Communication and Credentials are the Key
In this fast paced, instant access world we seem to live in, communication in its various forms, seems to dominate our lives. Despite the plethora of mediums we can reach each other on – telephone, email, social media, newspapers or face to face, getting hold of people and communicating in the right ways with them, seems to be an ever more difficult problem!
Property is one of the rare business sectors, where it is all about people and less so about transactions. Many of the new types or inexperienced agents overlook this critical point and concentrate solely on signing up willing vendors (when they sometimes get paid their commission) or getting them to the Under Offer stage, then dropping their interest.
Getting a property to Under Offer is only step one. Getting from Under Offer to Exchange of contracts is a whole other ball game, where the experienced and knowledgeable succeed. One sometimes hears about property professionals having had previous careers in say insurance or stationery, where the focus is just on ‘shifting units’. However property is more complex than this and is where these newbies fall down, as they are unable to communicate effectively enough or manage peoples expectations to a high enough degree.
When it comes to selling or indeed buying your home, one thing remains key critical and that is communication.
Great estate agents need to be masters at communication. After all, they need to communicate to the right audience in order to get across the threshold of the right types of properties for their brand and to be invited on a market appraisal. They then need to say why they should be the preferred agent. However at this stage, talk is cheap. The valuer sat in your kitchen waxing lyrical about their company’s offerings, which is all well and good, however this isn’t going to sell your property. As a vendor, you should be open with your agent about your preferred timeframes or if there is a situation you are mindful of. Only by communicating this, can your agent guide you on the best course of action.
What will sell your property is how well the front of house team back at the office know your home and can then effectively communicate this to proactive and indeed reactive buyers. Liaising with viewers and driving people across the threshold is an art in itself. Then the all important negotiations with a buyer to get the right price on the right basis takes time and clear communication. Unless both sides are happy, a deal doesn’t happen.
A further key crux, is when you appoint your conveyancing solicitor. They must be prepared to regularly communicate with all parties. When I act for clients on the buying or selling side, I always double check who the solicitor acting on the other side is. If I know or believe them to be a poor communicator, then I suggest that the other side changes firm. The reason being is that a huge amount of time, money and effort has been put in to reach the Under Offer stage. All parties are now relinquishing everything they have done until this point and now rely relying on two solicitors to see the property over the line. If one of the solicitors isn’t good at communicating, then the deal will never happen. This is the only time in a proposed transaction, whereby everyone is relying on a third party to see it over the line.
It must always be remembered that an agent (or buying agent for that matter) is there to instil confidence in the property transaction. Some of the less experienced look at only the transactions, whilst the experienced know that by communicating effectively with all parties at all times and being a people’s person, it will then lead to the transactions happening. Whoever you use in your next property transaction, make sure they can communicate well, but above all have the credential to back it up.
Written by: Alex Goldstein, an independent bespoke property consultant in Yorkshire and London (www.alexgoldstein.co.uk) 01423 788377