In a recent article published on The Negotiator’s website, it was reported that “The Property Ombudsman’s office [TPO] receives over 16,000 enquiries every year from individuals who have concerns about their estate or letting agent.”
To give that statement further clarity, TPO’s 2015 report confirmed a 32% increase in complaints, which, as we’re sure you’ll agree, is enough to give any property professional cause for concern. In 2015, TPO instructed agents to pay awards worth £811,134, yet as The Negotiator neatly puts it, the true damage resides within the ‘human cost’; the secondary effects of which – poor referral leads, lack of instructions, damaged revenue and poor reputation – have the potential to seriously harm your business.
As you’ll be aware, TPO informs agents about of some of the most common causes for complaints, providing feedback on how they could improve their service. For those of you that attended TPO’s annual conference this year, you’ll have either witnessed or participated in one of their practical workshops; the emphasis of which was to “educate” agents on what they should be doing to get things right first time and curb complaints from happening. The Negotiator concisely lists some of the chief causes of complaints: ‘[confused] sales/advertising/marketing, commission fees, conflicts of interest and communication failure’. The article also goes on to compare two interesting sales cases; one in which an award was supported, and one in which it was not. In the first case examined, an award of £1,000 was instructed due to misdescription. In the second case, a landlord had complained that his tenant had caused £7,500 worth of damage. The agent agreed to pay £1,000 towards the damage and no award was instructed by TPO.
We understand that these types of accusations might sound familiar to you - not because you’ve mislead your clients, or failed to ensure that your lettings are properly managed; often it’s just a fundamental case of not being able to please everyone. As The Negotiator states, “[i]t’s impossible to keep every customer satisfied all of the time…[but] [a]gents need to understand that dealing with any complaint promptly and diligently will almost always reduce the risk of the issue escalating.”
Of course, TPO’s feedback is absolutely vital, but what if your agency didn’t have to wait for the published report to find out the areas that you could improve? What if you used the BriefYourMarket.com survey feature to get constant feedback throughout the year to continually improve your service?
BriefYourMarket.com’s survey feature is quick, efficient and unlimited in the amount you can send. The primary effects are obvious: you’ll get an extensive overview about the specific services you’re offering and the improvements that you can make, immediately.
In a similar vein, one can also consider the primary effects of using newsletters, automated communications and E-Zines, as these all offer a property professional a whole host of benefits: they'll effectively communicate your services, local knowledge, and give you the opportunity to beautifully advertise your properties. Whilst the secondary effects will also address some of the chief concerns listed by TPO; you’ll bolster your reputation, been seen as an agency that is proactive to situations and gets the job done right first time, you’ll increase referrals from word-of-mouth recommendations and, ultimately, increase your instructions and revenue.
You can learn more about BriefYourMarket.com's unique E-Zines by simply clicking on the button below.
So what are you waiting for? Survey your potential today and get ahead of the game. Contact us on 0344 800 84 24, or click on the button below, for more information about how you can effectively use surveys, newsletters, automated communications and E-Zines to raise your brand awareness and win more instructions.