In a market where fees are about to be banned and competition is rife, now is the time for agents to review their service and find ways they can continue to improve their service levels. Other agents may consider lowering fees or providing the bare minimum a landlord or tenant has come to expect; both of these have a demoralising impact across the property industry and are not long-term solutions to a changing market, so what more can you offer and how do you ensure you price it appropriately?
We work in an industry where the less complicated, the better. In fact, with our Veco™ software, we’re in the business of helping agents consolidate their databases so they’re able to manage lettings, property management and sales all from the same place, so we completely understand the need to simplify in order to streamline day-to-day operations!
That said, sometimes oversimplification means that it’s easy to miss the bigger picture. In the instance of the tenant fee ban especially, it’s easy to get stuck in the opinion that time = money, and that you’re no longer allowed to charge appropriately for your time. But what if, instead of money, time = investment?
Let’s call it “Coins in the pot”
This is an analogy used in customer service training across the land, but it definitely bears thinking about. It’s the idea that when a customer first comes to you, they have a pot which is half-filled with coins to accompany their neutral opinion as they don’t yet know what to expect from you.
The more good interactions they have with your business – whether that’s someone going above and beyond to make sure a tenant is found for a property quickly, or something as simple as someone giving them a call back at the time they said they would – the more coins get added to the pot.
Similarly, the more times they have to chase for a piece of information, someone speaks to them in a way that they perceive as rude, or when mistakes are made and or an issue is handled badly, coins are removed from the pot.
When the pot is full, customers are more likely to forgive minor errors whilst still interacting positively, leaving good reviews on Google and social media platforms, and recommending your services to others which is the goal – there’s no better business than word of mouth!
In contrast, when there are fewer coins in the pot customers are less likely to forgive even the smallest negative. In fact, they’ll probably be scrutinising every interaction for something to be able to complain about, and it becomes much harder to earn coins back. It also goes without saying, that when the pot is nearly empty they won’t be inclined to recommend your services.
With this in mind, it’s much easier to continue fostering an attitude of excellent service and going that extra mile. Although you might not see an immediate gain for the time you’ve spent doing a good job well via the medium of fees, there’s no telling how much future business you’ll be garnering by sowing the seeds of service now.
Get coin collecting!