The Inexplicable Behaviour of Property Agents
Oh, the examples run aplenty!
Like the one who just nodded curtly when we first met at the scheduled point below the block of apartments. This was despite our cheery greeting and addressing him by name. All he muttered was that the someone was bringing the keys over in a few minutes. Then, silence throughout the next ten minutes or so.........complete silence while he peered ahead, and at times glanced at his Facebook account on his mobile. When the keys arrived, the agent simply walked towards the elevator without a word and we supposed we were to follow. The elevator ride was just as awkward after he replied monosyllabic as to whether the unit was currently being tenanted. However, from the moment he unlocked and opened the main door, it was as if his internal switch suddenly turned on and he became a totally different person. He went, "Hi! Please come in! How are you? My name is ......."
Reflective thoughts: Being professional is about being ready the moment you step into your work environment, whether it is the physical building of your company, your hotel lobby, the meeting place with clients, on stage for performance (before the curtain lifts), service desk or restaurant entrance (even when there are no guests there), etc. How could the agent have made use of the waiting time to engage with the clients?
Or the one who was inappropriately dressed in a very short skirt while walking up and down the stairs to show us and other clients the unit.
How about the agent who did not provide useful information during the viewing, but simply state the obvious, such as, "If you become the owner, you can paint the wall with another colour", "Here is the wardrobe with four doors, and here in the bathroom, you have his and her sink."
Reflective thoughts: Think of how you can value-add to the process and service experience. Be specific, not generic (e.g. “I will tell them more about the product” vs “If client is looking at the property as an investment, I will share with them the past rental yields and what can be done to increase this further.)
There was this other agent who did not know how much the monthly/quarterly conservancy fees cost. We said we didn’t need the exact figure, but a rough approximate – although it was absolutely reasonable to expect the agent to know first-hand about this basic information – she said she would need to check and that she would revert later in the day. In the end, we didn’t even hear back from her.
Reflective thoughts: Do your homework and be well-prepared. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and ask yourself: "What would I like to know (that’s not advertised or obvious) more about?" Think as well, of the different scenarios: If you were buying for own stay, for investment (renting out), if you were a couple with no kids, with young teenagers, with elderly parents, etc., how would you customise the viewing experience?
(Hint: if you find yourself doing, saying the same things during each and every visit, regardless the client profile, it means you are very robotic and not customising the service at all. )