If you’re an ambitious estate agent or agency owner, are you doing all you can to deliver a first-class customer experience? Satisfied customers are more likely to stick with you until a sale is made and to send more potential customers your way than those who receive a mediocre service.
House sellers and buyers have more choices than ever before when it comes to selecting estate agent services. Traditional high street agents must compete with hundreds of online and hybrid agencies who can often afford to make customers a better offer due to low overheads.
How can you stand out from the competition? By offering added value. Provide a choice of services that meet the needs of different customers and make the potentially stressful house buying and selling process as easy and smooth sailing as possible. These five services will put your agency in the best position to secure a healthy share of the market.
High Tech Solutions
A user-friendly app can make the house selling and buying process much simpler and more efficient. Provide your customers with a portal they can log into and track viewings and offers or create a wishlist of their dream properties. One of the most frustrating things for customers is being unable to get hold of their estate agent or experiencing repeated delays in receiving feedback and updates. Embrace technology and give your customers an easy way to check the progress of their purchase or sale 24/7.
And the tech services you offer shouldn’t be confined to your agency app. Virtual property tours have been growing in popularity for years, but the pandemic has seen demand for this service soar. Before COVID-19, few people were willing to make an offer on a property they had not seen, but this has changed. Customers have come to expect 3D virtual tours and at the height of the pandemic, a survey found that one in six people would consider putting an offer in on a house based solely on a virtual property viewing. If you’re not already offering this service, you could be missing out on sales.
Some forward-thinking agencies are even dipping their toes into the world of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). While this is an expensive option for many, it’s a fantastic way of letting people “walk through” a property from the safety and comfort of their own homes. This technology is especially valuable if you have a Land and New Homes department — potential buyers can see the potential of developments before they have even been built.
Most property searches begin online. Customers hoping to sell their homes have seconds to capture the attention of swipe happy buyers. Professional photography that captures a home in its best light and showcases key features is essential for securing viewings and subsequently offers. Both sellers and buyers will expect your listings to include a good number of high-quality images that provide sufficient insight into the property for people to make an informed decision about viewing.
The photographs you use must also look professional when added to a printed sales brochure, something that all buyers expect to receive when viewing. Outsourcing this service to a professional company or training in-house staff is the best way to provide your customers with the service they expect and deserve. You should also provide homeowners with guidelines on preparing for a shoot — declutter, open curtains to let the light in, find somewhere for pets and small children to go and possibly even undertake a little light staging, such as adding fresh flowers and bowls of fruit.
Quick House Sale Solutions
The most successful estate agents take the time to build a relationship with their customers and keep the lines of communication open. This allows them to pre-empt any difficulties and spring into problem-solving mode.
The number one reason house sales fail is property chain problems. Don’t wait until an issue arises before looking for a solution. Make sure that you have one ready to go at a moment’s notice. If your customer experiences delays or a failed sale, they’ll love you for stepping in with a ready-made solution!
Contact us to find out more about our part-exchange (PX) and guaranteed purchase services. If your customer needs to sell their existing property before they can buy a new build, our PX specialists can help them sell and buy in one swift transaction. If your client needs a quick, guaranteed sale, we can buy their house fast for cash — and, yes, we will give you a period of exclusivity that grants you the first opportunity to sell any property we buy (if you have a local office to the property)! Partner with HBB Solutions and you will have a solution ready for your clients if they run into difficulty selling their homes.
Access to Trained and Experienced Staff
This may feel like a given and not a separate “service” per se, but it’s so important, we felt it was worth adding to the list.
Not all estate agencies nor estate agents are created equal. People looking to buy and sell property have a greater choice of agencies than ever before and they are becoming more discerning. Making sure that your staff are fully trained and experienced to handle a variety of customer needs — rental, commercial, residential, problem properties etc. — is key to success.
For most people, buying and selling property is one of the most stressful life events and the biggest financial commitment they will ever make. Few customers will take kindly to mistakes that could cost them a sale or at the very least, add stress and delays.
Many potential customers will weed out agencies that do not have accredited staff. They are increasingly savvy when it comes to identifying the best estate agents to work with and many know to look out for accreditations such as the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) Propertymark. Investing the time and money in training staff will pay off in terms of customer satisfaction levels, the number of deals closed, brand reputation, referrals and the bottom line.
Despite COVID-19 and a move to more online viewings and virtual interactions, as well as a growing number of online agencies, many people still want to meet their estate agent face-to-face at least once.
Offering a physical office where your customers can stop in for a coffee and a chat will help you to attract more customers and boost service standards.
Having a high street presence is also a great way to enhance brand awareness. Your branches act as a 24/7 advertisement for your business.
Competition between estate agents continues to grow year on year. Make sure that you cater to the broadest range of customer needs possible by offering a comprehensive range of services and you will be rewarded with a better brand reputation, more sales, higher levels of customer satisfaction and healthy revenue.