Insight Feature - By Ben Marley
Over the years I’ve spoken to and met thousands of estate and letting agents, one theme that comes up on a regular basis when I start to ask agents about where or how they collect customer feedback is - “We don’t, we’re old school, all our business is through word of mouth or walks through the door.”
This may very well have been true in times gone by but the world has moved on and through technology customer expectations and their buying habits have changed beyond all recognition. On a personal level you can choose to accept or reject this change as in - “I don’t buy things online, I like to go to the shops on the high street.” However in business you simply cannot make that choice.
There are some sobering business examples of this over the last 20 years or so where huge corporations that you would imagine have teams of researchers looking at consumer trends under a microscope but still rejected technological change and ended up where? Here are some well known examples:
I could go on but you get my drift! So what can agents learn from this corporate graveyard? The refusal to change your business in the face of changing consumer trends will make you obsolete no matter how intrinsic you feel your brand is to your local market. Agents must accept change and embrace new technology, if you don’t someone else will (and probably is already!).
Just think about the next online purchase you make or have just made (hopefully you’ve finished your Christmas shopping now). Companies like ASOS, John Lewis and Currys are using reviews to increase conversions from website visitor to purchaser. They know that even a purchase as low as £30 in value will have an increase in uptake by showing feedback from customers who have purchased and used the product. How is a vendor going to trust an agent with their most valued possession without knowing what other people have said about their experiences?
Reviews influence buying decisions especially when they are independently verified. Remember the quote at the beginning of this feature – “all our business is through word of mouth” – well customer reviews are word of mouth for the next generation of home movers.
So if you’re not collecting reviews start now! Your customers expect to be able to leave you a review and new customers expect to be able to read reviews from real customers.
Oh and did I mention, we can help, I look forward to talking to you!
ESTAS Key date update
31st December - Sign up deadline for firms who want to win in 2021!
Taking part in The ESTAS Awards is easy. Simply sign up to use the ESTAS review platform by 31st December and invite your 2020 clients to submit a review (we’ll provide you with a link to email to your clients going back to 1st Feb 2020).
28th February - EXTENDED deadline for clients to submit a review
Because of the lockdown period in the Spring we have extended the window for reviews that go towards the 2021 awards to midnight on 28th February. As long as you have a minimum of 15 reviews from sellers & buyers or 15 from landlords or tenants (if you are entering one of the letting categories) your branch will be eligible for the ESTAS Shortlist for 2021.
1st April - ESTAS 2021 Shortlists announced
After our awards review audit comes the second biggest date in the ESTAS calendar. Look out for the postman as every shortlisted firm receives an envelope with a waxed heart seal on the back! PS. This is not an April Fool!
11th June - ESTAS 2021 Forum & Awards
The biggest day in the UK residential property industry ever! For the first time ESTAS will bring together the cream of estate agency, property lawyers and mortgage brokers to see who has won the most coveted awards in property in 2021.
In today’s market, the customer has never had more choice as to who to represent them when selling their house. Nearly every village, town or city across the UK has more than enough agents to serve the local market - whether they be online/hybrid, self-employed or high street agencies - so why is it that over half of transactions aren’t completing with the original agent? The agent the vendor [...]Read more