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Just how Crap are some Estate Agencies becoming?

Estate Agency delays

Reader please be aware that I write this article in the zone of being the editor of a major property news channel, with the utmost respect for the industry and I am genuinely currently searching for a property to buy with nothing sell and a mortgage sorted with a cash deposit, ie no chain!

So why such a negative headline?

Well, for sure I can see why there is a growing number of estate agency training services and especially mystery shoppers in the industry for the experience I am getting when looking for a property to purchase shocks me, surely the industry is not that lazy / unprofessional for if so then I should start an estate agency up myself on the side and simply make sure I am on Rightmove/Zoopla with a couple of property to sell in my portfolio and from there sit back and not be bothered.

How many estate agents can hold their hands up and say that they reply to all emails received via Rightmove? Surely they all do? On top of that, how many estate agents will react to getting back to emails received that are sent via their website? Again, surely all? What about replying to someone who has called up and asked for more details of a property? Anyone? Oh, and for that matter, surely the sign of a good estate agency, but what about following up on a client who is chain free and ready to purchase who has just seen a property on your books to get their feedback especially if they had to chase you up in the first place in order to view it? Anyone guilty of this?

My latest example of my estate agency experience:

Let me call this estate agency in question a fictitious name ‘CNBB Estates – Can not be Bothered Estates’

I email via Rightmove when I see a property I would like to view local to me and state that I am chain free and looking to buy in this exact location – NO REPLY

OK, I am keen so I email via the website assuming I would get a very quick call back – NO REPLY

Here’s the funny thing, I run several large UK estate agency themed websites on Facebook and the said estate agency, as we know them as CNBB Estates, place a post on my Facebook group about their agency and the services they offer, ie contact them if you are looking to buy / sell property in the region. Feeling like the biscuit was well and truly snatched from my fingers as I was about to dip it in to my tea (taking the biscuit as such!), I direct messaged the person who posted to say quite frankly your service is not up to scratch and why.

I get a reply not long after my reply to their Facebook post advertising on my Facebook Estate Agency group promising a message back soon– NOTHING RECEIVED

I get a Facebook message reply a day later to apologise so I gave my telephone number and stated that please can the agent call me because I want to see the property otherwise I will walk over to the property myself and knock on the door and chance my luck… I also state please no calls this afternoon as I am in meetings – I GET A CALL FROM THE ESTATE AGENT IN QUESTION THAT AFTERNOON so I say sorry I am busy in meetings as stated, which they apologised for having read that in my original message, and so now please call back tomorrow.

OK, now we have some business life from the said CNBB Estates and they arrange the viewing and I get an array of emails and text messages to re-confirm the viewing slot which I get a few times on mobile / email which is fine with me, though GDPR? Anyway…

I see the property which I like, though think it is slightly over priced for varied obvious reasons to me so I would normally expect a call back from the estate agent? Well that was that way in the days I was working in an estate agency office, that they call back to say how did the viewing go and any interest / feedback or maybe you would like to put in an offer – Guess what? NO FOLLOW UP PHONE CALL RECEIVED TO DATE

Maybe the estate agency industry is easier than I think, let the buyer do all the chasing and give the seller a less that worthy of the commission fee service?

Maybe Rightmove messages are failing to get through? Maybe there are some bad websites and emails not being received? OK, the good old spam folder and my emails getting dumped in to there? This though I very much doubt and does not count for the non following up of a client who has viewed on a property who is in a position to buy?

Maybe I am just getting grumpy and old…

Anyway. I have since viewed one or two other property and looking at these instead and, praise where praise is due, A.N.Other estate agency was interested in me as a buyer of one of the property on their books and immediately got back to my email and has made me feel like a customer… I viewed a property with them the other day, I AM STILL WAITING TO BE CALLED BACK TO SEE WHAT I THOUGHT OF THE PROPERTY AND IF I HAVE INTEREST IN BUYING IT / FEEDBACK.

I have emailed two more property on Rightmove (sorry to pick on you guys as a portal) and no email reply that day, one agency replied over 24 hours later…

Why do you not phone you may ask? No reason other than I do lots via my phone be it social media or emails and if this is an avenue of communication for estate agents then why should I not use it?

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Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking and an internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Twitter and LinkedIn. Writes about UK property prices, housing and affordable homes.

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