Good customer service is the key to reducing property withdrawals. Communication is given as the Number 1 reason that properties are withdrawn from agents. So, what does good communication look like?
How can you reduce property withdrawals? – Customer Service
It is generally simply doing WHAT you promise, WHEN you promise.
Ensuring all the team can access full details and are up to date if any seller or landlord calls is a great starting point.
Good customer service is also efficient – try not to make more admin phone calls than necessary. When taking messages – offer to sort out the problem first, rather than always taking a message.
Here our key 5 tips to reduce property withdrawals
1. Introduction Call to all new listings (sales and lettings)
As soon as the property is placed on the market an introductory call should be made by someone in the branch. At this stage, the seller / Landlords have only met the lister or whoever carried out the market appraisal.
This call is about ensuring that the office team builds a relationship with the seller and they get to know the team who will (in most cases) be the key contacts.
Sellers/landlords often choose an agent because they liked and trusted the lister/valuer who went out to the property. If that lister is always out and about and unlikely to have contact with the client again, then someone else needs to be introduced to the client to build the relationship for the next stage of the sale or let.
You should check that promises relating to negotiators viewing the property or boards being erected are kept.
This is an opportunity to upsell anything missed…. Mortgage advice, buy-to-let advice, portfolio advice, solicitors (to enable the seller to be legally prepared), and obviously an opportunity to convert tenants only to full management.
2. Well-qualified and explained viewings
Arranging viewings in an efficient way and ensuring that the seller or landlord is kept updated is key to good customer service. A call prior to the viewing to update the seller on who is viewing (and their position) and when it will take place and who will accompany it is essential.
Every viewing that takes place should have a viewing feedback call. The buyer or tenant should be informed that they will be asked for feedback prior to the viewing. They should understand the importance of accurate comments to enable you as the agent to offer good advice to the seller or landlord.
Viewing feedback should be well planned, with good open questions and useful information for the seller or landlord. If all your viewing feedback comments sound the same, then you are asking bad questions. And the advice to your customer (landlord or seller) has less value, increasing the chance of a property withdrawal.
3. A weekly call / 1-31 call with vendor contact (and landlord where relevant) / keep in touch call.
This call should be proactive and expert. This is not just a call for admin purposes. It should be seen as an advice call and delivered in an expert manner. Your role as an agent is to update the seller on the sales market and offer advice based on their circumstances. This has been covered in a separate ebook.
Accurate and expert note-keeping is key. In any conversation with a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, contractor, or mortgage advisor – it is ESSENTIAL that detailed notes are made on your CRM. Do not use abbreviations but equally don’t write essays! A good note is clear and often bullet points showing exactly what was agreed upon and discussed.
4. Good message-taking is key to offering excellent customer service.
Taking details of the reason for the call, the urgency of the call, and the best time to call back results in less time wasted. Never just take the client’s name and pass it on. If you have ever had a message left or call, put through saying “Brian called, he said you would know what it is about!” and had absolutely NO idea – you will know how frustrating this can be.
When taking a call, rather than passing directly to a colleague, could you have looked at file notes and solved the problem/ dealt with the query.
It could be that the seller wants to agree to an offer, arrange for a board to go up, or confirm a viewing. Confirm it straight away, make notes on file and confirm to your colleague is much more efficient for everyone.
Agents are very busy, and any efficiencies can have a huge benefit to time saved. Making 1 admin phone call rather than 2 is key!
5. Efficient questioning
Ask good open questions and relate to your customer by listening and advising them. This will always result in better rapport and therefore sales.
So, ask open questions, rather than closed questions. Treat the customer with empathy and consider the seller or landlord’s position when offering advice.
Finally, adapt your communication to suit your customer.
So, it might be weekly vendor contact calls to a seller who needs to move urgently. Or, you may need to take warm leads and build a pipeline to continue to discuss business.
Don’t expect to close every deal in just one touch – consider the importance of regular touch points. Follow these top tips to reduce property withdrawals!
And if a customer does withdraw their property from the market you need to put on your big girl or boy pants and ask why.
Guest blog by Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell, Director, and Trainer at The Able Agent, a comprehensive online training solution for estate and lettings agents.
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