Too many property businesses are not effectively training their estate agents and this has terrible implications for the reputation of our industry.
I have a guilty pleasure which I’m going to openly admit to. When I am asked if I have any questions on a property viewing, I will always come up with at least one, as a little test. In at least half of all cases, I can catch a lazy estate agent out. Now there are only certain questions that you can ask on a visit to a new property:
“How long has it been on the market?”
usually causes a stutter or two these days but more often,
“How long is the lease?” or “How much is the service charge?”
catches them out.
I spent a good portion of my career building teams in property and helping their new recruits with estate agents training.
I would not let anyone working in one of my teams leave the office without checking that they have the facts and figures at their fingertips. Basics questions like
“Where are the sellers’ moving to?” or “How long have they lived here?”
come up time after time and it pays to know the answers on the spot. Selling is about overcoming objections but it is also about caring and being passionate about your work.
Taking an interest in your clients’ ownership of a property is important.
It shows you care and gives you ammunition when you are showing buyers around. Nobody wants to hear
“Here is the reception room!”
but your buyer might be interested in when the last renovation took place or how old the kitchen appliances are.
I meet far too many lazy estate agents who do not know their “product”.
Unfortunately, today I caught another one out with the old classic “How much is the service charge?” They had absolutely no idea. Actually, I have to admit that I smiled inside when this particular “Estate Agent” could not come up with the answer. However, part of me was also quite annoyed.
In fact, if I was the buyer and you had given me the information on the spot, you would have demonstrated that you were taking the sale of this particular property very seriously. It would have left a good strong impression on me and these impressions count! It might have been the difference between making or losing the sale and that is important when the market is tough!.
Simple, fundamental basic training deals with this issue and will help to give our industry a more professional image.
Whilst I appreciate that these are difficult times, too many property businesses are quite obviously economising with the estate agents training which I think is a mistake. The industry has a bad enough reputation as it is.