When most agents think about how to improve their service and to help ease customers frustrations, minds turn immediately to fees – how to compete with lower-price offerings, how to provide better advice, market properties better, attract higher quality of buyers, and other, similar aspects of an estate agents service. Interestingly, according to the government’s latest research on how home sellers feel after the process has completed, the number one aspect of service that customers are most dissatisfied with may come as a shock to many agents – “Keeping the seller informed about the progress of their sale”
In fact, 21% of successful sellers were dissatisfied with the information passed through to them by the agent on the progress of the sale. If you compare this to what sellers thought about the typical fees paid to the agent, two thirds (66%) of sellers actually considered them to be good or even very good value for money. In fact, only 5% of sellers said that they thought their agent provided very bad value for money. Also, according to the research, when deciding which agent to pick, one of the largest reasons that people chose a traditional agent in the first place (over an online estate agent) was because they thought it may be more difficult to communicate if they went about the process differently.
Let’s go into this a bit further. If 20% of customers choose a traditional agent because they value the communication they expect to receive, but sellers’ biggest dissatisfaction at the end of the process is that the progress of their sale wasn’t communicated well to them… What can estate agents do to improve, meet customers’ expectations, attract more business, and increase their chances of receiving repeat business? The answer seems simple to us – communication, communication, communication.
Anybody can tell you that despite how the experience may feel for a seller, it is not as if agents do not try to contact their sellers as often as possible. Agents working hours, with the exception of some Saturdays, tend to coincide with most people’s 9-5 working hours. This can make life difficult when agents are trying to call their customers to update them on the progress of their sale, but they are unfortunately unavailable. I’m sure most agents are familiar with the games of telephone tennis they often end up playing with some customers! Something as simple as automating some communication and proving your customers with a 24/7 online platform that buyers and sellers can log into to see any updates at their convenience can provide a world of difference when it comes to how up-to-date a seller feels.
Want to find out more? You can read the full report here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/653581/buying-selling_homes-research.pdf