Insight Feature - By Ben Marley
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 spent so long choosing?
I’m yet to meet an agent who’s marketing says “Our staff are new so bear with us”, “Our fall through rate is high but we’re great at getting them on” or “We’re the number 7 agent in town”. Every agent wants to promote how they good they and give their reasons as to “why us” are but how does a customer choose?
This is where your past customers can really help you because never before have consumer reviews played such a big part in people’s buying decisions. Who is a customer more likely to believe? Five agencies all telling them that they are going to be right choice for them or past customers – who have experienced the whole moving process with one of those agents - sharing their positive stories.
If you can demonstrate to your prospective customers what your service and agency is really like (being cliché using `don’t just take my word it`) you’ll have a much stronger client base who will have made a better informed decision for themselves and therefore far less likely to switch agency later on.
There will of course be many reasons as to why someone switches agency, racing pricing coupled with lack of outbound activity is a major factor. However if you were securing business with customers who’s expectations and perception of your agency was met from the start this would significantly reduce the number of people who withdraw their property and switch to a competitor.
If you are not already collecting reviews as part of your marketing strategy you need to start now! If you are already then make sure they are not just sitting in the top draw or your inbox. Customers expect to be able to see your reviews (not wait for you to present them) so make sure they are displayed on the main channels where customers are looking such as Google, your website and social media.
Winning the right customers for you will mean you will have more success, higher conversion rates, more time to spend with your customers which will lead to happier staff, happier customers and great reviews!!
As we all know it’s been an incredibly difficult year to predict anything but thankfully things are looking a lot more positive for 2021. So here are the key dates for your new diary…
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. 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
Midnight on 28th Feb is when the window closes for ‘award’ reviews for the 2021 awards. 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 audit in March 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.