The top 7 ways to keep your vendors happy

News: Hometruths sunflower

October 08, 2013

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We all want to keep our vendors from wandering off to another agent down the street, but sometimes we forget how.  Here are some quick tips to help you keep your vendor loyal, and very happy!

  • Keep your promises – do what you say you will, when you say you will, and that’s all most vendors will ever ask of you.  Don’t promise to call them back that day then ring them in the morning with an apology; instead, call them that day without fail and ask if it would be ok to speak in the morning.
  • Keep in touch – I see many unhappy vendors every year who bemoan the fact that their agent never contacts them. It doesn’t take much; make a note of three things you can talk to them about – the interest (or even lack of it) in their property, any local property sales, and the current market conditions.  Even if you really feel you have nothing to say to them, call them and ask how they are – they will appreciate the gesture.
  • Feed back positively – Don’t make your vendors feel that their house isn’t good enough or they have been greedy with their hoped-for asking price.  Give them a ‘feedback sandwich’ (sometimes called something slightly less polite!) – start with telling them something positive, then deliver any bad news you have with sensitivity, then end with an upbeat comment.  As Maya Angelou once said “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
  • Tell them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – if you lie about anything at all, it will come back to haunt you.  Little lies (sorry I’m late, I was stuck in traffic) have a habit of turning into big lies (there was an accident on the main road) and you will get found out.  Just tell the truth (really sorry – I left the office later than I intended to) and your vendor will trust you more in the long term.
  • Be visible – often a vendor will say to me “My agent isn’t doing anything to sell my house – I never hear from him”. These two facts may not be linked at all, but in the client’s mind they are, and that’s all that matters. Make sure they know exactly what you’re doing as often as possible.  Copy them in on emails, drop them a note every time they are in the paper or you have called your applicants.  Just be visible.
  • Stay real  – above all else, you are a real person, and so are they.  Don’t be agent versus vendor, think instead of Joe helping Anne.  Be kind and don’t be afraid to be yourself.
  • Keep their goals in mind – find out why they are moving and keep this goal in your mind, always.  Refer to it in every conversation and email you have with them.  It will not only help you to stay on track and motivated, your vendor will love you for it, and stay loyal to you.

Sam is a speaker, trainer and consultant to independent estate agents and generally helps them be brilliant. If you’ve enjoyed this article, you might also like Sam’s Supertips – they are free, frequent and fabulous!