Against this background potential customers are being promised answers by some of the new entrants into the market that seem to suggest the solution is oh so simple!
One thing is for sure that just carrying on doing things the way we have for the last few years, and in many cases benefitting from large increases in prices will not be the long term solution to a drastic reduction in transactions. The only solution is to increase our market share of the deals that are taking place, and to encourage sellers to the market who need proactive motivation from us.
And yet many agents do not seem to have understood the basic principle that the most important thing we can do is contact more and more potential sellers.
Far too many Estate Agents have not set themselves a challenging valuation target which is closely monitored in every morning meeting and also scrutinised as to how they can increase even marginally the number of instructions that they take on that actually end up exchanging.
It would certainly be a good idea for staff to be incentivised on valuations booked between now and Christmas, and also to increase the number of face to face reviews with the vendors of properties that have not sold after a month of marketing. I am seeing more and more agents book these face to face reviews in the diary at the point of instruction.
The old phrase “People buy differences” is as true as ever and we need to ensure that we are creating more differences in the reliability and standard of the customer service we deliver, thus personal contact (rather than by phone or e mail) is more important than ever.
Customer expectations are still rising and we cannot just point a finger at them and say they are unreasonable - we need to become better at educating them in the realities of the market. This will only happen if we seek to solve their “complete problem” not just selling their property. Too often the only face to face contact we have with our client is at the point of valuation. We need to increase these face to face opportunities whenever possible.
So here are some great ways to invest time over the coming weeks:
· More negotiator revisits to current stock this month
· More face to face vendor reviews
· More home visits to show our clients properties that they might buy and then allow them to negotiate on their own property , either locally from our own stock in in conjunction with other agents elsewhere
· More specific focus on valuation follow ups and Autumn Valuation campaigns
The next 6 weeks will separate out the proactive and customer focused agents form the rest and be reflected in our end of year results and the stock of properties with which we enter the New Year.