Letting Agents and McDonalds.

I used to work at MaccyDee’s (aka McDonalds). If you aren’t 100% satisfied with your burger, they’ll make another for you. That’s their assurance to you if the order taker at the ‘can I take yer order stand’, or the one with the all the Stars (yes, I had all the stars before you ask) makes the burger, isn’t always on top of his or her game… it will be sorted with a smile.

People make mistakes, estate and letting agents make mistakes. If to err is human, but to forgive is divine, surely this is a sign to empower our front line negs and property managers to make more honest mistakes. Humans aren’t perfect, and it is precisely this imperfection that endears us to one another. Surely our vendors, tenants, landlords and buyers would be the first to recognise this. Unquestionably empathy works both ways… doesn’t it? (unless you are tenant who rings you up at 5.25pm on Friday who says, ‘I haven’t had any heating for the last three days, and I am having my family round tomorrow morning, can you sort it?’ .. to which you think, a plumber on a late Friday afternoon? More chance of winning the lottery ..and why the hell didn’t you ring three bl**dy days ago ?

I read somewhere recently that some figures that show that companies who are not able to satisfactorily solve a issue, but went about it in a authentic, kind-hearted way and genuine way, had million times better review scores than companies who did solve a particular issue, but did so in a uncouth, uncaring or coarse way. So what I am really saying is this, it’s not whether you solve the issue (in the end it is),but on the face of it, the way you deal with it …. classic aptitude versus attitude?

In a world where we punish our negs and property managers if they spend too much time on the phone, what if we rewarded them based on how many times they dropped a clanger? What if we incentivised our negs and property managers based on their ability to volunteer times they were prepared to take a chance to tackle a challenge, versus palming it off to the boss? What if they were to fail, instead of b*******king them, praise and encourage them to share their thoughts and insights, what they learnt and what they would have different … thus everyone could learn in the business which gives the potential for the whole firm to evolve and mature?

PS …. and before you say, I see the irony that if someone sets out to a drop a clanger, to make a mistake, to co*k up on purpose, it isn’t a mistake at all, is it?

Christopher Watkin

I teach, guide, support, mentor, consult, counsel, partner many hundreds of UK Estate and Letting Agents in their quest to grow their estate and lettings agencies business. Old school techniques of touting, landlords wanted leaflets, ring us for a free valuation, we have sold this in your street leaflets don't work anymore. There are too many competitor agents .. meaning cheap fees are epidemic, overvaluing is almost a norm to get the stock and don’t even mention about the online/hybrid threat. So a few years ago, I set about looking around the UK and spotted that certain agents (not many mind you) in certain towns were still seen as the ‘go to person on property’, the person the newspaper editor rang up every week for a comment and I looked at what they did and they were doing some thing quite remarkable…. Only one thing but they were doing it so well .. and reaping the reward in terms of decent listings and decent fees, happy staff, decent sales pipeline and exchange income, managed lettings portfolios in the many hundreds .. but more importantly, they really enjoyed the job… they enjoyed getting up in the morning and people looked up to them Over 400 agents around the UK are on a mission to change the way our Estate and Lettings agency profession is perceived and looked upon, doing it town by town, city by city. I guide these 400 agents, teach them, mentor them and support them to be seen in a different light, to be seen as the ‘go to person for property’, actually be the ‘local property expert’ and prove it. Christopher Watkin 07950 147 572 christopher@christopherwatkin.co.uk

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