on “comprises of”….

Julian O’Dell