Market appraisals the shocking truth
Stephen Brown, of Stephen J Brown Consultancy Ltd, discusses the implications of missing market appraisal enquires:
Market appraisals are the lifeblood of any estate agency. Without property we will not survive, so why are so many agents getting it wrong? I recently heard a shocking story from property commentator Andrea Morgan, who had contacted two local agents for a market appraisal.
“I emailed Agent 1 through their online form, though I was slightly worried as the news section of their website had not been updated since 2011. It took well over 24 hours to receive a reply, which when received was very brief. I rang the Agent and, rather than being treated like I was a brand new valued customer, the whole exercise felt entirely impersonal and run-of-the-mill. I was told I would be called back to confirm a time later that day. The next day I rang again to chase the appointment and was told once again that they would ring back in five minutes – I am still waiting to this day.”
Sadly Andrea’s story isn’t uncommon. At a recent estate agent seminar, the offices of the 178 agents attending had received a market appraisal mystery shop. The agents were asked how soon they thought their office had replied to the market appraisal enquiry:
- Their office had replied within one hour
- Their office had replied the same day
- Their office had replied the next day
All 178 agents stated their office would have replied within one hour.
The shocking truth – 80% of the offices had never replied
Estate agency is becoming more competitive with the ever-growing number of online and low cost agents. One way we can differentiate ourselves from the competition is to build a relationship with a vendor – right from their very first phone call. By doing so, we will make them feel that they and their property are important to us, and that we’re not simply asking endless questions just to make our lives easier.
Vendors are also undertaking market research for themselves prior to the market appraisal, using tools available on the property portals. Andrea shares another sad tale:
“An online agent came to undertake a market appraisal. I asked him what properties they had personally sold in the area and how quickly. He informed me that he covered a large area so couldn’t give me specific information.”
Even the best of us can take lessons from Andrea’s experience. Vendors are more informed than ever before, they expect to feel that they and their property matter. I work with exceptional agents every day who believe that being the best is not good enough. We should all regularly ask ourselves: “How can we improve?”
Stephen Brown, Director of Stephen J Brown Consultancy, works with Estate Agents to help generate more revenue for their business by looking at their numbers, systems, processes and training. Stephen worked for the award winning Agency Greene & Co for 20 years starting as a Negotiator before progressing to Branch Manager and Director.