We have all seen them, those nightmare estate agent photos that fill you with wonder on how someone can use them to market a property. But are you in the same league as these agents when it comes to telling the truth to your clients?
Undertaking an appraisal is for the sole purpose of gaining an instruction. But what actual feedback are you giving to your potential clients? Is telling them the real truth about the presentation of their property actually worth it?
You are both after the same end result – to sell their home in a timescale that suits them and to achieve the highest nett price possible. We know that home staging works, and it can have a real impact on the number of quality offers received. So how do you stress the importance of staging to your clients without losing the instruction?
You need to build a rapport with your potential clients, as we discussed in our last post Do you value our most undervalued resource in estate agency? Having already established a relationship, you have the foundation of trust to build on. You don’t want to go in like a bulldozer telling them everything that is wrong with their home, but discuss with them the advantages of home staging and the positive impact it can have on their sale.
Don’t forget that there are numerous home staging professionals up and down the country that can provide this service for your clients. Why not build a relationship with 2 or 3 home stagers in your area. Not only will this relationship highlight your commitment to achieving the best for your clients, but they could also prove a valuable source for referrals.
Giving feedback after a viewing is essential, but how much do you tell your clients and when? Nobody likes waiting but sadly I often hear tales of vendors having to chase agents for feedback, this puts a strain on your relationship with them. I would advise that you give some initial feedback after the viewing regardless how general. It’s better for your clients to hear that you will come back to them with detailed feedback after speaking to the potential buyers, rather than not hearing you for a few days, if at all.
I was talking to an agent last week and he had asked the vendors of a property to tone down the décor of their home, it was certainly not going to be everybody’s taste. The vendors initially refused, they were under the illusion that people would be able to see past it. After the first viewing the potential buyers were really put off by the décor, no matter how much they were told they could put their own stamp on it. The agent went back to the vendor and truthfully and diplomatically informed them of the potential buyers feedback.
A couple of days later the vendors rang the agent and asked if he felt the decor could really hinder the sale, he said yes. The couple invited in the home stager suggested by the agent, and a few days later he invited back the said potential buyers. They were reluctant to return but on seeing the transformation put in a full asking price offer. They said they just couldn’t see the potential of the property past the décor. The vendors admitted that they found it hard to accept the truth at first, but the result spoke for itself. The vendors have since referred several clients to the agent as they regard him to be honest and extremely professional. That’s the reputation to have in our industry.
Giving feedback is a skill and you should train your team in the best methods of communicating the truth with your clients. But do it right and ‘giving the truth’ could be increasing sales and referrals to your agency.