It always seems strange that as agents we can miss so many opportunities. Not only is each opportunity a possible sale, but it’s also a reflection on how our business is perceived. Missed opportunities can come in many guises but each one could be costly in one way or another. One of the most costly missed opportunities happened when one of the founding partners of Apple sold his 10% stake in the business in 1976 for £800, it is said this decision cost him $55 billion. Now I’m not saying that you could be losing billions but each and every client can generate income for your business so why are you letting them slide?
I often undertake a mystery shopping exercise to gain an insight into what opportunities may need improving. One afternoon I sent a request to view a property through an estate agent's online form, I received an auto reply to say they would be in touch, but weeks later I am still waiting for a call or email. This is not a one-off experience and it happens more than you would expect. I telephoned one of the agents who had not responded to find out why, after a little investigation they realised that my email had arrived in their spam folder. A lesson for us all to check our spam I think!
The other Saturday I walked into a very well known estate agency to express an interest into buying one of their investment properties displayed in the window of their branch. I entered the office and no one was visible, I politely shouted ‘hello’ and heard no response so sat down and waited. How long would you have waited to see someone? How long do you think your clients would have waited? I waited over 5 minutes, now I can hear the cynical of you questioning my time keeping but I sadly assure you that the fact is I was sat waiting there for over 5 minutes until I was greeted by the agent with a “yeah, what do you want?”
I requested the details and asked to view the property to be informed that the person dealing with it would be back in on Monday. I asked if he wanted my details, as surely they would want to keep in touch with a potential buyer or potential Landlord/Vendor? But no! I was reminded that that the person dealing with would be back in on Monday. Not wanting to do this agent an injustice I assumed he was new to the business or only worked on the weekends, so I asked him his role. His reply shocked me more than anything that had happened before, “I am a partner in the business.”
You maybe a partner, a branch manager or a team member in your agency, but no matter what your title, you are a leader and how you respond to any enquiries will influence the rest of the team. If you are hungry, chase every enquiry, check your spam and enthusiastically talk with everyone who may step inside your office, you will not only prevent an opportunity slipping through your fingers you will establish a strong culture for turning opportunities into profit.
When was the last time you checked every method of contacting your business to track the response time. We all start off with great intentions but it is only by consistently testing our clients’ experience that we can understand how good or bad it is. How many opportunities are you missing?